What are you gonna do?
Has it gotten to a point I have to do something? You said she’s wandering, talking to herself, seeing things—. I said it seems she does. Seems she does? Yeah. Either she does or she doesn’t. That thing at the window could’ve just been a startle, maybe a bird? You are rationalizing. Who doesn’t talk to themselves when they’re alone? You’re rationalizing. Maybe I just got lucky a couple of times. Lucky? What do you propose I do? Call a doctor. A doctor would just stuff her full of pills. What if she needs pills? She doesn’t need pills. You get to decide that? I get to decide she needs a doctor? I just think it sounds worthy of attention. I shouldn’t have brought it up. Have you talked to her? Like I said, it’s really not that bad, just noticeable. You are rationalizing. You sound like you’re willing that to be true. You said she screamed in the kitchen, like in terror? Yes. And no one else in the house? Yeah. And you found her washing dishes? And I asked her, what-the-fuck…? And she acted oblivious? Yeah. You don’t see that as out-of-the-ordinary? Of course it’s out-of-the-ordinary. Have you met her family? They live back west, met her brother once, briefly. Could you call him? I don’t know. Just tell him what you told me. I’m just not convinced something’s wrong. You have got to be kidding me. Look, I’ll admit we might have jumped into the living situation a little prematurely. What does that have to do with it? Maybe she’s just not adjusting very well. How would you know? What do you mean? I mean you have no baseline for her behavior. We dated before. No you didn’t. We damn sure did. I’m not gonna argue about how long you knew her before this. I should hope not. But you said—out of your mouth—this may have been a little quick on the draw. Don’t get me wrong—. Dammit, don’t tell me something worth discussing and then take it back. Jesuschrist. You’ve been doing it since you started this conversation. So I’m having some mild regret. Uh-huh. But we both know that happens when you find yourself living with someone. It’s natural. Of course it is. What regrets did you feel when we were living together? Don’t start that. Start what? You know exactly what. Listen, we had our time—. We did and let’s leave it at that. Fine but you have to admit we had more time before we moved in together than you and she had. I understand that. But what you don’t seem to understand is that it’s what you don’t know about her that may be the problem. What I don’t know? Yeah. What about what you don’t know. There are reasons we put things in orbit. Huh? Satellites see more up there than we could ever see down here. Gimmie a break. You don’t want help. I’m not sure I need any. Then why would you bring any of this up with me, the woman who used to be where she is now? I don’t know, just talking, making conversation. Really? You asked how things are. And you certainly had no problem telling me until—. Until you suggested I have her see a shrink and dump pills down her throat. I have a friend. I’m sure you do. He’s really good. I’m sure he is. He’s helped a lot of my friends. Let’s drop this. Just think about it. I’m sure you’ll be doing that for me.
River of Blood, a novel about anarchism, atheism, racism, violence, family, and corruption.
Chrysalis, a growing collection of very short fiction.
Unless noted, all pics credited to Skitz O'Fuel.