Monday, September 18, 2006

My Sweet Boy

The Pocket Muse. Do something with these words: vale, simper, fling, cranberry, kiosk, winsome, prey, quacky.

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My sweet boy is sick. I don't like the doctor at the clinic, but I cannot afford any better. My son now calls him, "Dr. Quacky," and I just hope that he never utters that in front of the doctor. Surely he'll know where my sweet boy learned that phrase.

We pass a newsstand on the way home. My sweet boy looks longingly at the candy bars on display and then at me with his winsome little smile. I could not dream of saying no to that face and so I stop at the kiosk to buy a magazine for me and a candy bar for him. I know I shouldn't spend the extra money, but it's just a little, and my husband never has to know. We get home and I look at the clock, I still have three hours before my husband returns home. I hope the hours are not swift; I want to savor the time I have with my sweet boy.

The hands of the clock did not meander, as I had hoped. They were rather quick and now my husband is home. We have eaten our dinner and I've put my sweet boy to bed. Tonight, perhaps, the vale will be quiet and peaceful. But I know better, and a tension-filled sort of calm encompases our home. I've said something wrong, and I don't know what. He bears down on me and slaps me across my face. I don't want to feel like the lion's prey. I try to pretend like I am strong. I want to be strong for my sweet boy. My husband flings his drink to the other side of the kitchen and I walk out. I hope that my sweet boy is still asleep. After checking on him--he is breathing softly, immersed in a dreamworld--I check on myself. In the cracked mirror of the hall bathroom, I can see my cheek is the color of cranberries.

I hear the door slam and I know that he's going back to the bar. I often wonder why he ever comes home. I wonder why I come home. I look back in the mirror and simper a lame little excuse to my cracked reflection as to why I do it. It never makes sense. But I feel trapped. I want my sweet boy to know a better life. And so I promise those red-ringed eyes in the mirror that one day I will escape with my sweet boy. We'll both know a better life.

1 comment:

mary said...

really freaking good... where can i find one of these pocket muses???

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