I could write a book with all the things we didn’t talk about on that last ride to work together. May sound silly, but it was always a dream of mine: Me at the typewriter with a bottle of whiskey; her in the living room whistling and ironing my shoes. But she would never have it. On the way to the arena, us in the Volkswagen, she just stared straight ahead. I noticed her baggy pants. In the book I’d make her less frumpish. I changed the radio to a country station and she changed it right back to rap. We had been like that lately, opposites. If I put on a smiling face she would don a frown. Maybe I was the one acting funny. Ever since I started hanging with the Gomez Brothers late nights after performances. Did helium really change a man like they said it did?
She kept adjusting her wig in the mirror, resituating her life without me in it. I tried flittering my tie, yawning excessively, anything to get her attention. I even hit myself in the face with a mallet, which can be dangerous while driving. She just stared ahead, stoic as a trapeze artist. In the book, I’d make it so I told her about Candy, the chimpanzee trainer, and our rumpus love affair. In the book I’d lock the dressing room door. In the book she wouldn’t of had to find out for herself.
The stadium drummed and our tiny car pulled up right in front. I turned off the motor and we listened to the cheering from the fans inside. A shaved poodle yapped and yapped from the backseat. I steadily removed my nose and went to give her a kiss, reaching with my big hands toward her orange and green afro. Turning away from me she stiffened, and then pulled down the rearview mirror to fix where tears had streaked her make-up.
She was right anyways. My long form was cow pie, I’d never finish a stupid novel. And worse, no one wanted to publish a collection of short stories all about clowns. I sighed, giving her one last longing stare, then we got out of the car. All fifteen of us.