Literature for your lunch break! Get a new story every day, delivered straight to your device, free.
app store app store

Why We're Swimming with the Fishes


Because you've made me watch The Godfather eighteen times but won't watch Gone with the Wind with me. Because while I was in the bathroom yanking on lingerie that can only be called a contraption, you found Brando on TNT and settled in. Because as I stood there stuffed into the leather you love, you waited until that cue card–reading asshole was done stroking his cat before so much as looking my way. Because you've written a future for us—a flashy studio gig for you; puppies and kids for me. Because I'm allergic to fur, and I don't see myself as a mom.

Because you bought the Special Edition Godfather boxed set even though you already had all the movies on DVD once and VHS twice. Because you insist on keeping those tapes even though we tossed our VCR years ago. Because sometimes I catch you looking at me with the same sad expression you wore the day you packed up the screenplays you wrote and squirreled them away in the basement.

Because when we're out with friends, you laugh like our marriage isn't a car with a bomb wired to its ignition. Because you can still pause the DVD as Brando strokes that fucking cat and go on about some Brandonian tick you'd never noticed before. Because I think you may actually have no idea that our marriage is a car with a bomb wired to its ignition.

Because for our fifth anniversary you surprised me with dinner in the North End even though I'd been hinting that we needed a weekend away. Because as we walked to the restaurant, the only time you reached for my hand was to make sure I noticed an old Italian man in black, leaning on his cane while he locked a gated alley.

Because the dive you picked was on some nothing of a dark street, a basement place where the tables had wrinkled, white cloths and no candles. Because when I suggested we keep looking, you glanced at the old Italian owner holding court at the corner table nearest the door and said: "I don't see a problem with this place."

Because you ordered Chianti when you know I hate the bite. Because when I offered an olive branch—"hey, the sauce seems burnt, but the aioli's nice"—you gave me a play by play about how all the old men coming into the place sat with "the don at the door" for a few minutes before making their way to seats at their own tables.

Because when "the don at the door" gifted us with champagne and tiramisu to help celebrate our anniversary, you toasted him, not us. And because when you finally did lean toward me with an intensity that let me hope for the kind of kiss I'd been craving for months, you only grinned, held up a forkful of dessert, and asked in a giddy whisper: "who died for this tiramisu?"