A short story about VICE

About an hour ago, he had bought something to ease his mind. He had put it in a brown paper bag, and walking home an irritating neighbour had stopped him and told him how her old man had finally passed away. He had placed his hand on the neighbour’s shoulder and said sorry then, walking home, he thought about the old man and felt sorry for him. The old man had lived a miserable life with a miserable woman. It was sad, the life some men lived.

At home he forgot about the old man. He showered and put the child to bed.

Now, he was sitting on the couch facing the television. He was watching a local music station, and a local boy was singing a big tune. A big-Big-BIG tune.

On the table, inside the brown paper bag, was the thing he had bought to ease his mind.

When he picked up the bag, she appeared as if by magic, and she started. Started talking. And talking. And he could see her lips moving and he could hear her, but couldn’t hear her at the same time. It was almost as if she was talking underwater.

She was still talking, pointing at the bag and saying something about whether or not he really needed to do that every single Friday. And he looked at her with the blank expression that he knew she hated, and she did what she always did. She went inside. Slammed the toilet door. And turned on the shower.

He listened to see if she was crying. Then he suddenly scowled. And sitting on the sofa facing the television he did what he did every Friday. He eased his mind. It didn’t take long for him to reach where he wanted to be, and the best part was it didn’t cost much.

He sat down for another hour then stood and smiled thinly and wobbled into the bathroom to brush his teeth. She was sitting on the toilet, sipping wine.

He scoffed and said something about the running water, and when she glanced up he thought that she looked like she was ready to fight another round, and he wondered how many rounds they’d fight tonight.

He picked up his toothbrush and when he glanced at her again, she said a bad word then suddenly barked, “Every Friday?”

Normally he said nothing but for some reason tonight was different. Maybe the old man’s death had something to do with it. He pointed his toothbrush, paused then smiled.

“Do you think they complain?” he said.


Waving his toothbrush like a magic wand he calmly said:

“The women who live with the type of men who go out every night and run whores?”

Her eyelids fluttered and she stammered briefly. She shrugged, as if it was the dumbest thing she had ever heard in her whole life, and said, “Who cares?”

He was squeezing toothpaste on his toothbrush. He looked at her for a long time then went to their bedroom.

She was still talking.

When his head touched the pillow he remembered that tomorrow was Saturday. He sighed and as he drifted off to sleep he wished it was Friday. He wished every day was Friday.

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