Inadequate to anyonePosted: January 23, 2010
The afternoon sun slanted into the shabby living room, highlighting all the minuscule airborne dust particles. A short plump lamp with a velvet shade lent to this light, along with the glow of the high definition television that was currently in use. In front of this T.V. was a plush brown couch, and on that couch was an unkempt man. He didn’t have work that day, so he spent the day the way he’d spend any other free day on his hands: in front of a screen. He lazily followed figures on the screen with half-closed eyes.
The sound of the back door opening suddenly interrupted his sloth-like state. Then came the noise of a leather bag being laid heavily on a marble surface, its various metal parts clinking softly. This was followed by a lengthy, unpleasant sigh.
“So this is how you spend your day?” came the precise feminine voice he had known for years, a voice that was now unexpectedly harrowing. “This is exactly how you spent last weekend, and the weekend before that, and just about every other weekend you have ever had in your entire life.”
He turned to look at her. She wore black heels, a black pencil skirt, a black coat, and a baby blue button up shirt. Her sheen dark hair was combed long and straight. She almost looked beautiful there standing in the kitchen, dressed professionally, her hair aglow in the light, her dark green eyes open wide in disbelief at the travesty she had finally come to realize. He couldn’t think of anything to say, even if it was to save all of humanity.
“Can’t you even defend yourself? I’m your wife, can’t you keep me in line? No…no you can’t keep anyone in line. It was cute at first, it was cute for a long time. You were so passive and weak I had no choice but to pity you, no choice but to take care of you and love you. I enjoyed being the boss when we were in college, and even for the first couple of years of our marriage. But now we have kids…kids for Christ’s sake! and I have to raise them and you!”
She smacked her carefully made-up forehead with her shaky left palm, which slid down to cover her eyes. “I-I’m sorry,” said the man on the couch as he stood up slowly, awkwardly,”I’ll go pick up the children today…”
She removed her hand from her face, slamming it on the kitchen counter. “Is that all you have to offer? Aren’t you going to change? Or at least say you are willing to change like all the other times? You know that would be a lie now, I guess, and you never could lie to me. You’re the nicest person I have ever known, but you’ve never been able to get mean, to man up. You can’t be an innocent child forever, goddammit, grow up!…I can’t believe I married a ten year old.”
The man stepped towards her, stretching out his arms. He just wanted to hold her, to forget that everything was wrong and that it was all his fault. He knew this would happen. He knew things that were once beautiful but now ugly would enevitably end.
“A hug? Really? So you’re offering a hug and to pick up our kids from school,” she said, in that utterly disbelieving tone she had used earlier. She picked up her bag and withdrew her keys from her pocket. “No thank you. I will get the kids, and I won’t be having your hug anytime soon.” In one swift aggravated motion, she opened the door. “I’m not coming back until I have a lawyer.”
With that promise, she was gone. She kept almost all of her promises, especially the important ones. The man sat back down on the couch, the T.V. still glowing and begging for attention. The mournful flakes of dust in the diminishing sunlight were beginning to vanish. He didn’t cry. Deep down, just within reach of the finger tips of his conscience, was a place in him that didn’t care about anything at all.