Issue 209, Summer 2014
For a long time he had been the kind of person who didn’t have a cell phone. But one evening after dinner his wife had become enraged and had said, When are you going to get a cell phone, and he had said, I thought maybe it would be simpler to have a tracking device installed in my cervical spine, and his wife had said, For Christ’s sake will you just grow up and get a cell phone already, and now he was no longer the kind of person who didn’t have a cell phone.
He crossed over the Ohio River into southern Indiana. There was nothing to stop him from throwing it out the window: his old life through a figurative window, his phone through an actual van window, everything. What would Jesus do, Jesus didn’t have a cell phone. He struck the phone on the knob of the gearshift several times, hard, until its screen cracked, chikt. He rolled down his window and he threw the phone out of the van. Now he was that kind of person.
He pulled over and walked back and waited for a pause in the traffic and got the phone. It was ringing. “Margaret tells me you won’t be coming home this weekend,” his wife said.
That Margaret, he thought. “How is Margaret?” he said.
“I don’t know who you think you’re fooling.”
“Not even myself.”
“Why won’t you just admit what you’re up to?”
“I don’t know that a man can be asked to admit what he has never taken the trouble to hide. If you see my point.”
“I do see it,” she said. “If you look to the left and right of my nose, you will observe my eyes, which I use for seeing. But I understand if you have to fuck her. To say good-bye. I understand if you have to fuck her to say good-bye.”
“I don’t want to fuck her good-bye,” he said.
“Just don’t fuck me on the same day,” his wife said. “If you have to fuck her, I understand.”