Two in the Morning

I didn’t start this, he said. You’re looking for someone to blame. Look in the mirror, he told her. You’ll find the perpetrator, he poured a cup of coffee. Things got quiet. The television was on. Some guy in a suit talking real low; sound was down.

They’re always trying to sell you something, she said. This one here. Trying to sell reverse mortgages. They force things down your throat, she lit a cigarette. You’re telling me I’m paranoid. Saying I’m starting something with you. What? Out of spite? I just want things done right, the wife told him. Things done right. She pulled the blinds back. Saw the reflection of the TV in the window. A woman wearing a dress. A real pretty woman holding a frying pan. See, she took a drag, they’re always trying to sell you something.

What’s that got to do with anything? he asked. You’re crazy one minute then talking philosophy the next. You just like to hear yourself talk, he said. Crazy. Plumb crazy, he took another drink of coffee.

There’s a light on down the street, she pointed. They’re moving things into that van. In the middle of the night. How peculiar, she kept looking out the window.

Somebody can’t pay rent this month. Got behind on bills.

I remember when we slept in a van, she said. Both of us in the back under parking lot lights at Walmart. Using their bathrooms in the middle of the night. Got cold. Damn cold.

And this is the thanks I get, he looked at her. Put a roof over your head. A bathroom down the hall. Buy you things. And I come home to accusations. Crazy talk.

Things got quiet. There was a man on the TV trying to sell a used car.

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