She turns both the box cover and bottom over, taps them
on the coffee table, asks me did I hide the piece. I wonder
why I would hide the piece, this speculation on her part
throwing me for a loop, imagine what all she must think of me
in general if she’d suppose I’d be that kind of guy? No,
I tell her, I didn’t hide the piece, tell her I’m not the kind of person
who would do that. Her head pops up from below the table,
gives me a look I’d rather not have seen, asks me, so then,
am I the kind of guy who would start helping her look for it?
I say, of course, I am definitely that kind of guy, then head
for the kitchen and pour myself a cup of coffee. What are you doing?
she sneak-attacks me from behind. Is this my idea of looking
for the piece? I pause, cup halfway to my lips, then blow and sip.
I put down the cup, take some deep breaths, then follow her back
to perform my dutiful search for the hiding piece to this goddamn game.
My hunt, I assure you, for the missing puzzle piece has begun in earnest.
We never found it, that renegade piece, my thinking being
the manufacturer accidentally left it out.  Oh, and in case you
couldn’t guess the outcome, we’re not together anymore.

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