They said I should enjoy every moment
of my marriage; the time will just fly by.
They didn't say I'd be saving my
cigarettes, scraping them against the curb whenever I go to town for
groceries, carrying them around in a vinyl change purse while I stock
up on damaged goods--dented cans of corn and five-day-old bread
riding around in a cart with a wonky wheel.
They didn't say my husband would
blacken my eyes when the kids bring home C's, necessitating a big
floppy hat that fools no one, especially Margie, who sells me pea
salad and shimmering squares of gelatin half off, even though it's
not sale day yet. She dishes up a styrofoam container of gelatin and
offers it with shaky hands and a congealed smile across the sterile
counter of the deli and I examine the skin on her arms for the burn
marks of which we will not speak.
They didn't say I'd find myself sitting
in the swelter of the Bronco, windows down, listening to NPR, eating
the gelatin, watching the the colors bleed onto the styrofoam before
I can finish it. They didn't say I'd be so hungry, I'd run my finger
along the inside of the container, licking it after, knowing all the
while that the deep primeval hunger I feel can never be sated
They didn't tell me, but I know it, of
course, that I should hide that empty container, but I also know it
isn't worth the energy because Nick will check the groceries against
the receipt, unloading each item from the slippery bag, nodding and
checking it off the list with a red pen before allowing me to put it
on the shelf where it belongs. He is an accountant, he will
tell me for the millionth time.
And I know, but won't tell, that I will
receive fresh bruises this afternoon, after the groceries are put
Maybe Margie will give me the gelatin
for free next time.
Kelly Garriott Waite on Google+
Labels: flash fiction, Trifecta Writing Challenge