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Toward the End

Toward the end, it was as if the world itself was onto us: It was time. It began at the Laundromat. The washer we used - because we could always depend on it - went off balance when it tried to Spin - banging away like a drunk stumbling home, and the dryer we used got the shakes. After that, it seemed like everything we touched fell to pieces, sunk to the bottom, or blew up in our faces.

Toward the end, there were other explosions as well, small, venomous moments, and they were overcome the way they’d been dealt with all along, the way young married couples deal with such things: "We’re married, this is just how life is - So, well, what should we do about dinner?"

Toward the end, what was hardest to take was everything else. Those passing smiles where once there’d been touching, the easy ribbing. When the marriage is in trouble, no one’s ever more serious than when they are making a joke.

Toward the end, it was us who got the shakes, us who lost our balance, anytime we were happy. It left us both looking startled: "Where in the world did that come from?" I think that’s when we knew it was over for sure. We weren’t toward the end at all. It was over.

Story by:

J. Boyer

submitted at 3:58am

21 April 2009