Kristin vacuums our apartment for the sixth time today. She takes her sweet time inscribing elaborate hieroglyphics in the wheat-colored wall to wall. A word here, a phrase there. She is writing, she tells me curtly, the story of our marriage.
This is the year after our honeymoon in Belize, she intones, making a series of quick swipes in front of the microfiber sectional. Moving toward the picture window, she languidly pushes her arm out and pulls it back in. We are now slow dancing, she says, to the Isley Brothers under the Saranac full moon the fall you got promoted. Minutes pass and she heads for the breakfront, her lines less controlled, thrusts taking on a grinding quality. You’re spending a lot of time over in that corner, I say. Are you writing the winter in Little Rock while you finished your securities license or those months sweltering in Boston during your Charles Schwab internship? Long past both, she laughs. This is the affair you had with that fat slut Babs Hamilton last Christmas when I was visiting my brother in Omaha. She repeatedly slaps the Hoover’s carpet attachment into the baseboard. This is me, she says, discovering Babs Hamilton’s bra right here behind the fichus. This, she says dragging the canister toward me, is the afternoon at Sushi Café when I asked you if you’d stooped to screwing our friends’ wives.
I do nothing when Kristin snatches the tenth anniversary TAG Heuer from my wrist, grinds it beneath her heel and vacuums it up off the tile floor of the kitchen. After she vacuums up my car keys, the remains of several credit cards and most of a necktie, I take a sip of coffee, assume we’ll talk this out. But she sucks up my flash drive, a knit hat, my briefcase. I follow her through the apartment as the WindTunnel Anniversary Ultra™ with HEPA filter inhales a shelf of books, camping gear, fly rods, slalom skis and my vintage record collection. When Kristin has picked my closet clean, she tells me she is heading for the garage. I remind her I still have numerous payments to make on the Volvo. Shrugging, she changes the bag, cuts me a look. The Volvo, she says, is just the beginning of her finding Babs Hamilton’s step-daughter’s number on my phone last weekend.
Author of the forthcoming story collection Fables of the Deconstruction, Damian Dressick’s stories have appeared in nearly fifty literary journals, including failbetter.com, Barcelona Review, Caketrain, Vestal Review, Smokelong Quarterly and Alimentum. He can be found online at www.damiandressick.com.