A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick




I wake up laughing and singing. ‘You’re so weird,’ she says, and laughs alongside me. I had a dream I was you, I tell her, or us, or some glorious amalgam. ‘Maybe it was our child?’ Maybe, I say, but it was more like, more really, like I’m becoming something better. ‘You are becoming,’ she says, and kisses me briskly on the nose. We laugh loudly in tandem, the little mirths multiplied by coupling. ‘Come on,’ she says, dragging me from reverie, ‘there’s so much day outside, let’s not waste it on love.’ In love, though, nothing is lost.


I giggle all the time now thinking about the things that make her laugh. Silly voices and swift caricatures tread the boards of my brain, running ragged the props department of my imagination. Such worth in her mirth though, and my own, in trying characters and satirical takes on self, in loving laughter and putting energy into entertaining what you enjoy. We do our routines together in the round, oblivious of any audience but ourselves, grateful for the glancing approval of strangers but always and only perfecting our performance for each other. All the world’s stage built for us.


It wasn’t the knife or the way she held it that scared me, it was years of experience and the absentminded way it undercut her words, waiving it limply along like a conductor‘s baton on a broken wrist. ‘Did you lie to me because you’re an asshole or because you thought you’d get away with it?’ Neither, I say. A bad answer for a worse question. She had me backed into an actual corner. ‘So, what, you just did it for fun?’ I felt the absurd teeth of semantics closing on me and nearly laughed myself to death.

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