19 April 2009

Alternative + Function

Even from under the covers in a completely other room, she could hear the gnawing sound of the dot-matrix printer as it chewed through 10 or 20 or 75 or 350 new pages of his paper, his article, his poem, his thesis, his proposal, his short story, his dissertation, his novel, his book. She had lost track of them all, his projects and his product, and she couldn't tell the piles of paper that slouching around the apartment apart anymore. They had become furniture, had become places to put coffee cups and ashtrays. And every night there was the muted clatter of his fingers on the keys to the computer and then a moment of silence while the machine organized what he had told it and then there was the whining saw of the printer that would begin again and then continue and continue and continue for sometimes 10 and sometimes 20 and sometimes 180 minutes while the paper moved through it from crisp blankness to grey order, scrolls of text bordered by what she always thought of as albino caps, caps like the ammo she'd had for the six-guns she'd worn in grade school. These were her nights and she held the blankets close about her with the corner in her teeth, a pillow over her head and a pillow between her legs. These were the ways she slept.

Her mornings were easy. She would slip out of the bedroom and begin to make coffee. She would open the curtains and the blinds; she would find the morning paper and begin to read it. She would clean the kitchen and feed the pets–seed and water for the birds, a scoop of canned for the cat. He would find her at the table near the window and she would be drinking her coffee and reading her newspaper, the birds would be screeching from their cage and the cat would be lying across the patch of sunlight that slashed the tablecloth, the cat would be curled against a warming pile of computer paper.

"Well?" he'd ask her. "Did you read it? What did you think?"

"I thought it was interesting," she'd answer and pour herself another cup of coffee from the second pot she'd made, start looking for her horoscope to see what kind of day it was going to be.

1 comment:

  1. A writer's life.

    "Interesting" = "nice" = probably didn't even bother to look at it.