Good Narrative Principles

House On Fire


I was dreaming that my house was on fire when I heard the door squeak close. She leaves every night after I’m in bed and tries to sneak back to her bed before the alarm.  Naturally, we’re not sleeping together anymore. But still…you’d think she’d have an ounce of decency, shame, a sense of boundaries broad enough to contain her lust until she moves out.

But she doesn’t see it that way. Truth is I don’t know what she’s thinking or what her timetable is for next steps because we’re not exactly talking. Like last night, when I heard the door squeak I could have stormed into the den. Maybe I should have. Maybe I should have grabbed her by the roots of her cheap dyed blonde hair (not by any generous stretch of the imagination would her naturally mousy brown hair ever tip towards blonde ) tilt her head back and squeeze her soft plumy neck. Watch her eyes focus on me as she realizes too late that I am someone she must deal with. She’ll be dead and I’ll be free.

Would I do it in the living room? What if she kicked over our new flat screen TV? It’s held in place by a wing-nut and prayer. I thought the suggestion that I buy a bracket, that costs almost as much as the TV, was a con job, but now I’m having second thoughts. Always protect your investments, the salesman warned me. But they get paid to say things like that.

I still owe money for the flat screen, so it would kill me if she destroyed it while fighting for her life. I could see her kicking and squirming. Maybe my elbow would lean into her breast as I pinned her down. She’d squirm. I’d get hard, and still she wouldn’t want me.

Even thinking about it makes my toes go cold. It’s just like the night I proposed to her. We had just spent the evening with her college roommate and her husband. I poured them a glass of wine. A fine wine. A frisky pinot noir if I recall. The roommate placed her hand over her glass and smiled coyly. We all knew what that meant. That night, I proposed. In bed. And after I popped the question my toes grew icy.

The body is always two steps ahead of the brain.

New York state divorce law is so ass backwards that if I file for divorce, in the eyes of the law, I’m accepting responsibility for her indiscretions, her cheating, her affair and when it comes to money, because it always comes down to money, she gains the upper hand in the negotiations. At least that’s what my lawyer told me.

Not that he is officially my lawyer yet. The economy being what it is, he was willing to toss me a freebie. I’m thinking that I could make a regular business out of these consulting freebies and research my way through my own divorce. Maybe I could hire someone at the last minute and save a bundle.

Lately I’ve noticed a waddle gathering under her chin.

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