Monday, February 20, 2012

All That Jazz

The wind blew all night, scraping the branch against the window.

“It’s going to break,” she said.

“Hasn’t yet,” he said, his answer for everything. If it hasn’t happened, it won’t. If it has happened, well, there you are. Enough said.

Never enough said—her point of view which is why she was driven, yes, driven to talk about everything . . . the rain on the roof seeping under the flimsy shingles he’d patched it with, the wind in the tree, the urgent pressing of the willow fingers against the papery glass of the bedroom window, the definite sag to the whole house, the west side leaning into the earth, the east side rising up, anticipating the inevitable tumble onto its side, the roof then pointing west, and they forced to shimmy around on their sides like crabs.

He didn’t even laugh at the image. “Hasn’t happened yet,” he said.

“Well, what has happened? What will you admit to? Name an event that has actually occurred.”

“You made coffee for which I am grateful,” he said and raised his cup to his bottom lip, tipped it into his mouth, received the coffee with a faint slurp and sigh, put the cup back on the table.

“That was planned." She was almost screaming now, her heart pressing against her chest, furious at his refusal to understand. “Planned and predictable,” she said. “I make coffee every morning. You drink coffee every morning. It is not an accident.”

“So you do,” he said, talking over her, so that so you do and it’s not an accident became a two-part round; may not happen tomorrow overlapped with you’re driving me crazy; and I don’t mean to bled into I don’t know why I bother.

They sang like vocalists limbering up for a command performance.

The wind picked up outside. The rub of the branch on the window rose an octave in pitch. The rain drummed on the roof, and the old rocking chair he insisted they leave on the porch, the chair she’s sure will be stolen, but hasn’t been yet, careened back and forth, an added riff in their early morning song.

© 2012 Kathleen Coskran

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