Where Lonely Things Die to Dream || Margo Griffin



Credit: jamiesime

Where Lonely Things Die to Dream

by Margo Griffin

Brian’s face appeared next to the word histrionic as a synonym in the dictionary that Mary published inside her head. More than most, Brian enjoyed the attention he garnered at large work gatherings and relished the idea of a captive audience for his bad jokes and tall tales. Tonight was no exception, although Mary always hoped it would be the last.

Mary tensed when Brian pulled up in front of their destination. 

“Why do you even bring me to these things?" Mary asked. 

“Everyone brings their spouse. It would be weird for you not to come," Brian said. 

“But what do I add?" Mary asked, knowing full well Brian found her stories rubbish, and besides, she hadn’t slept well for weeks. 

“You're ridiculous," Brian replied, one of his standard remarks, and any further concerns or comments from Mary remained unspoken. Instead, Mary revisited intricate fantastical plans she devised each night while she lay in bed, unable to sleep. 

Mary trailed behind Brian while he shook hands with co-workers, told an inside joke or two, and discussed work. Not once did Brian bring his wife into the conversation. Although Mary stood beside him, Brian never noticed she was, in part, missing. Mary's virtual disappearance allowed Brian and the other guests to eat up all of the air in the room and any bit of the space she had previously inhabited, and they proceeded on without her. 

Suffocating, Mary physically stepped away and alternately found her way into the bathroom and kitchen, anxious to avoid any more of Brian's performance art. Instead, she found comfort in the sweet secrets she discovered about the party's hosts. Mary sensed their togetherness snooping around in their bathroom closet, medicine chest, overstuffed kitchen cabinets, and photo-covered fridge. She grew increasingly wistful as she fingered the prescription bottle that she lifted from the couple's bathroom in her pocket.  

“Let's have a snack and watch a movie," Brian suggested on the ride home. 

“Sure, I heard the one with…"

“Let’s watch the new X-Men movie,” Brian interrupted. “The characters must be growing on you by now.”

Mary knew loneliness didn't require an empty room or a lack of human contact. Loneliness existed in the car ride home from the party, sitting beside her husband. Although two hearts beat in their kitchen while they ate the leftover carnitas and beans Brian liked so much, there might as well be one.

After the movie, they crawled into their king-sized bed. Brian insisted on curling up like spoons in a drawer because it helped him fall asleep. Soon enough, Brian's snores reverberated in Mary's ear while she waited for deliverance. Finally, Brian's buzzing sounds slowed down and faded from Mary's ears. After twenty minutes more, Mary fell into a deep slumber and dreamed of peach-colored sleeping pills being crushed into a plate of beans mixed in with Brian's favorite picante sauce and of waiting in bed until only one of two hearts beat.

Margo Griffin has worked in public education for over thirty years and is the mother of two daughters and to the best rescue dog ever, Harley. Margo's work has appeared in interesting places such as Bending Genres, HAD, MER, Twin Pies Literary, Maudlin House and Roi Fainéant Press. You can find her on Twitter @67MGriffin

Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)
Fiery Scribe Review