No Peace; Tasteless Beer

Nagging.  I hear my wife’s insistent voice, but the words are far away and…mushy, like.  Sometimes it’s like that. I dunno why.  I hear almost everything else fine.  The birds outside the windows.  The steady hum of the refrigerator in the kitchen. But sometimes her voice sounds like it’s coming from real far away…or through water.  Now, I can’t hear exactly what she says, but after 34 years of marriage, I know that tone well enough.   I just want to sit in my chair and drink a beer, watch the game.  I’m a simple man.  I’m a simple man, and like most women, she’s a complicated woman.  I love ‘er, Lord knows I do, but sometimes I just wish she’d stop talking.

I give up.  Can’t taste the beer anyhow.  So I get up and drift to the bedroom.  I feel tired, but I’m not sure how that can be. Why can’t I taste the beer, but I can still feel tired?  Dead tired.  Hardy har.  Maybe it’s on account of all that nagging.  It always did wear me right out, squabbling with her, even when she did most of the talkin’.

Now that I’m in the bedroom and just wanna sleep, all of sudden, her voice is clear as a bell, like she’s whispering right in my ear.  How can a man sleep like that?  Oh, well…at least she’s not nagging anymore.  But this may be worse because now she’s crying softly.

Why did you leave me?  I miss you so much… I’m so lost without you.  I’ll never let you go.

I tell her to hush, that it’ll be okay, but she doesn’t hear me, which seems to set her off to nagging again.

Why won’t you talk to me?

I should be aggravated, but now I’m sad, because, dammit, I miss her too.  I can’t touch her…but she won’t leave me alone.  And somehow that makes it worse, having something or someone so close, but you just…can’t…reach ’em.

Somehow the thought makes me more tired.  So I wish she’d just stop talking altogether, just for a while, so I can get some rest.

Jesus, woman.  Even dead, I can’t get no peace.

Reddit writing prompt:

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Midnight Snack (some Haiku and shit)

 

Midnight

Drifting room to room

In the middle of the night

Haunting my own house.

 

1 AM

Hungry for something

I follow the light and find

The fridge is open

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2 AM

Head back to the fridge

Dammit, I’m hungry again

Cheese and Gatorade

Haunted (poem)

Haunted

Beyond the veil of sleep

Where my control wanes

Voices that I’ve never really heard

Echo down to me.

There are spectres in my house

Haunting the halls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phantoms in the mirror

But they’re just reflecting me.

From dreams they follow me

In the daylight, I’m the ghost.

Silence screams.

I don’t exist.

 

Peach

I stand in the doorway, unnoticed, watching her while she draws.  Her head is bent low over her paper, the tips of her straw-colored hair almost touching the flat writing surface of the little school desk that her Nana rescued from a yard sale for five dollars.  Despite the slightness of her frame, the expression of extreme concentration on her unlined brow makes her look curiously studious as she hunches over her drawing, rendering each line painstakingly, and then attacking it with her giant gum eraser when she see something she doesn’t like.

I am overwhelmed with a species of muted sorrow.  She is growing so fast .  It seems like only last week she was  lining her stuffed animals against the wall to play “school,” teaching them the alphabet and scolding them in her nonsensical toddler’s vocabulary.   Only last week.  But maybe time is different now.  Four years have passed.  And I’ve spent every moment of them, every moment I can, watching her.

I try to speak to her, but she never answers.  Maybe I should have listened more when she was little.  Now I grieve for those moments, working at my laptop at night, when she would wobble over and try to insert herself onto my lap, dividing my attention from my work.  It seemed so important at the time…

I feel a tear slip down my cheek and I laugh softly at the irony.  “I love you so much, ” I say to her, for probably the thousandth time these past few years.  I have to make sure she knows.  I wasn’t ready to go.  My heart would have broken in half, had there been any life left there, at the thought of not being there to watch her grow, to tell her how special she was to me, and let her know everyday how much I loved her.  So I stayed for a while longer.

I drift soundlessly to her side and peer over her shoulder.  She has a colored pencil clutched tightly in her little hand -it’s Peach- as she surveys her art with all of a seven year old’s critical eye.  The three figures on the page stand in a line, linked together by their stick fingers.  Two large and one small one in the middle.  They stand in front of a white house with purple shutters and a lumpy brown dog frolics in the very green grass behind.  A huge yellow sun with long eyelashes and pink cheeks smiles down on them.

After another moment, she puts the Peach pencil down and picks up a red one the color of bricks.  I watch silently as she pencils a wobbly heart next to the figure in the blue triangle dress.  Then she begins to carefully print.  She prints the word “mommy”, and my eyes once again fill with phantom tears.  I can go home now.