“You don’t even know me.”
The words slipped out of her mouth before she could stop them.
She really didn’t mean to say them outloud and braced herself for the fallout
but he never even heard her.
Sitting at the kitchen table one minute, the next he was rattling
a glass full of ice cubes and dark rum.
The half-splash of Coca-Cola was just an unspoken concession, an insincere
attempt at pacifying her even though she seldom said a word anymore about his
At least not to him.
They weren’t the same people they used to be.
In all actuality he was still the same, but her?
After well more than twenty years together she had developed a hard shell
around herself for protection against the hurtful words that fell out of his
mouth when he had too much to drink.
And he always had too much to drink.
Sex and drugs and rock and roll were one thing when you’re only in your
twenties but when you begin that climb where fifty is closer than forty it
starts to get old.
Sure, he worked hard, his drinking didn’t interfere with his ability to bring
home a paycheck but somehow, as the years flew by and she shrugged off her
wildcat days he remained the same, running in place.
Their circular arguments always ended up in the same place leaving her
wondering why she even bothered. So she stopped arguing and he kept drinking,
telling her she was a prude frigid bitch incapable of fun.
He stumbled back into the kitchen for a refill, the lopsided grin she’d once
found charming now annoyed her more than anything so she kept her head down and
just kept sketching.
“What did you say?” he asked.
“Nothing,” she replied,”just talking to myself.”