We didn’t hang up the towels. We forgot to let the dog out. We forgot to get a dog. The dog wasn’t housebroken properly. We couldn’t get the dishes clean enough. We drank too much wine. We didn’t drink enough wine. We didn’t drink enough good wine. We didn’t appreciate the good wine when we had it because we drank too much of it.
We should have had kids. We couldn’t have kids. We couldn’t have kids because of the thing we couldn’t talk about. We couldn’t talk about not having kids because then you would remember why you hated me so much. You hated me so much you decided to marry me. You married me because you forgot how much I hated you. You married me because I wasn’t good enough for anyone else. We let the Hollandaise curdle and the boiling water trick couldn’t fix it.
We let sex become work. We worked so hard at sex because you couldn’t have children. You couldn’t have children so what was the point of having sex. You couldn’t have children so what was the point of work. We did pointless work and we hated it here so we went someplace else. It was cold here so we went someplace warm. It was warm there so we went someplace cold. It smelled funny there so we went someplace else. When we went someplace else the people didn’t know us. We came back here and the people didn’t know us either. The people here were all people we didn’t want to know. All the people we wanted know were someplace else.
The underwear I bought you was the wrong size. You got the wrong kind of haircut. We forgot to pay our mobile provider. We forgot that we had a mobile provider. I didn’t know what a mobile provider was. I didn’t care about mobile providers. I didn’t know how to work the mobile screen. The people at work hated me. The people at work loved you. The people at work loved you too much. You didn’t love yourself enough so you needed the people at work to love you. You didn’t love yourself the way you were. You wanted someone to love somebody else that was not you so you could change into somebody else. You found someone else to love someone else. You became someone else and hid that you had changed from me. You became someone else and hid your lover from me. You hid yourself from me and I didn’t love you enough anyway. I didn’t love you anyway so what difference did it make.
We went to the museum. We went to the museum because it was fancy and the paintings were all of people with smeary faces. The people in the paintings had smeary faces and the people at the museum had smeary faces. I walked around and told you how much I liked the paintings with smeary faces. You walked around and introduced me to your lover. I was more comfortable with the people in the paintings with smeary faces. I went downstairs in the museum and looked at more paintings. I looked at more paintings and thought how lucky I was to be here at this fancy place with paintings of people with smeary faces. Then we went home. On the bus on the way home I looked at your face to see if it was smeary.
We forgot to ride the bicycles. We kept the bicycles in the hallway and tripped over them. No one could get in because of the bicycles. We couldn’t get out because of the bicycles in the hallway. All the mail stayed outside the door. We ate all the food in the apartment. The bicycles stayed in the hallway. The tires on the bicycles in the hallway went flat. We called out to the children in the playground. We opened the windows and called but the children in the playground were too busy playing. We listened to the children in the playground and they reminded us that we couldn’t have children. We thought about how we couldn’t have children and it reminded us of how much we hated each other. We were starving because we couldn’t get out of the apartment and past the bicycles that we couldn’t ride.
You went to Arizona. It was warm in Arizona. You sent me sterling silver cufflinks from Arizona but the package sat out by the bicycles we couldn’t ride. I didn’t get the package with the cufflinks from Arizona and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. You didn’t tell me you took a lover. You didn’t tell me you took a lover and laughed at me because I was stuck with the bicycles. Look diamonds you said and handed me a pair of diamond earrings he had given you. I wanted to throw them out the car window and didn’t. You laughed at me and said they weren’t real anyway. I hated you and wished I had thrown them out the window. I hated me because I loved you. I hated me because I thought I didn’t matter. I hated you because you thought I mattered and didn’t tell me.
The boat is too slow. The water smells funny. Our lives are pointless. Everything we do is pointless. We start from the wrong place. Birth is pointless. We can’t get back to the beginning. We should start at the end and work back. The guy driving the boat is too stupid. The guy driving the boat is too rich. There is too much water. There is too much sun. The guy driving the boat doesn’t know where he is going. The food here isn’t very good. These people are not the people we want to know. We are not the people we want to know. I threw the diamonds away. They weren’t real anyway.
Brian lives in Ireland with his wife and two sleepy Pit Bulls who were rescued from a dog pound. All four moved to Ireland from New York about six months ago. Brian was an advertising executive but found the purposeful deceit and long hours disheartening. He walked out of what had become a trap and hasn’t looked back. He and his wife bought a stone schoolhouse in the farm country of County Leitrim. The house was built in 1891 and was where the Irish patriot and martyr Sean McDermott received his early education. Brian writes about things that interest him and that he can form into coherent stories. He has published in Three Penny Review, Jelly Bucket and Scarlet Leaf.
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