They didn’t know what they were doing. From one day to the next they played by ear, couldn’t read music.
The two of them would talk, but, that always became an argument. Yelling back and forth at each other about small things, petty things; you left the seat up. Why isn’t there any beer? You took the last piece of bologna. Little spats leading to all out wars, or, conflicts. Some say there’s no difference. Ask the men who fought in Korea.
She got real angry one night. Accused him of sleeping around. Said he’d brought home a disease. Picked up a skillet and started swinging. Wild swings. Like a rookie trying to hit a softball. She kept striking out.
He had a beer in his hand. Shook it up real good. Shot the foam at her from across the kitchen. Asked her, You like that? took out another beer and shook it up. Like a line of ammunition. Foam flying everywhere till she began to laugh.
What are we doing? she asked. You want to fuck other women? Fuck other women. I just as soon not sleep with you, the tall blonde said. Just as soon not be with you at all, she adjusted her glasses that sat on her bent nose. It’s always something with you. Always. Am I not good enough for you? she came towards him, dropping the skillet on the tiled floor. Do I not make you happy anymore? There was a time when I did. Remember? she placed her hands on his hips. Don’t you remember? she looked him in the eye and moved in for a kiss. The wiry man stepped back from her. Took a gander at her. Didn’t say a word.
I remember when I used to dance you’d tip me real well, she said. Used to stick tens and twenties in my G-string. Used to do private dances for you, he took a drink from his beer. You found a new dancer? she asked. Found someone younger? A new model? That’s me, she said. Traded in for a new model. Never saw that coming.
Come on now, he said. I ain’t been screwing around with no dancer. Or, any other woman for that matter, he declared. You ain’t got nothing, but, a urinary infection, he said. You ain’t got no std. I’ll guarentee that.
You better hope I don’t, she said. You better hope, she placed her ring finger on his chest. Where do you go at night? Huh? What are you up to?
Just walk ’round aimlessly? Looking at streetlights? The moon? Stars? What’s caught your eye at midnight?
Asian carp. They jump out of the water. Huge things. You can’t see em in the dark, but, you can hear them splashing around. It’s gotta be the Asian carp. Catfish are bottom feeders. They wouldn’t jump like that. And bass, they’re just lazy. Maybe a walleye, I don’t know. But I think they’re thoseAsian carps. I saw a show about them once. Dangerous. A real menace to fishermen. I just like the sound of them splashing in the water, she laughed.
Asian carp huh?
She opened a beer herself. Sat down in the living room and turned on the television. It was on the nature channel. She watched how apes would fight each other for supremacy in the jungle sometimes. The young would take on the old.
Ain’t that somthing, she said. Ain’t that something.
He put on his jacket and headed out the door. It was a shining moon. Maybe he’d see some fish, he thought as he lit a cigarette. Maybe.
She watched him from the window of the trailer walking down the road. She kept watching till he disappeared into the night.