by Jesse Cramer
Simon Willis fancied himself a liberal—a progressive even. The ideas of personal sovereignty and sexual liberation were, after all, great concepts. But as he sat on the wooden steps outside his front door, one hand in his pocket and the other kept warm by the bowl of a long-stem tobacco pipe, he wondered how to justify such ideals when they came crashing down upon his simple family and threatened to tear it apart.
He tapped the embers out onto the snow and stood, placing the pipe into the cargo pocket of his work pants, and faced the door. His thoughts still wandered as he turned the knob and stepped through.
He shook the thin dusting of snow off his down jacket and hung it on the hook. He slid his feet from the heavy brown snow boots and step onto the worn green carpet. The carpet had been recommissioned from a hotel remodel and now lined the floor of the rickety trailer-house he rented for three hundred dollars a month. He sat at his desk to write. Really he sat to stare at the screen and ignore the couple sleeping on the couch behind him.
Couple? He should be happy for them: the twitterpation of young love.
But she was Simon’s woman.
She was a sovereign person and had the right to be happy—or at least try. Simon thought. But this is our house. Sleeping down the hall are our children. At the far end of the trailer is our bed. The quilt covering their naked bodies is my fucking quilt. I should wake them. I should tell her it is time to come to bed … with me.
She deserves to be happy, and so does he, I suppose. What does my pain really matter? I have felt pain before. I can handle it. And maybe this is less painful than seeing her sad—sad and hopeless: trapped by life, trapped by me, trapped by the children, trapped by a job she hates. Let them have this night, and every other if it makes her happy.
No, he would not wake them.
8 thoughts on “Beneath the surface of guilt–OOPS!– I mean a quilt: Jesse Cramer concludes Three’s Company”
The power of this writing is that it evoked many unpleasant emotions and frustrated questions in me about where all of this began. Personally I don’t understand jealousy, because it is insecurity about losing what one never possessed in the first place, but it evidently exist for others and needs to come out from under the quilt. Somethings cannot be slept off with consequence which leaves room to expand this story.
Strange, weird, and in the sense of holding interest as my stomach turned, a powerful story. Psychosis alive and well.
Yeah, I need to reflect Kyle’s question. If you are primed-timed for this, I will haunt the halls of BN for the release.
I love the writing! It rips and roars through the emotions, lands on its feet. It gave me everything I needed in very few words. Sort of Stephan King-ish. So where’s the novel?
Whoa – breathe. Powerful, insightful, and yet demeaning. How does one get to that kind of thinking and be all right with it? What level of trust does this fall under? This and I agree with Mike really needs to be a full length story and I too would buy this one.
This provoked such a strong response, a sinking feeling in my stomach, a deep understanding of the way Simon feels. The kind of desperation that we have when we love someone, that sacrifice and gut-wrenching acceptance of something greater than ourselves. The out-of-control surrender to what is when we love someone, despite the way our heart twists itself into hopeless knots. I too want the rest of the story. Thank you
Thank you for the feedback everyone.
Alas, I will need to put some miles yet between the … “inspirational event” and myself before I write much more about this particular story. If that makes sense.
Glad you enjoyed it!
Oh boy. I’ve been right there, different situation but same gripping pain. Those little vignettes dripping before they scar are so sharp and but moments in time, like bee stings.Yet somehow the venom never really clears, does it. Thank you for reminding me we all have poisons and scars. Makes the sky just a little bluer on the ‘morrow.