Posts tagged ‘55-words’


Better the Devil

by mdjb

She liked to talk; that much was evident. She had been described variously as loquacious, garrulous, sometimes downright chatty, and she liked to write. Her excessive verbiage was filled with tautologies, periphrasis and prolixity. Editors asked her to stop beating around the bush. She said they were all philistines. It was poetry she was after.regan

He had his outlet; she had hers. Hers, she thought, did not endanger their relationship. In some ways, she was just as guilty. She’d let herself go, while propounding on the right way to be. He’d let himself be dissuaded from his dreams, seeking recompense elsewhere. Things remained static until discontent bubbled to the surface.

During drinks with his director, he put her down. She exercised, dieted and toned; had dental work done. By summer’s end she was buff, moving through life at sixty miles per hour. She’d made herself over. She ran a foot race; he slowed to a crawl. He’d created a monster that grew out of hand.

It was his boss’s sympathy toward her circumstances that made her feel inadequate. It made her feel confined, running in place. She was averse to any kind of sympathy. Mostly she despised him for winking as if he understood. He was patronizing her. He stroked her pudgy fingers when they both reached for the salt.

He found poems, but couldn’t deduce what she was trying to say. In college, he played football, and when she wrote of her hero, he recognized her emotions. He thought that was the voice he married. These words he now held were the voice of another. They were not beautiful. He saw her in them.

She said if he saw her in that light, she would be that person. He said he loved her for what she was. She said he didn’t have a clue. He said give me one then; just help me out here. She said she wasn’t her brother’s keeper, and then she left. He remained clueless.

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