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One of three writings from the viewpoint of the character Eliza,
I found her hair in the drain when I was showering after having returned from my daddy’s funeral. A miserable day for a miserable man, and now this? Tangerine peels in the shower of a black-haired home. You think I’m stupid? You think because I do what you say, sit down, stand up, jump, how high?, I ask, that I ain’t a mind enough to know when a man’s been unfaithful?You think I haven’t slept with half the men in this town while you’ve been wasted away, reeking of rum, melting into the couch by the front window?
Think again, Johnny,
You’ll be the candles at your funeral.
I’ve stared down your beating brown lying bug eyes time and time again, cleaned your mess off the floor at 4am while you’ve been passed out on the floor beside it. Each time I smelled that vomit wafting from the front room I would pray that you had choked on it and died, but, no such luck. You never spoke to me in the morning, neither.
It’s one thing to ignore your wife, to neglect her, which will surely leave her stirring and staring at the rifle in the barn, but to cheat on her is to ask for it between the eyes.
Charlotte, that’s her name, right? She’s old Benji Macintyre’s daughter? Little Miss Pageant Queen?
You brought her into our house, my house? She’s walked through my open doors without my knowin’?
I’ve lived in this house, my daddy’s house, my dead daddy’s house, mind you since I made nest in my mama’s womb. I was born in the prairie grass, where my mother would die. Lost my first tooth sat right beneath the goldenrods. First started bleedin’ in the creek, lost my virginity in the barn. There are stories here, stories of things kept behind closed doors and hidden between wooden panels, things you don’t know and will never know. Your blood won’t be the first to stain the floor, though, I’ll tell you that.
But do know this: You’ve been damn lucky to live here. You were damn lucky to marry me and damn lucky that I had your child- no matter how disgusting it made me. And for you to live here, sin here, die here, rot here, well, that’s just the circle of a sad man’s life, ain’t it?
“A girl is a gun,” Johnny, that’s what my daddy always told me. No loaded rifle alone could do more damage to you than I could. But that rifle in my hands? Ha! I’ll tell your grandmother I’m sorry.
But for now, I’m biding my time, waiting and watching for you to come home from the bar or her bed or wherever you’ve been. To see you through the front window, dragging your boozy, saggy body across the gravel.
I’m waiting for those doors to open, to greet you the way a good wife should, with a lipstick-bullet kiss.
What color did she wear, Johnny? Pink or red?