He Listened

He’d listen to her. That’s why she stayed with him. He listened.

She’d go on and on all evening long about unimportant stuff; what the neighbor lady was up to, the price of cucumbers at the Piggly Wiggly store, should she stay blonde or try a different color? He’d listen.

And he worked all day. Mindless work on the assembly line. Placing a bolt in a nut. Always waiting like a dog does for dinner to clock out. He’d stand in line with the rest of em. Time card in hand. Boy that line went quick when the whistle blew. He lined it up under the arrow and punched. Was his favorite part of the day. That and stopping by the tavern to have a couple. Can you blame him?

Well, one night he had more than a couple. Went home and she lit in to him. Asking him where he’d been? Calling him all kinds of names. And he just sprawled himself all over the bed; passed out. He wasn’t listening that night. Just slept there with a big grin on his face while she talked and talked and talked. She slept in the guest room that night.

Next morning there was coffee brewing in the kitchen. Eggs were being scrambled. And, toast was buttered. He entered the room. She didn’t say a word. Just silent. Asked her if she was OK? She said, fine.

I heard Carol Kinsley is leaving her husband, she said. Ain’t that a shame when two people can’t work it out? He nodded. Placed his knife in the preserves and slid it on his toast.

I also heard that Jenny Jones was gonna substitute teach this year. Those kids will tear that little thing to pieces. He smiled. Sipped his coffee. Wiped his mouth. It was good to be home.

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