She handed me what I could only assume was her list of grievances. I was lying on the couch watching The Simpsons trying to recover from surgery and the overuse of that little red button hospitals give you to kill the pain. Her list was written in tiny cursive handwriting in pale blue ink. I could not read it. I can not read people's handwriting. Sometimes printing but never handwriting. She knew that but still she would always write me notes, long messages on greeting cards, even shopping lists. Incomprehensible communications that would always provoke failure.
I don't know what her list said. I didn't ask. It was not the kind of thing I'd ask a friend to read to me. I can guess. There are logical guesses surely. We'd lived together for two years, tried merging disparate families, tried linking clashing lifestyles. She thought I was interesting and challenging. I suppose I thought she was safe and reassuring. I'm sure we both tried but it was probably a bad idea from the start.
She left for a week and I wandered the house angry and confused. When she came back I fled to a motel. On the night I went back for my stuff the house next door blew up. Some kind of gas explosion. I loaded the van in the light of the flames and all those flashing emergency lights.
© 2004-2005 by Ira Socol___________________________