My wife sits in the corner, nagging me to keep my feet off the damn coffee table. She nags me about everything, all the time. I work hard, I pay the bills, but she still takes it upon myself to attack every little thing, no matter how insignificant it seems, that I do.
Have I taken out the garbage, she asks, or why won’t I help with the dishes. Why don’t I help with anything around the house? Like I don’t need a damn moment to myself? Like I’m not even a person, that she can order me around?
Sometimes it makes me so angry I can barely see, my vision goes white with rage and I can no longer even make out her words. At moments like that, I feel I could kill her.
Once, midway through a rant about how I had left the toilet seat up, I did. Snuck up behind her and, before she even knew what I was doing, got her in a choke hold. I could feel her squirming against me, kicking, trying to scream and, finally, stopping, silent against me. Blissfully silent. Gloriously. And for that moment, I knew perfect, blissful peace and quiet.
For that moment.
But nothing lasts forever. Now her ghost sits in the corner, ever watchful, ever nagging. To keep my feet off the coffee table, to clean the dishes when I’m done my dinner, to get the corpse out of the freezer in the basement and bury it in a shallow grave out in the woods before the cops start looking for her. Little things, but accumulating into a maddening torrent of nagging impossible to escape.
Ghosts need no sleep, she can wake me to criticize my snoring. They don’t have jobs so she can give her opinion about how I’m doing mine. And they’re tied to the person who killed them, so she never has to leave my side.
I can’t have peace and quiet, even for a moment. I’d kill her for another taste of that blissful silence, but it’s not the sort of thing a man can do twice. I’d kill myself but, as she so gladly points out, I’m too much of a coward for suicide.
So I sit in my easy chair, trying to read, trying not to scream, trying to ignore her as she nags me.
As she’ll do always, for every day of my life.
I hope it isn’t long.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
My Wife: A Ghost Story
Labels: Ghost, Marital Strife, Murder, Short story
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