First of all. Secondly, I must apologize for the paltriness of yesterday’s entry. Not only was it brief but it also failed to have much of a point. My excuse is simple: I was in fact hung-over the greater portion of the day and the ambiguous contents of my stomach were swishing around in my head drowning any hope of thought. Almost at the end of my rope with despair, I reminded myself: you’re a professional apologist, do what you do best. So here I am to say I’m sorry.

   I work for a small firm that counsels people in helping them find the appropriate words to compose that much needed apology. My clients have ranged from PR people in large corporations to individuals needing to patch things up with family members. Monday to Friday I take this job very seriously but of course on weekends I tend to celebrate the powers of alcohol just like anyone else. Hence, my broken-headed state yesterday.

  Thirdly, I should explain the purpose of this blog wherein I’ve been writing a short-short story everyday for the past four months prefaced by a different “author.”  The fact of the matter is that these are all different people who I’ve taken on as clients and part of my process of getting to the essentials of their voice is taking on their persona. All part of the plan of professionalism you see. 

  So enjoy today’s short-short story.

 


The Leave it Wherever Club


   It’s a club that should not be. It’s a club that is harmful in its pursuit of strangeness. I mean vivre la difference. Sure that’s fine by me but to a certain point. When that difference crosses the line and becomes something perversely twisted then we must switch our lenses and understand it from a moral perspective. 

  You think I’m exaggerating. 

  My wife used to be a relatively normal person. When I married her she was fine. Oh she was worried about the green wedding invitations not matching the color of her dress or vice versa but I acknowledged her concerns as acceptable excesses. There were dozens of glossy wedding magazines littering the floor of our home at any point leading up to the wedding and other women writing into these magazines with questions about wedding invites having to match the color of the bride’s eyes or the season of the ceremony or some swatch of material draped over someone in the wedding party. Other women had these concerns and so I thought she was normal.

    I thought.

    After our wedding and honeymoon in Philadelphia we settled into our new life. Weekdays were hardworking and weekends were wondrous. We let the sun wake us up on Saturdays and Sundays and we talked in bed about the highlights of the week. One Saturday morning, however, I noticed something odd. We were in the kitchen making our different breakfasts – she’s on an oats-only diet and I’m quite the carnivore – I was frying up some sausage when I noticed how intently she was gazing at the carton of rice milk on the counter. It was as if she were watching a movie. She was enraptured by it. After breakfast she was still eying the carton and when I put it back into the fridge she seemed a little annoyed.

   As if I were breaking our wedding vows or something.

   After that morning I noticed how she was in the habit of leaving lots of things on the bed or kitchen counter or even the floor. I guess she’d always done that but only know did it strike me as strange. I began to wonder if  – when I wasn’t home – she was just staring at these items. 

   One Monday evening I confronted her point-blank.

   “Do you leave things out on purpose?”

   “What makes you say that?” she seemed defensive.

    “Well I just notice that lots of things are left on the counter.”

    “Lots of people are like that.”

    “Do you take pleasure in doing it?” There. I’d said it.

    “No.”

    Yes.

    “What’s so exciting about staring at something you’ve just taken out of the fridge?”

   “Nothing.”

    Everything.

    I saw the truth in the opposite of her answers.

    “Have you always done this?”

    She stared at me.

    “I once wheeled my granny out of the old-folks home and left her outside. It was like freedom. It was a horrible thing to do. I was 16 of something and it was kind of a joke but my parents grounded me for a month. Granny was okay and she forgot about it soon after but I’ve always enjoyed taking things out from their homes and looking at them in another context. It’s my art experience.”

   And then she told me about a club that she belonged to. I thought they were a book club but apparently they met once a week to take things out of the fridge or dresser-drawers and just stare, stare, stare.

    That’s when I tried to convince her to go to church with me. I told her it was something that would salvage her soul. I mean she needs help. It’s strange. Taking things out and staring at them. Maybe it’s harmless on the surface but it’s rotten at the core. It’s twisted and useless behavior that speaks of something deeply misguided in the heart.

   I hope she comes with me on Sunday.

   We’ll see.

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