As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my sister and her husband and their children are visiting. I wouldn’t trade my time with them for anything in the world, but I was disappointed that I had to decline an invitation to the bar with friends. I’m worried about why I’m disappointed – I want it to be because my one friend is only visiting for a short time and I really would like to see him again before he returns home, but I’m afraid that I’m really disappointed because I actually believe I could go out and meet someone, and every time I deny myself such an opportunity, I’m signing my own death sentence of sorts. I know that’s melodramatic, but it’s eye-opening, none the less. I need to cut ties with juvenile notions and silly daydreams and become an adult. I am not going to meet the love of my life out at a bar because that is not the kind of girl that I am.
To be fair, bars are different from clubs. I’d probably fare better at a bar because no one’s grinding to a manufactured beat. Usually, everyone is just drinking and playing pool. That kind of crowd is definitely more my speed.
But what’s more important; spending time with family visiting from out-of-state, or tracking down a potential future husband? It is these kind of mundane struggles that life is filled with, and they create regrets. Anyway, that’s my belief. I am totally open to other explanations, and freely admit that I could be over-thinking things, as I am known to do.
I also do not want to be obsessed with romance. I want there to be more to me than stolen glances and cheap caresses.
Don’t we all?
PROMPT: A dentist is stabbed while he waits in line at the movies.
PIECE: Dr. Ellis was a dentist and a mediocre one at that. He wasn’t terrible but he didn’t have as many repeat patients as he would like. He wasn’t excellent and sometimes, he did forget to numb patients. He was competent, but not worthy of any particular praise. He was average and some nights, that fact bothered him. Some nights, the fact did not. Tonight belonged to the latter category; he was much too intoxicated to give a damn about anything, let alone his professional reputation.
Janice had left him. Dr. Ellis had come home and found that everything seemed somewhat off. The little hairs that were typically useless were standing at attention, so he decided to investigate. Setting his briefcase on the floor just inside the front door, his expensive shoes with the clicking soles traversed up the wooden staircase and kept left. He entered the master bedroom and went to the closet. Throwing the curtain doors aside, Dr. Ellis realized that it was as he feared; Janice’s things were gone. He moved to the dresser on the other side of the room and pulled out the top drawer on the right side – her side – only to find it empty. Stomach flipping end over end, he made a detour to the bathroom to deposit the contents of his churning intestines into the porcelain bowl. Wiping his mouth with his forearm, Dr. Ellis took shaking steps into the kitchen. He poured himself a glass of water, spilling it slightly here and there, before sitting at the table. The top was marble and Janice had picked it out. He had admired her taste until now. Now, he wanted to smash the table to bits and chuck said bits at Janice’s face, marring her beauty with tiny nicks and cuts that drew blood. It was violent and animal-like and he should know better, but so fucking what? She had left him out of the blue – he was entitled to be bitter.
The tears and the trembling came and in this completely emasculated state, Dr. Ellis discovered the letter in the middle of the table. She started off with the typical bullshit: she didn’t know when they started to become strangers, only that it happened. She thought he was always far from home, even when he was beside her because his mind was always somewhere else, always moving a million miles a minute when she desperately needed him there, in the present, with her.
She took a paragraph to explain that she did not leave him because of problems between the sheets. She used five to seven sentences to be absolutely clear that she did not care that he had trouble getting it up more often than not. Janice wanted it to be known that she wasn’t that kind of shallow woman, and that Dr. Ellis should not feel like any less of a man.
But him not really providing for her, neglecting her and not proposing marriage – all of that should make him feel like a complete and total douche bag and less of a man, she wrote. Janice was devastated that she had wasted years on the dentist and didn’t intend to waste another second.
So she was gone.
Dr. Ellis got good and liquor-ed up and went to the movies. He hadn’t paid the cable bill, but needed some kind of mindless, visual stimuli to keep the pain at bay for at least another 90 minutes. Unfortunately, Dr. Ellis needed such relief on a rainy Friday night – everybody and their fucking brother was the local cineplex. He swayed in the never-ending line, blinking slowly and licking at his dry lips. He wondered if the woman in the ticket booth would notice that he was three sheets to the wind. If she did, would she say anything? It was hard to tell. If she was good-looking, should Dr. Ellis say something? Was that too soon
Dr. Ellis was so absorbed in his own thoughts that he did not hear the guttural screams from behind him. He did not catch the winking metal as it was caught in the overhead lights. It was not until he felt a searing pain in his side that he realized he had been stabbed. Clutching his side, he fell to the ground and looked up. A wild-looking woman with sweat-slicked hair and wide eyes stood above him and she was shrieking. Most of it was unintelligible. He was able to catch the words “no” and “Novocaine” and “numb” and “dick.”
Heh. So numb was Dr. Ellis to everything around him that he had lost his girlfriend and his professional reputation, and maybe even his life. Still, he couldn’t care.