IF YOU ARE ON A CELL PHONE, THE ADDED FEATURES (PLATFORMS, SHORT STORIES, YEAR AHEAD, ETC.) CAN BE ACCESSED FROM THE TOP LEFT HAND CORNER (STACKED LINES). ALSO, THE ‘TRANSLATE’ & WORLD CLOCK WILL APPEAR AT THE BOTTOM.
*** All times / dates: Please remember that all time references (e.g., “dawn”) are PDT – Pacific Daylight Time zone. You can refer to the World Clock in the sidebar for more listings or Google ‘time zone converter’.
(NOTE: the phone # under “Readings” above, has been fixed. Sorry for the confusion.)
START NOTHING: 5:15 am to 11:58 am Mon., 4:41 pm to 11:30 pm Wed., and 3:53 am to 11:59 am Sat.
This is a rather smooth, easy week, but don’t forget: Start nothing new before May 15 — no new relationships, projects, nor important purchases. Instead, stick with the ongoing — or reprise a past bond, project or “missed purchase/missed opportunity.” For some, old flames will re-appear; for others, former income sources will “arrive.” During this period, watch for mistakes, delays and “no shows.” Make sure you have needed supplies on hand, and make a list before you go out on errands or shopping. As Mercury (the cause of all this) retrogrades Friday, 24 hours after the Sun enters Taurus, you Taurus people might revive an old source of $, or a former romance, over the whole year ahead.(The Merc. retro ends May 14, but I’d wait until the 18th to launch anything.)
No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. — Desiderata.
Looking forward, nothing’s destined; looking back, all was destined. — Tim.
There are as many paths to enlightenment as there are souls i the universe. — Tim.
ARIES: March 21-April 19
Focus on $, income, commission, buying and selling during the weeks ahead, Aries. Casual sex, easy, rote learning are “available.” (Your income might rise hugely from May 2023 to May 2024.) Continue to be “gentle” on the home front. Conversations, texts, are good, get you to where you’re going, esp. Sunday to noon Mon. Act Sunday — Monday’s results are uncertain. Home, family, draw you midday Monday through Wed. All’s smooth, productive. Romance, creative surges, adventure, sports/games, beauty and pleasure arrive Thursday to midday Sat. This interval starts with obstacles (to lunchtime Friday, PDT) but succeeds after that. Tackle chores Sat. pm. Remember, start nothing new.
TAURUS: April 20-May 20
Your energy, charisma, and clout are tops now to May’s end, Taurus. In addition (by mid-May) you’re starting one of the luckiest years of your life — plan something big! (Luckiest in finances, sex and “digging deep.”) Despite your high energy, though, start no new relationships nor projects, and buy nothing important, before May 14 (May 18 better). (Read PREAMBLE.) Communications, travel, happen swiftly — guard secrets. Good money luck until May 7 — chase $ Sunday to midday Mon. Sunday’s better. Errands, easy chores, paperwork, contacts and communications fill Monday pm through Wed. All’s well here — charge ahead. But steer yourself toward home, family, Thursday to midday Sat. Obstacles need diplomacy until lunch time Fri. — after this, success.
GEMINI: May 21-June 20
Four weeks of quietude, pondering and planning, low energy and recuperation face you now, Gemini. Avoid competitive situations. Deal with gov’t, head office, institutions — though these are delayed, esp. in Canada. Seek advice, be spiritual and charitable. Start nothing new (read PREAMBLE above). Money flows quickly to you; pay debts or bank it. Reject that urge to spend recklessly. You’re still attractive: opposite sex smiles, takes a second look (last week too, and until May 7).
Your energy is “moderately high” Sunday to noon Monday — act Sunday, for success. Chase money, buy/sell, embrace casually, learn something midday Monday through Wed. A friend or group might help with the $ hunt. Errands, trips, calls, texts, paperwork fill Thursday to noon Sat. — a bumpy ride until lunchtime Friday, then all “works well.” Saturday night, head home.
CANCER: June 21-July 22
The weeks ahead bring an old wish true, Cancer. But start nothing new (see PREAMBLE above). All that is good now will somehow have a link to the past. Your popularity, social joys, optimism and flirtatiousness swell now to late May. (And after that, will bless you for 12 months ahead.) Your courage and sexual magnetism shine until May 20 — be assertive, not aggressive. A Leo “fears” you now. Communications with gov’t or head office go well.
Lie low Sunday to midday Monday — rest, ponder and plan. Your energy and charisma surge Monday pm through Wed. A great interval, charge ahead! Chase $, buy/sell, memorize something, Thursday to noon Sat. Difficult to midday Friday, then good, easy. Saturday pm, errands, calls.
LEO: July 23-Aug. 22
The 20 years ahead will be an ”adventure” in relationships, Leo. You might see a hint of this if you’re awake at midnight Wednesday, PDT. (8 am Thurs. in Britain, 3 pm Thurs. in China). The four weeks ahead emphasize career, prestige relations, worldly standing. But start no new projects before May 14 (May 18 better). (Read PREAMBLE above.) Instead, revive past projects, or keep ongoing ones ongoing. Avoid dark alleys, belligerent people. Someone sweet is determined to befriend you.
Happiness, social joys, flirting and optimism buoy your heart Sunday (better) and the first half of Mon. Retreat from the fray Mon. pm through Wed. — lie low, rest, seek advice, deal with gov’t, head office, institutions. Your energy and pizzazz return Thursday to noon Sat., but you’ll have to use that energy to overcome obstacles until Friday lunchtime — after this, all’s well.
VIRGO: Aug. 23-Sept. 22
The month ahead features wisdom, deep thinking, law, ethics, international affairs/travel, higher learning, fame, insurance, science and cultural venues. These will hit the wall before May 15, as this period is filled with delays, mistakes, missing pieces and indecision. But this is a perfect time to study these very areas, to explore what you might do here, because May will be followed by almost 12 months of great good fortune in these legal, fame, travel, learning, etc. areas — and in love, for a wedding hovers around some Virgos. This week, a friend might become physically intimate. Higher-ups still favour you.
Be ambitious Sunday to noon Mon. (Sunday better.) Social delights, flirting, popularity, optimism and happiness visit you Monday pm through Wed. Dive in, all’s good! Retreat, lie low, rest, ponder and plan Thursday to noon Sat. Difficulties arise to Friday noon; then, after, all’s smooth. Saturday pm, your energy and charisma rise, for a good weekend.
LIBRA: Sept. 23-Oct. 22
The four weeks ahead emphasize sex, depth psychology, research, big financial action, medical processes and lifestyle changes. All these are somewhat thwarted by the delays and mistakes of Mercury Rx until mid-May. But this is also a great examining, studying period — from late May to May 2024, this zone (investments, sex, life charges) will prove bountiful and fortunate, so use this period of delay to study the zone. Then act after mid-May. Higher-ups are impatient, snarky: grin and bear it until May 20. Love still exists.
Higher learning, gentle love, long distance travel lure you Sunday to noon Mon. Go ahead Sunday, pause Mon. Your career, prestige and worldly standing are emphasize Monday pm through Wed. — you can make great strides and show that impatient boss what you can do. Social delights, popularity, optimism and wish fulfillment arise Thursday to noon Sat — difficulty to noon Friday, then good. Saturday pm, retreat, seek solitude, a restful weekend.
SCORPIO: Oct. 23-Nov. 21
Relationships, opportunities, fresh horizons, public dealings, even fame hover before you during the weeks ahead, Scorpio. But (read PREAMBLE above) a Mercury Rx turns this period into delays, mistakes and second thoughts. So deal with past or ongoing connections, projects until mid-May. A huge luck will affect these areas (relationships, etc.) from May/23 to May/24. Be patient. Strictly avoid lawsuits before May 20. Someone tempts you sexually to May 7 — esp. this Sunday to noon Mon. Sunday better — for finances, research also. Law, ethics, cultural venues, far travel, profound thoughts, gentle love — these fill Monday pm through Wed., and in lucky ways — charge in. Your ambitions, prestige relations and worldly standing are highlighted — with difficulties to Friday noon, and with success then to noon Sat. Saturday pm — time for a party!
SAGITTARIUS: Nov. 22-Dec. 21
The four weeks ahead throw chores onto your shoulders, Sage. Unfortunately, the first three of these weeks contain a warning about confusion, absent-mindedness, delays, supply shortages, etc. (Read PREAMBLE above.) Just muddle through, and you’ll be okay. But you could use these three weeks to investigate anything, as they’re filled with disconnected, seemingly unusable, but significant information. You feel “hot” physically, will until May 20. Others (esp. a Gemini) will welcome you. In some cases, you singles came close to marriage (co-habitation) recently. If so, a “second chance” is staring you in the face.
That chance might show Sunday to noon Mon. (Sunday better.) Major finances, physical attraction, medical “news” fills Monday noon through Wed. All’s productive here. Love’s gentle appeal, and higher learning, law, international stuff, cultural venues draw you Thursday to midday Sat. These encounter obstacles before noon Friday, success after that.
CAPRICORN: Dec. 22-Jan. 19
Romance, creative efforts, speculative actions, children’s talents, beauty and pleasure — these call you during the weeks ahead, Cap. An old flame might return. (He/she might have an intellectual connection to you.) But don’t chase anyone (or anything, project, purchase) before May 14. These weeks might be a “false spring,” (or not) but they will be followed by 11 + months of great good luck in these same areas or love and creativity. This week, co-workers are pleasant, helpful.
Tackle chores Sunday (better) and Monday until noon PDT (a bit of a dud). Relationships, fresh horizons, old contacts that thrill, opportunities — these fill Monday pm through Wed. — charge in, all’s productive, blooming. Life’s secret, deep side stirs Thursday to noon Sat. Lust, for sex, power or money, can cause you to make a mistake up to Friday lunchtime; after this, all’s smooth, and lucky. Saturday eve starts a weekend of love, law, travel, big thoughts, social rituals.
AQUARIUS: Jan. 20-Feb. 18
The month ahead focuses on home, family, security, food, stomach, soul, “hibernation,” and Mother Nature, Aquarius. However, this is the very area that will be affected by delays, mistakes, missing supplies and indecision until May 14 — not a good time to start Renos, decorating, etc. Many Aquarians will change homes from mid-May 23 to May 24. This is your best real estate year in over a decade. Spend the few weeks ahead “examining” the situation, but don’t make firm plans. (E.g., find out how big a mortgage you qualify for, at what rate, but DON’T actually take one out until late May onward.) No rush — you have a whole year to act. (Before May 14, a home you formerly coveted might reappear “for sale ” — this one’s fine to act on before May 14.)
Sunday/Monday morn are romantic, creative. Tackle chores Monday pm through Wed. Dress, eat sensibly. Thursday to noon Saturday brings relationships — difficult ones to Friday lunchtime (PDT), good ones after that. Secrets, finances, lust Saturday night.
PISCES: Feb. 19-March 20
The month ahead will be filled with errands, trips, contacts, communications, reports, and paperwork. Ask questions, satisfy your curiosity. This very area (errands, etc.) is afflicted with delays, mistakes, second thoughts, etc. So double-check addresses, make a list of “to do’s” before you leave the house (preferably days or hours before, to catch “everything”). Neither make nor accept promises before May 14. (Read the PREAMBLE above.) Your home, family remain sweet, soothing. Think about — but don’t act on! — buying a better car, updating your stationery, a new computer, etc. These will gain (fortunate) importance late May to late May, 2024.Sunday and Monday morn are for home, kids, security. Sunday’s better. Passion sneaks into your heart Monday pm through Wed. — let it! Could be romantic, artistic, idealistic… Tackle chores Thursday to noon Sat. Difficulty here before Friday lunchtime, success after. Saturday pm starts a weekend of relationships.
NOTE: The story, Flying, is placed after the items below:
In Chicago, hundreds of black youths ran rampant last week. In one instance, they found a young white woman, threw her and her boyfriend on the ground, and beat them; the boy would have died from kicks to his head, but a courageous Black woman charged in and saved them both. The black youths jumped on cars, pulled their drivers out and beat them.
I can understand the Black’s frustration, even their violence. But once a mob attacks you, no matter what their “justification,” you Whites have the simple solution: If Blacks surround your car (this is a tactic they have used for years) then step on the gas, and plow through. If Blacks die or are injured, too bad. It’s self-defence.
WHAT CAN’T THEY SEE? Biden received millions of dollars from the Chinese, he stored classified documents in a Chinese-rented office, members of his democratic congress and staff have Chinese-communist links; Biden refuses to shoot down a Chinese balloon until after it has completed its spy-on-America mission, and now computer experts claim that 40 % or more of votes cast in the 2020 election, which Biden won, were routed through China, then back to U.S. voting machines. WHAT CAN’T THEY SEE?
Always, the sun here shines through 10 veils of misty cloud, a gray kind of light, still uplifting, still encouraging and soothing, but with a subtlety that sunny days in sunny places do not have. Every region, every collection of human beings, has its evil and its goodness. In this almost eternally shaded spot, evil is rather lazy. Which helps it to survive… to thrive, perhaps.
Miniaturization has been one of the greatest and most successful goals of the last century. Without miniaturization, no rocket would have ever left earth, no Phone or computer would exist. And yet we humans strive to grow physically bigger and bigger. Why do we want to feel physically capable and/or intimidating, and why do we also feel the opposite?
America upside down: The American Civil Liberties Union, which used to uphold citizen’s rights, is now backing bills to take away parental decisions from parents, and hand them to gender-grooming, trans-supporting, pornography-loving school boards and teachers, and ultimately, government. One bill they support would deny parents — even of, say, 10 year olds — the right to know what sexual grooming is being done to their children. (All in Ohio.)
California is the most forward of the states, it’s the prow of the American ship as it cleaves through the waves of time. So it sometimes makes big mistakes.
BY TIM STEPHENS
The townhouse balcony stood over a garden three stories below. The nearest branches of a maple stretched, festooned with leaves, almost to her balcony rail. The leaves were like outstretched hands, green papery fingers wide, offering.
She returned to the living room. There were Angie and Troy Fletcher, Phillip and Barb Song, and Doug and Olivia.
My life has been a waste, she thought. What do I want with any one of these people? Nothing. Nothing. Or with anything they do or might say. Nothing. The pale day stood around her like a watery prison. She felt empty as a pecan that floats, the shell intact, shiny and healthy outside; the inside empty, even of explanation. Just leave me alone, she thought. She felt unpleasantly light; not dizzy, but as if unburdened. She could not absorb her surroundings, the gleam on the kitchen counter (for she had wandered here, to seem busy) the grey light seeping in the windows. As though they would not absorb her; the furniture, the people seemed mildly alien.
All of you. She returned to the living room, smiled serenely across the room at her husband. He was handsome, a pretty face that she still found pleasant to look at – or, she remained intrigued, despite her anger, disillusion, by his bright eyes, his unfilled promise of interesting disclosure. A pretty face. Like a good vase. Empty. Yet she kept hoping, in her better moments, that she could fill it with valuable things, valuable insights and treasured yearnings and deep sharings. Except today. And she knew in her exhausted heart, everyday.
A year ago – or so – she had trouble with time – she and Elliot had their defining fight. At least, it had been defining for her. He seemed barely to have noticed.
“You’ve taken them away. You’ve deliberately inserted yourself between me and my friends, and –“ she lost words, lost the sense of what followed.
“Marisa, you’re upset.”
“And there I was humbling myself for you,” she said bitterly. “I went, and I apologized, I apologized to them. I humiliated myself, to keep these friends, and they treated me like shit. I can’t stand it.”
“Sorry,” he shrugged, “I haven’t done anything.”
She couldn’t put her finger on it; she couldn’t name the exact time or place. It was all hints, fragments. For ten years after university, they had all – Angie, Troy, Phil/Barb, Olivia and a few others – been her friends. Then there was a decade of not. People scattered slowly into their own lives, and she into her first marriage. Then the divorce, and no friends, and then, miraculously, single, she’d re-connected with the group. A few had completely fallen off, but the core – these six here, now, had remained, and they’d welcomed her back in. Living room couches for long discussions, barbecues, restaurants, movies together. Then she met Elliot. There was a year of bliss, a romance so romantic they even married, after a year, in a Catholic church.
Then, slowly and subtly, as she watched with a puzzled passivity, somehow her friends had become Elliott’s friends, yet not hers any more. He was charming and good-looking, and she, after all, was just an ordinary person, often without anything interesting to say. Once she confronted him about it, about all his little tricks that isolated her; like a magician with card tricks, with a little flourish he spread the deck, and suddenly they were loyal to Elliot, and cool to her. (Now she was quite sure that he campaigned against her behind her back, that he went alone to visit “their” friends, to lament, in the most sympathetic way, about her faults, accusing her – but without apparent accusation – of being cold, of trying to keep their “mutual” assets under her strict control, of, oh, a hundred small sins. Yet even when such deep suspicions occurred to her, when it was plain that he must have, when there was no other explanation for events, she could not feel certain either way.)
A year ago – the third or fourth year of their marriage – she had tried to confront him.
“It’s hard to explain, Elliot, but I liked these friends. Yet when we were lounging on their couch you’d whisper to me, ‘These people bore me. Let’s go. Let’s leave.’ Then you’d pretend – to them – that it was me who wanted to go early. Every time you sluffed them off , it was my fault. I didn’t protest because I thought you’d get over it. It even amused me, for some reason. I was content just to be with you, I was lazy and comfortable with you, and I’d watch your – your machinations, and I wouldn’t protest. But you KEPT UP WITH THEM.” She raised her voice in frustration – the frustration of knowing, sensing, that her words had no effect on him, were like feathers thrown against a suit of armor. “You’d take my credit card before we went out, then make a show of paying the restaurant bill, and the movie, and everything. You’d never let me pay. I looked cheap. But it was my credit card. Or when it was Gina’s birthday, and I bought her a beautiful card, but before I could compose something to write in it, you signed it from both of us in your handwriting, as if it was all your doing, your thoughtfulness. And you didn’t do it just once, you did it – she couldn’t remember exactly whose, when, how many times, and she gave up, in frustration.
“Oh,” he said with a dismissive contempt, as if she was being insufferably petty, “That was nothing.”
“Nothing! You always say it was nothing! I didn’t even SEE it – or at least I ignored it. Little things! Little things always, for two, three years now! And now you’ve started insinuating to everyone that you pay for everything in our private life too, for everything, when it’s my money. I bought this place, Elliot.” (She had bought it – Elliot had had no money when they met, nor when they married – but she would consider it the apex of crassness, a loss of dignity, to assert that fact before her friends. She held the fact, the potential of revealing this fact, in reserve, as her last, desperate social bombshell, if she needed it. Like a nuke, it would contaminate victor and victim, because it would be the ultimate betrayal, the ultimate accusation, throwing their marriage – which was the illusion he built, was building, with a sort of intent, the tent he was building, the play, the story – to the winds.)
She felt guilty about rubbing that in Elliot’s face, even alone between them, so she added, “Oh, it’s all a bunch of little things!” It was half an apology for having even brought up the subject, half an excuse.
“I think you have a problem with your imagination, Marisa.”
“Then I had that blow-up because Angie was hanging on you like a puppy dog – they were ALL hanging on you like puppies, and I – you were all over there, having fun, laughing, and I was here, in the next room, unhappy, and that’s why I had that outburst.” It sound silly, irrational, and she felt ashamed even to recount it.
“What blow up? There wasn’t any blow up.”
By saying this he made her face the shame of recounting it – or drop it.
It was two weeks ago. She had rebelled: she had walked away from the living room where Elliot, Troy and Angie and herself were gathered for a dinner, candles and baguettes and triple cream brie and all… She’d suddenly, without any provocation at all, stood, scowled, and left the room. At the time, she didn’t even know why she’d acted like that. It happened quickly, without any forethought.
After five or ten minutes, they called her with a puzzled tone, to come, the wine was getting stale or whatever. She called in reply, in a big voice, “You’re all false. You’re Elliot’s friends, not mine.” They’d left immediately. Afterwards, stunned by her own vehemence, she drove to Troy and Angie’s house, alone, to apologize. But the cool reasonableness with which they met her apologies showed her how far away they had already drifted. She listened with shock and outward humility as Angie said they would accept her apology ”if you can behave yourself in future.” So you’re blaming me! she’d thought, but was unable to bring herself to actually say it. If you can behave yourself in future.
“Oh, that,” Elliot said, referring to her outburst. “I doubt they even remember. They don’t care.”
Perhaps she couldn’t explain deeply and intricately enough, or perhaps Elliot’s unconcern was somehow bad, selfish, even deliberate. She could not decide.
She felt defeated. Why was she protesting? What was wrong, really?
Behave myself in future! The phrase still boiled in her mind, as she looked coolly around at Angie and Phil, and Barbara and Olivia and Doug, Troy and – Elliot. She stepped from the living room, through the dining area to the kitchen, went blithely to the sink to pretend she was doing something.
Suddenly, quietly and calmly, smiling, she fled, back through the dining, living room, and downstairs, still pretending she was doing something.
“Where are you going, Honey?” Elliot had followed her downstairs; she had hovered too long, indecisively, on the lower landing.
“Don’t you dare.” He wanted to pretend to the others, she guessed. But why? Why not just blow it up?
“Elliot, I need to lie down. Or fresh air.” She waited, seeing if he would accept the excuse.
“Okay, lie down,” he said.
She lay in rebellion, anger between her brows and breathing loudly through her nose. A hummingbird came to the bedroom window. It calmed her. She rose, to return to the get-together. With every step up those stairs, the endless days stretched before and behind her. But she stopped before her hair would appear through the white railing. She stood for several moments, heard but didn’t distinguish their chatter. A chair scraped – like a warning bell, it sent her swiftly downstairs, fleeing silently.
In the bedroom, her heart pounded. She’d ducked, she’d begun to run, had confirmed her flight.
But there was nowhere to go. She’d gone before. Gone 1,000 miles in the SUV. But she’d run, not out of money, but out of motive. She couldn’t ultimately abandon the townhouse, since she owned it and it was all she owned. And the farms laid out like a carpet, the agonizingly slow crawl of her car, though she kept the speedometer high, the long miles of trees and trees and trees, the world before her an infinity of despair. None of it, the farms or fields or forests, would embrace her. She’d come back.
From the coolness of the bedroom she stood staring at Elliot’s birds. Elliot loved birds. He had two cages on one stainless steel stand in the small solarium, the bright, hopeful conservatory, like two big silver bell flowers atop a stem. In one, the yellow canary looked alertly at her, and flitted to and fro. The blue parakeet in the other cage – Parkie – plump and quiet, did not move. But he eyed her also. She stepped into the lightness of their room.
She opened the parakeet’s door, nudged him to hop on her finger, then drew him out, placing a curved hand around his warm, beating body. With one finger, she smoothed his neck feathers. Then she wrapped her finger around his neck and pulled his head off.
The little body jerked and trembled for a moment. She didn’t see any blood at first, then it began to swell up through his headless shoulders, a small red pool. She stepped quickly back through the bedroom to the ensuite, opened the toilet, and dropped Parkie and his head in, and flushed. The body wasn’t going down. She reached in hurriedly, before the toilet flooded, took the ridiculously light little body in one hand, the wings in another, and wrenched them off; it took a tremendous tug and jerk. Slowly, quieter now, she dropped the wingless body in and flushed again. It whirled and dove down. The wings went next. A few pale blue breast feathers, light and curled, stuck to the side of the bowl. She reached her hand in and plucked them by the small pointed pinions. They stuck to her fingers. Looking for a place to put them, she realized red blood had flowed over a few of her fingers. She tasted it, hesitantly, with the tip of her tongue. It was hot, sweet and salty; her nose filled with the dry stink of a bird. She sucked her fingers clean, then rinsed them off….she imagined herself lying on her back on the bed, holding the blue bird’s body in both hands, sucking the blood from it, from every deep vein and tunnel…
In a panic, as if the wind was blowing through her hair, as if something chased her, she trotted upstairs.
“ I don’t know what happened. I took him out a moment – Parkie – and he flew out the bathroom window and – never came back!” The windows that opened were all screened year-round; nothing could escape. She knew this, but was so enthused with her lie.
As she blurted this out, in a rush of blushing excitement, in a loud and surprised voice, in the midst of what seemed to her like a frenetic battleground (though everyone remained silent) even as she hovered on the edge of panic and triumph, something else existed – deep within her, like a seed, the memory of moments ago, when she had stood sated and satisfied, blood on her tongue.
She had never lied like this before, so purposefully and blatantly. But now that it had begun it was frightening and exciting, and she was determined to pull it off, and the certainty that she would, exhilarated her. She watched the look on Elliot’s face and hid her joyous interest, and then she turned to the others, looking directly into their eyes. How easy it was to reveal nothing of herself!
“What?” she said, “What are you staring at me for?” They all were staring, and they now all averted their eyes, except Angie. Angie frowned at her.
“I think there’s blood on your blouse,” Angie said.
“Oh my God. I cut myself. I was opening – a jar of face cream. A brand new jar. Can you believe that? A fifty dollar jar! It had a burr, it cut my finger – see?” she waved her hand, then grabbed it, hid it with her other, as if to stop it from bleeding further.
”Oh migawd! What did you think?” she cried, laughing.
“Oh my god,” she said again, and turned and walked quickly away and down the stairs, clack, clack, clack, feeling their eyes on the back of her head, her own eyes starting to brim with tears.
Possible change of start of story: —
His name was Adam. She was Eve. It was a hilarious joke between them; they shared it with friends, and joked about it right to the wedding ceremony. When the priest said, “Do you, Adam, take Eve…” Adam’s eyebrow lifted for the audience, and several smiled. (It was a small wedding, about 50 relatives and friends, mostly from Eve’s side.) She always took it, even in this worst of times in their marriage, even in this time of survival, of not letting him obliterate her) she always took it as a bit of an omen that they ran into each other at the club and were instantly interested and were Adam and Eve. Was it fate? An instruction or suggestion? By the second month, when she began to fall in love, she wanted it to be fate, so it would be destined, reliable, never ending — fated, so she only had one decision: accept it, or be cast into the dating wilderness again — fated, so it was not her choice, and she could never be accused of making a mistake — fated, like a handshake from God.
But when it began going wrong shortly after the wedding — it wasn’t anything really at first, but he started treating her with a kind of arrogance as if she was a comfortable dog. Not cruelly, unless you consider the withholding of human acceptance, human intimacy and love a form of cruelty. Even this arrogance was slow to come in; in took months, like a plant feeling its way into existence — then grows its stalk quickly. The appearance of this arrogance surprised her at first, and she did not quickly accept its reality; she thought she was biased by culture, or imagining what was not there. Soon, the violations grew too obvious to ignore. She was convinced about a year ago when one night he put his hand in her moistures, and caressed them both. He withdrew his hand and replaced it with his erection, then pumped until he sighed. Not a word. He rolled over and slept. She dreamt of hatchets and knives.
(DO A WHOLE SIRAL INTO DOMESTIC FINANCIAL EMOTIONAL ABUSE FROM HERE? OR RESUE THIS AS A PARA. IN THE STORY, JUST TO GET THE ADAM AND EVE THING IN. OR, MORE SUBTLY, WE NEVER LEARN HIS NAME, BUT DO LEARN EARLY ON THE HERS IS EVE. S THIS TOO UNAVAILABLE TO READER? Is former one too obvious, ie., Adam AND Eve?)