Wednesday, January 09, 2013
New Beginning 988
It felt awkward, me straightening my tie and gulping down coffee while Natalie sat at the breakfast bar in her dressing gown, sans make-up and hair awry, refusing to talk, like it was my fault.
The phone pinged to let me know I had seven minutes to get to the bus stop, and I’m pretty sure I saw her flinch. “Have a good day,” I said, as I leant over to kiss her. She turned away. “You’ll get used to it,” I added, then wished I hadn’t.
“You’ll be late.”
I pulled on my coat and grabbed my briefcase. “Have—” I started, then stopped myself. “See you later.”
I heard Natalie sigh as the door closed behind me. The first Sunday since we married we hadn’t left the flat together. The first Sunday she had nowhere to go. She couldn’t just sit there feeling sorry for herself, though. She wasn’t the only one. No married women had jobs anymore.
When I returned home, the dirty dishes were in the sink, the clothes hamper was full, and the baby was crying. Natalie was still in her dressing gown, watching some novella on the standard-issue 120-inch television.
"Glad you're home," she said, graciously pausing her program long enough to acknowledge my arrival.
"Glad you noticed," I said back.
She yawned - a wide, gaping yawn that made me feel tired down to the depths of my soul. Why, oh why, hadn't I listened to President Clinton's stump speeches? You know, the ones about women being free to do whatever they wanted if she were finally elected? We men were now reaping the wrath of all those years of female repression.
I sighed, threw a load of darks in the washing machine, put on my apron, placed the baby on my hip, and began scrubbing the dishes. Four more years, I kept saying to myself. Just four more years.
Opening: Anonymous.....Continuation: Lisa H.