Kerasel looked back at the dingy picture window and saw her mother, face hovering like an apparition. Mama's instant smile was tight, an eraser effacing whatever emotion had been gracing it before. Kerasel brought her hand up and her fingers twiddled in the air. Her mother nodded her head, eyes piercing, and disappeared. Mama saw her off every day, had seen her off every day, even the day her father died a year and a half ago. Even on that day, Mama still said goodbye.
~"Jesus Saves," Shorts: a Collection
It started when I married my husband, Steve. To get really technical about it. The long and short of it was that we married, we bred, we succeeded in getting them all out of the house, and then…something happened to me.
I was lying in bed reading, and a sensation that had only tickled me a few times in our marriage came, unbidden, unexpected, and exploded over and through me before I could even utter a sound.
"Jan? What's wrong?" Steve's query came from a mouth full of toothpaste, and the faucet ran a steady stream of ice cold water. I wanted to tell him that was wasteful, like I do every night, but I couldn't catch my breath.
"Jan? You okay?"
Was I okay? The second I squeezed my thighs together I was "okay" one more time.
"Honey?" I knew he was really concerned because he spit his toothpaste wad out before asking. I finally found my voice.
"I can't believe what just happened! And this book is non-fiction!"
My sexual awakening at the age of 48 appeared without warning, and without warning I was not the person Steve had married twenty-seven years ago.
He accused me of trying to kill him on several occasions. A trip to our family doctor, and Steve had an awakening of his own.
The honeymoon was on full-force. I was insatiable. I began buying lingerie to greet him in when he got home from work. I discovered Internet porn. I became a statistic.
~"Patch Kit," Shorts: a Collection
He didn't like carrying the plastic shopping bag. It made him feel like a pauper. He didn't like the sound it made against his leg, like rain pelting harshly against glass during a storm, like a storm in the spring when there ought to be sun. Like days when men bury their wives and can't hold the umbrella against the storm any longer. No, he didn't like the spring rains at all. And he didn't like to look like a pauper.
The only other bag he had was slightly less dignified. Alma had carried her church music in it. The bag was bright green and had a felt tree on the front with fuzzy pink pom-pom apples. He had teased her about it when she'd made it--she insisted they were blooms. He always called it her pink apple bag and her laugh floated through his ears as imaginary rain pelted glass against his leg while he walked down the street to the shoe repair shop.
~"Moment," Shorts: a Collection