Sunday, January 24, 2016

Collateral Damage

First published in The Blotter Magazine, November 2015.

She needed time to herself interacting with people she didn’t know, learning how to live an uncomplicated life. No, it wasn’t the sex, or my companionship that was lacking, driving her away.

I understood—for the most part. She’d survived an abusive father and a socialite-wannabe mother. Cancer hadn’t defeated her—either time—both before she was twenty-five.

I offered to quit my job and go with her. She said that wouldn’t work. She needed to learn who she was, who she was supposed to be, who the person inside was that she could live with for the rest of her life.

I told her I’d be there when she returned, watched her walk down the ramp to the waiting plane, blew a kiss to her back, pocketed my hands, swallowed a few times, stepped outside the terminal, yelled “Shit,” ignored the man and woman with two small children standing at the curb.


  1. Beautiful vignette crying for a plot. Love the phrase, "Pocketed my hands." Think you might've dropped "ignored the man and woman with two small children standing at the curb" as it deflates the strength of the curse.

  2. Thanks for reading and commenting, Walt.