International Writers Magazine: Dreamscapes:
gazed across the table at his wife Julia who sat in front of a bay
window with sunlight beaming in. He noticed for the first
time that she had gray in her hair.
Did you know the Robinsons painted
their fence white? Julia asked.
No. Joe said.
White is okay, but yellow would have
been a better complement to their house. Julia talked on and
Joes mind wandered.
Joe once read that
a woman spoke on average three times as many words as a man did in the
course of a day. Julias talking comforted Joe, but what
troubled him was her appearance. She was 62, thin,
and flat. Making love to Julia is like making love to an
ironing board, he thought as Julia chattered on about the state
of fences in their subdivision.
Julia stepped away from the table, and the sunlight shined onto Joes
hands as he looked at his wedding band. It was once bright gold
but now was faded and dull. Like my marriage Joe thought.
Studying the ring made him think of a plan but he needed time alone
from her to think it through. I am going to have my ring
polished today. Joe said.
Julia said Oh! Thats a great idea! I had mine
polished last week at Hermans Jewelry. They do such nice
Joe met Julia when they were freshman in college. She spotted
him on campus and introduced herself. Bold, Joe thought.
Julia confessed later that she could only be attracted to men taller
than her, and Joe was the first taller man she dated. What was
so fun and exciting then about being a tall couple standing out wherever
they went was now dull and almost irritating. We look like
a pair of giraffes, Joe thought at times.
Julia was the only woman Joe ever slept with and he thought this was
wrong. Its unfair to me and her. I have no experience
to share with her. A man should be experienced and able to compare
his wife to other women. Its only right.
Joe steered his Ford Tempo onto Zodiac Street and
drove toward his job as a security guard at a mall. Two days ago,
he responded to call from the candy shop in the upper level of the mall.
He walked into the store, and a young woman named Amy walked him to
where the ceiling was leaking. As she reached up to point out
the spot, one of her bare arms brushed against his hand, and her softness
startled him. While Amys arms were smooth and comforting,
Julias arms were like water pipes. He gazed at Amy.
She was short, with long curly blonde hair, and 40 pounds overweight.
Curvy and beautiful he thought while he brushed his hand
against her arm, pretending it was a mistake, as he pointed to the ceiling
himself. Amy blushed when he touched her arm; Julia never blushed.
There were two maintenance workers in the mall for Joe to call.
He dispatched Hank as he was short and robust. Joe didnt
want the other mechanic, Nick, who looked like George Clooney, to touch
Joe parked his car in the parking lot of the mall and sat. His
dead Grandmas voice, what he thought of as his conscience, spoke
in his head.
What youre plotting is wrong. She said.
Aw, knock it off, Grandma! Joe retorted.
You cant cheat on Julia. She is a good wife.
Joes Grandparents raised him and they died the year after Joe
married Julia. On weekends, usually after downing 12 tall cans
of Old Milwaukee, Grandpa said confidentially to Joe as if he were a
bar mate, I wish I had married an Asian. My wife is so white.
It just gets old, you know?
Joe didnt know then but he knew it now. God, did he know
In Joes head, his Grandmas voice shrieked You think
you are gonna leave Julia for a fat chick!
Amy isnt fat! Shes candy-coated.
Joe said. Besides, Im not gonna leave Julia.
Im just gonna have a little fun and Julia will never know.
Itll save our marriage. If I dont get this outta my
system ... well... Im gonna go crazy.
What makes you so sure this girl will even take you?
His Grandma asked.
Well, look at me! Im tall, dark and handsome!
What woman wouldnt be happy to have me? Especially a...
Joe stopped himself.
Especially a fat chick? Right, jerk?
No! I got nothing against heavy people. In fact, I think
shes sexy. I cant get her outta my mind.
You think she will be flattered and easy. You think she will be
eager to please you because you think she doesnt get any attention.
You think like an asshole!
Im not an asshole!
You think shell go out with you and be easy just the same.
What makes you so sure?
Well look at me in these tight pants. I am good looking.
These pants are so tight you can see my...
Young man, dont say it!
Say what? Cock? Cock! Shouting this in his mind made
his Grandmas voice run and hide away from him. Joe
strode into the mall, and the bustle of people made him forget about
his conscience for a while.
Joe dropped his wedding band off to have it polished at the jewelry
store; without the wedding band, Joe was a free man. He stepped
inside the candy store and saw Amy alone in a sleeveless dress.
He stared at her thick bare arms and wanted to rub them.
Joe asked Has your ceiling been giving you any more trouble?
It hasnt leaked since Hank worked
Joe said so what are you doing this Friday
night. I mean do you have a boyfriend or a...
Amy exclaimed I have a date with Hank!
Oh! I love stocky blue collar guys! She put her hands
up and made claws as if she were a lion and made a rarrrh!
sound. And I have you to thank, Joe! I mean I dont
want to get my hopes up but Hank is so cute and ... Oh my gawd!
Joe smiled, Well Im glad to hear this. You dont
know how glad.
He walked away waving
before Amy was able to gush on about Hank.
Joe patrolled the mall in a dark mood. He wandered around the
mall and felt his head lighten when he spotted three young candy-coated
blondes in a plus-sized clothing store chattering away folding jeans
at a table. How had he never noticed this store before?
Twenty feet behind the blondes, stood a customer removing a skirt from
a clothes hanger and placing it into a paper bag. Joe grinned.
He would apprehend the shoplifter and strike a conversation with the
blondes. One of them was bound to be single or at least willing.
They are so different from Julia, Joe thought, as
he followed the shoplifter toward the hall.
Graupe September 3rd 2008
totalratbag at yahoo.com
Adam has been published in hackwriters.com, Midnighttimes, Pen
Pusher Magazine, Scars Publications, Nuvein Online Magazine, Ovi Magazine,
Burst , and Slow Trains Literary Journal.
fiction in Dreamscapes
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