Next Dance


Swing my feet to the floor. Sit and stare at them. Where to today? Some place to get the hell away? Some diversion to go lose myself in. Hell, make one up. 


Must admit last night was different, though…her venom barely disguised. Trying to get a reaction in front of friends. See, told you he’s an asshole!  And my bantering cover act–why the hell do I bother. They see through it, they must. Shirley sure as hell did…you can bet her gossip's already making the rounds. 


And the stress of not reacting…can’t embarrass friends and guests. Can’t do that. Sure as hell don’t do it out of consideration for her. Not any more. Do I?  Or just not done in polite company? Or probably just me and fear of humiliation. No guts Charlie, that’s me.


Father Brian told me ten years ago, you’re not the cause of her unhappiness. Bullshit. If I’m not the cause, she’s doing a hell of a job of projecting. Did suggest I might be a little more tactful in how I respond. How about her and tact? Shit, she'd probably spell it tacked.


 I think Father Brian's advice was about same year her shrink asked her, why are you still with him? When he’s eighty, you’ll be sixty-five. What’ll you have in common then? Son of a bitch, a real reconciler, that one.


And her smirk when she told me about it right in front of my brother no less. Why’d she do it?  I probably laughed it off...age difference has never been an issue with us, right, dear?  Don’t remember what she replied. Probably nothing. Can’t remember. 


Should have listened to Kenny way back when he said it’s bloody simple. If living with a broad feels like shit, get the hell out. No kids to worry about so what’s your problem. Thing is though, been through it before. ..just a lot of hassle for a little bit of peace. Hell, could start today and be dead before it’s final.


Wonder when we gave up serious trying to get along…long time ago, that’s for sure. Now there’s a mystery—why are we still trying every once in a while. Or are we?


 And there she is out in the kitchen already. Brewing that bloody flavored coffee. 


Time to start the daily dance. 


“Morning. How’d you sleep?” 

* * *