I could leave him now, could’ve yesterday, or tomorrow if I want to plan things through, only, whenever I think of leaving Jake, I hear this voice in the back of my mind—not my mother’s but maybe someone trying to imitate her—a blue cloud wheeze of spent Merit 100’s, “Now Darla, I knew it wouldn’t work out between the two of you, knew it from the start,” and that’s all it takes, I’m too stubborn to admit it, but sometimes, with marriage or gambling, it takes a certain amount of boneheaded stubbornness to make it work, really, it does, and if you don’t believe me well then you either aren’t married, separated, or on the way to court to get the papers, because any woman married for nearly ten years or more can attest to second thoughts at some point in her life, like, is it normal for him to look at porn or crash on the couch or not once even want to kiss me for three weeks at a time, and see that, just having put that out there you’re thinking how I should leave Jake because you’re the same person who shakes their head and says, Poor Darla, and then gets right on back to scrolling, looking for that recipe on eggplant pizza that no one wants to eat but it’s sooo colorful and how it will make for a fantastic Insta-post and so you just have to do it because you’re willing to sit through a little suffering through dinner for 87 likes, yeah, that’s you, isn’t it, you twat, so why don’t you mind your business and let me piece together my marriage with the man I loved—love, mostly—and the next time you’re wondering why you can’t find a date I’ll invite you to our twentieth anniversary because by then at least for a night people will look at us like old time heroes (oh just look at them, they’ve defied the odds) instead of battle worn soldiers hobbling past each other in the hallways, kid-less and left to blame each other for who is at fault for why the house has an echo to it even though they’ve tried their best to “enjoy each other” to the fullest and even as I want a dog so bad—grew up with them, always had a family dog or three—but Jake has allergies and can’t be within a football field of one or he swells up puffy and sneezes and sounds like Barney the Clown and it is sort of funny when he sings the song when he’s having a reaction but not funny enough for me to forgive him because it’s probably his fault and I secretly suspect he’s impotent because sometimes, especially after a few drinks, well, it’s a private matter of course and people don’t need to know so much each other’s lives, they’re already too intrusive as it is with the “oh you don’t have kids, why not” as though every single person who has or does not have kids chose it that way like boxes to check on a list at the local automotive garage and we should all just check the boxes and place our order for two boys and a girl, or you know what, go ahead and make that three boys in the off chance one will have athletic prowess their father never possessed and well, I don’t know, but sometimes I really think people should just take a breath before they blurt out such hurtful things, maybe a drag from their Merit 100’s while they gather their thoughts, and then maybe they will find the sense to shut the hell up.
*And no, I will not be writing like this anymore! From the May 19th Writer’s Digest Prompt – Create a scene or short story that is told entirely in one sentence. It could be a one-sentence story, or a sentence that goes on for pages.
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