There is a clock in the corner of the kitchen, and I live by it. I live by the ticking and I scrub the floors in unison with the back and forth and I wait. I eat cereal for dinner and the crunching I hear in my ears works in time with the minutes. I watch the news and they say “good evening Baltimore, it’s 11:45” like that’s some sort of joyous proclamation.

I listen to the sounds outside the door like a cat, hoping that the rustling of keys and jackets is the rustling of our keys in the pocket of your jacket. I sometimes sit at the window and pretend to read, so that if you pull up I look busy, so that if you come home you’ll know that I ‘m seeing you in the driveway, spraying yourself with extra cologne and checking yourself in the mirror.

Instead you come home at three in the morning, smelling of scotch and lipstick kisses and new love and sex and passion. It fills the house so I can’t breathe. It fills the house so I scrub the floors and the walls and the ceiling and I scrub myself in the shower so I smell like nothing, so I smell like soap and blank slates and new promises.

My love for you is so heavy. It weighs on me, keeps me in bed in the morning as I try to move leaden limbs. For awhile, heavy love feels good. It feels warm and like you are being weighed down by something solid and strong but now I can’t move my arms and my legs and my breath comes our ragged. We are a house in the middle of the ocean and I am far too heavy to swim. So I wait by the window and hope you see me, the ghost that lives in the house we built.


Gez Xavier Mansfield

A Short Conversation is a collection of stories, thoughts, and general musing. I like to write like I'm slamming a door; loudly, and with purpose.

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