Monday, November 30, 2015

The Other Woman

When Jack and Monica broke up everyone wondered who the other woman was. Was she a twenty something or was she older with kids. Nobody knew. All anyone knew was that on one Friday night Jack came home on their twenty fifth wedding anniversary and said he wanted a divorce and that he was seeing someone. Months passed before Cindy and Jim saw Jack again. They were downtown on State Street when he saw Jack walking toward him. He thought about acting like he didn't see Jack but then Cindy waved.
 Jack looked up and that was when Jim saw the woman on his arm. She looked to be in her forties. They made awkward small talk and then they were gone.
Can you believe he left Monica for her Cindy exclaimed as they drove home.
No...did you think-
Yes. A dead ringer for Monica.
Jim looked out the window. It was true. The woman looked just like Monica. Maybe a little younger but in essence it was Monica.
I wonder why he left her.
Who knows why men do anything Cindy  grumbled.
Jim rolled his shoudlers.
I mean she wasn't like some young hottie.
His wife turned to him and glared.
I hate men. They all judge woman the same. If she had been hot then it would have been alright but because she is older and looks like Monica then you want to know why.
Jim sighed.
That's not what I meant.
Sure. Men are all pigs that way.
Jim frowned.
He  had been married twenty five years. It was a dangerous time. Kids leaving. People getting older. Re evaluation. Everyone thought about it. Just start over with someone else. Maybe Jack just had the guts to do  it.
Jim looked at his wife and shrugged.
I mean maybe they were having's funny, Jack said he and Monica never fought.
He paused, titlting his head .
Maybe he just wanted someone different.
Cindy shook her head and stared out the window.
Men are pigs.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


John and Michelle moved from the city after 9/11. They felt vulnerable with their kids and moved forty miles West of Chicago. John hated living in the ex urb and counted the years as his kids got older. When his son graduated high school they put the house on the market to move back. Then the Paris attack hit.
I'm so glad we live in the country," his eleven year old daughter said one day.
Whys that?
Because we wont get bombed.
John looked up the statistics. He had one chance in five million to be killed in a terrorist attack. Driving a car was much more dangerous. Being out in a lightning storm was more dangerous. Taking a piss was more dangerous.
We will be safe in the city he told his daughter.
They went downtown for the lighting of the Christmas tree. There were police everywhere. Four helicopters hovered overhead. The crowd was enormous. John saw some people with a  banner, BLACK LIVES MATTER.
I want to go home his daughter said, looking scared.
John and Michelle exchanged glances.
Why honey?
Because I'm scared
John remembered 9/11 then. He remembered taping up his doors for a chemical attack. He remembered not getting the mail out of fear of anthrax. He remembered stock piling water and food.
They will light the tree soon his wife said.
No I want to go home now..
His daughter began to cry as the giant tree suddenly lit. Fireworks exploded directly overhead. Rockets flew into the sky. Smoke filled the air. The helicopters remained overhead.
Isnt the tree pretty?
I want to go home!
Look at the fireworks John told her.
She began to cry. Michelle and John stared at each other in the red glow of the fireworks. They stared the way they had when they got the realtor fifteen years before. The way they did when  they took the house off the market.