By David Stillwagon
“You are such a wimp. I’m tired of saving your ass,” Tina said.
Tommy lowered his head and left the living room for the front porch. He hoped she didn’t follow him. He sat on the swing and wondered why she hated him.
“Revealing fact number one. Tommy can’t keep a job while Tina has worked at the post office for ten years”.
Tommy knew that working at the shoe store was a bad idea. He wasn’t cut out to be a salesman, especially something as ridiculous as a shoe sales clerk. Most customers didn’t need someone pushing them to buy shoes. Why else would they be in the shoe store in the first place?
“Revealing fact number two. Tommy is fat and bald.”
Tommy loved eating and couldn’t do anything about being bald. Tina suggested a toupee, but she said it out of meanness. Tina was mean. Food was the only thing that Tommy lived for.
“Revealing fact number three. Tommy sleeps alone.”
Tina kicked Tommy out of the bedroom years ago. He thinks she has a friend on the side. She wouldn’t admit it. Tina is clever.
“Revealing fact number four. Tommy used to go to strip joints.”
Tommy loved talking to strippers and watching them perform. Tina shut that activity down in a hurry. No steady employment, no strip joints.
“Revealing fact number five. Tommy’s mother-in-law wants to kill him.”
Tina’s mother is worse than Tina. She’ll say anything to Tommy. He is a loser and smells, she says. He locks his door when she stays overnight. She is mean.
“Revealing fact number six. The neighbor’s dog.”
The neighbor, Jordan, has a large dog that used to be a cadaver dog. Every time Tommy goes into the backyard, the dog hops the fence and sits at Tommy’s feet. Tommy is not dead. The dog is a smartass.
“Revealing fact number seven. Tommy can’t use Tina’s computer.”
Tommy wants to use Tina’s computer to look for his next ill-fated job. Tina says you can use it if you can figure out the password. Tommy can’t figure out anything, especially a password. Tommy looks in the newspaper for jobs.
“Revealing fact number eight. Tina discontinued Tommy getting any mail.”
Tommy hadn’t received any mail in months. He went to the post office. Tina completed a form to redirect his mail to his mother’s home in Alaska. Tommy didn’t think that was funny. Tina did.
“Revealing fact number nine. Tommy has had enough.”
Tommy was slow, but he knew he had enough. He just wasn’t good at planning things.
“Revealing fact number ten. Tommy takes Tina’s car.”
Tommy slipped out of the house before Tina woke up. He put his packed bag in her car. He headed to Alaska to get his mail.
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David Stillwagon has short stories in Gravel and Johnny America. He has poetry in Anti-Heroin Chic, Foliate Oak, and Right-Hand Pointing. He has written a three-book series ‘Fields of Timothy.’ He lives in Atlanta with his wife and their Boston Terrier, Scout.