duct duct duct DUCTS.ORG Issue 12 | Winter 2003 the webzine of personal stories   duct
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Corey Mesler

eff returned from his trip with a lot of baggage. His wife, the one he discovered in high school, as if he were the first male to touch the first female, did not meet him at the door. She did not meet him at the door because she was not home. She was across town fucking a lawyer she had consulted about divorcing Jeff. In the end, well, not the final end, of course, she doesn't go through with the divorce but the affair with the lawyer stretches out for a year or two. But, back to Jeff, who has just walked into his empty nest. The den is a long slide downward, a slope without music or sense, ending in the center of his life, a place of no return, a Rubicon. He puts down his gatherings and looks at the mail on the credenza. There are no letters because people don't write letters anymore. There is a notice from the power company about the wonderful new things they can do for their customers. Jeff sits down and reads it through thoroughly as if it were addressed to him personally. He wants not to feel powerless anymore. When Jeff's wife comes home -- her name is Lynn, she is a busty 37 year old woman with a slight stoop -- she smiles at Jeff, a smile that hides what lies beneath. "Hello, dear," Jeff tries. Lynn counters with, "Yep." And they tumble on into the rest of the story because what else can they do? It starts and ends so many times that no one can get a fix on anything, where one sentence begins and another is up for parole. Jeff and Lynn---God help them. They're as small as you or me.

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