REASSURANCE - simon a. smith


simon a. smith

Maria is unable to console me tonight. Before, maybe she'd blow in my ear until I stopped fish flopping.

Maria isn't exactly unable. She's here in the bedroom. She's just not speaking to me. I'm by the window counting birdbaths in our neighbor's yard, keeping my heart from doing racecar. Maria is awake in bed but motionless. Her body is a zigzag, like the design on Charlie Brown's T-shirt. She's making that whistling noise everyone fakes when trying to convince someone they're dreaming. Because she's spurning me, I'm bonkers for her.

She won't accuse, but she's angry she can't sleep. The past two nights she's threatened 911, though she knows what doctors do to me. If you'd asked her a year ago if she'd ever suggest a doctor, she'd have said no.

Tonight's distraction? I swear the back door is clanging, like someone fiddling with the deadbolt, like it keeps opening a little and I think somebody's entering.

"Come back to bed," Maria says, face down in cotton.
"Listen," I say.
"Wind." She pretends.

The door is only a metaphor, but her saying that… it proves things about loving and lying. I peel back blankets, my body begging to hear more.

Simon A. Smith lives and writes in Chicago. He is the Editor of the literary magazine Bruiser Review. His fiction has appeared in Storyglossia, Look-Look Magazine, The Columbia Chronicle, The Banana King and others. He is currently working on a novel titled Escape From Dreamland that will hopefully be finished by the end of 2008. If you're a publisher or an agent, call, I mean him.