1981
Francine Witte

 

 

Jim comes in, all sweaty and shoulderdroop. “Fired” is all he chokes out.

No surprise, Melissa thinks. This is the third time this year.

It’s a hot day, end of July. A royal wedding on the tube. Diana’s gown like a flower, its train behind her like an empty life.

Melissa thinks back to her mother, always striving for perfection. Sit up straight, and where’s your smile? Act like a princess, and you’ll find Prince Charming.

But all Melissa found was Jim. Jim, who lost one job after another all because of the booze.

They don’t have much. Box of old spaghetti but after that, who knows? At least the spaghetti sauce will be delicious. Filled with rich tomatoes and oregano. And arsenic has no taste.

Right before dinner, Jim is splayed out, soused, on the easy chair.

Melissa wakes him, and they watch highlights of the earlier royal wedding as they eat. Jim shoveling spaghetti into his drooly mouth.  Meanwhile, Charles is taking Diana’s lovely hand.




First published: May 2018
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