…bickering’s contagious. Just listen to the angry cadence for ten minutes and you’ll be part of it.
Electric jumble/buzz: Refrigerator, lamps, ceiling lights, hairdryer, smart phones, microwave, two TVs (bookending the homecarcass, turned on to the tuned-out roughly 24/7, typically spewing either cop-and-robber fantasies or melodramatic doctor-patient relationships—often both, simultaneously), etc.
Metallic clatter, splash, clang: Miscellaneous silverware, soiled grooves and all, dragged down with slipshod drawer which laughs and spills its shiny guts upon bloodstained particleboard flooring (unfinished).
Soft scrape, short yelp, dull thud, prolonged scream: The paterfamilias, bursting through front door, trips and falls over unruly pile of innumerable cheap shoes (and a few expensive ones, too). Dropping his cigarette, he curses his kids’ skate shoes, school shoes, play shoes, running shoes, water shoes; curses tattered slippers, coffee-stained white, stolen in bulk each hotel holiday; curses Crocs of assorted colors; curses several pairs of work boots—same brand, same model, same size—each of which is smeared with soot and oil and ash and/or dotted with splattered spray paint; curses the randomness of booties, which got here how and are still here why?; curses a fancy pair of pumps—the only dress shoes in the bunch—matte black, strapless, stiletto heels, which, as he points out, have never been worn.
Bark, chirp, mew: Eternal chorus of neglected but not altogether unhappy animals. The bird tosses pellets of tasteless foodstuff from its cage, flaps clipped wings, drops B.M. wherever it pleases, squawks at all hours. The dogs bark at nothing, lose their hair, scratch at exposed scabs (caused, in one case, by last month’s porcupine attack; in another, by this year’s mange). The cats purr for no one, strut like hot shit, sully the house till they manage to escape.
Sporadic arguments, too many to count, which volume ranges from Loud to Please Shut The Fuck Up, genre ranges from dark and funny to grotesque, horror and/or psychopathic thriller.
The only semblance of silence is the sound of her eyes—black hole on hazel ring on white ball of red lightning-struck sky—her once beautiful eyes, lolling round, staggering like rusty bolts in battered sockets. After twenty-five years, she told him, nothing much surprises.
“And yet, these days you sigh, and perform that antagonistic maneuver ever more often.”
For silence is the final desperate cry of a lovelorn housewife. Those tired eyes, so sick of watching nothing happen. Those tired eyes, sick of everything, frustrated to the point of cataracts—they roll up, over, and away.