Tin Cans and a String

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Something about knowing the difference between the genuine and the contrived.

Submitted: April 10, 2017

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Submitted: April 10, 2017



“Tin Cans and a String”



She always gets hungry afterwards. Today, she’s dipping string cheese in peanut butter. I tell her it’s disgusting, and she says that I just don’t understand. 

I live across the street from Moon Park—a small park, no bigger than a quarter of a city block. Daffodils surround its only gazebo, and lilac bushes line its black iron fence. There are a few willow trees, but there used to be more. The city had most of them removed so the police could more easily identify and arrest the degenerates who tend to congregate there after sunset. What a bullshit reason to kill trees. 

As I stare out of my living room window, she asks me what I’m looking at. I tell her there’s another wedding happening across the street. In the park, as usual. I can hear what can only be described as ‘wedding music’ chiming tinnily through a cheap, portable, all-in-one PA system. The guests mingle and chuckle, shake each other’s hands and awkwardly hug. All the while, I crack a Hamm’s tallboy. She tells me it’s too early, and I tell her it’s too late. 

Eventually, the guests take their seats and the pastor begins to speak. She eases up behind me and gently runs her small fingers through my hair. I take another foamy gulp. She asks me what our wedding would be like, and I ask her why we don’t just get married and find out. She simply says my name, and I do not say hers. 

I keep watching the bride and groom as they hold each other’s hands under the gazebo. The pastor’s words are only sounds. I ask her if she’s wondering if they really love each other, and she tells me that she really hopes so. 

The wedding proceeds. Someone who I assume to be a good friend of the bride and groom plays that “Kiss Me” song on an acoustic guitar. It’s a slightly better song from behind the window pane, being that the muffled notes give it a gramophone sort of sound. Like it was written by someone who wanted to write a good song instead of make money. 

She’s upset, sitting there on the couch, her blue eyes staring intently at some intangible feeling which seems to be floating invisibly in the recycled summer air in my apartment. She tells me I look upset, and I tell her I’m only upset because I’m not allowed to be upset. 

I look down at her shoes. See, this is what I always notice afterwards. Above all things. She always puts her shoes on. And she always sets her keys on the table so she can see them. Today, she twiddles with them. She is sad, and I can never tell if she’s as sad as me. 

Her phone rings, and she leaves the room to answer it. The newlyweds say their vows to each other. Their voices chime through the cheap PA, but I cannot hear their words. I can hear her speaking in the next room, and I don’t really know what she is saying either.

© Copyright 2018 Bugs Jenson. All rights reserved.

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