MONDAY: Old Spice


This story was previously published in the author’s story collection Satellite. Copyright is held by the author.

tires crunch our gravel driveway let it be nobody, nobody wrong, my husband Calvin leaves his crusts-cut-off-for-him sandwich and his beer, Calvin shoves the curtain looks outside I keep busy watching my hands fold clean towels from the basket, the screen blank, TV no not today, the why it’s no not today is all Calvin’s why, far away from his whys is where you better believe I keep my nose, now mustard on his chin he tells me quit folding get over here, apologize I’m about to for the laundry the sandwich for any-every-thing, but into the room I call the sunroom for my own ears only Calvin rushes me orders my face smack up against the window the glass warm, Calvin’s voice screwdriving into my ear, I swear Calvin my eyes they are open, Calvin smelling of salami and Old Spice, outside in the yard the pup The Sweet Calvin’s surprise for me last month the pup strains at the rope tied to the clothesline pole its happy stubby tail go-go-go as into the yard from the gravel driveway walks Calvin’s brother, Calvin softly at my ear saying the barking the shitting all over the place it’s whose fault, Calvin’s brother his round plain face his trick face, moustache like a furry bug, he cracks open the shotgun, Calvin whispering you’re spoiled with all the extra chances I give you, and the pup sniffs the barrel of the shotgun but I am a lie who sees sky and white clouds when we need rain the grass all brown, beg is needed, needed now, I haven’t more beg anywhere in me, a very long time ago, before he showed me his real storms, Calvin said he didn’t want to share me and I believed I saw and felt a heart reach out to save my own but doubt is the devil’s work, and listen, hear the other bark