Given the Current Situation

I pounded the wall to accentuate a point, no harm intended. But the mirror came down. She’d bought it cheap. Actually, I’d given her the money. She needed it to get ready in the morning; a full body mirror. It lay on the floor, with a crack, horizontal. The mirror reflected her feet; they were hard to see due to the lack of light.

At a coffee place I played with a pack of sweetener. There was a movie playing across the street she wanted to see. I tilted the newspaper she held. I thought about saying we should eat something.

She said, “The movie’s supposed to be good.”

I don’t know why I played with the sweetener. I always drink my coffee straight. “We don’t have to see a movie,” I said. “We could go home.”

She folded up the paper and put a straw into her coffee. “I don’t want to go home,” she said.

Before we left the power went out. She stood in front of the car and stared at the dark marquee of theatre. Black letters sat against the non-illuminated backdrop. You could still read them though. She mouthed the name of the movie and the time it would start. I didn’t state the obvious.
“I’m hungry,” she said. “Let’s get something to eat.”

I waited until she was in the car before I got in. On the way home all the street lights were out. The sun was behind large red clouds caused by a forest fire somewhere off in the mountains. “It’s sort of eerie,” I said.
She made a sound of agreement. She read a magazine I’d left in the back seat.

We sat on our couch. The power was still out. The red light from outside filtered into the living room. She packed a pipe and slid open a box of matches. I said, “You can use my lighter.” “Wooden matches are more fun,” she said and she struck one against the box. Her face looked yellow from the flame. Her lips wrapped the pipe.

She got up to make something to eat. “We could cook a pizza?” She said this from the kitchen. I didn’t state the obvious. I sipped a beer and picked up the box of matches. “Oh wait,” she said. “We can’t cook it, the oven won’t work.” I struck a match on the box. The flame burned and the dark end of the match curled. No, I thought we can’t use the oven, but we do have plenty of matches.

Given the Current Situation


Salt Lake City, United States

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