The Housewife


A housewife is alone for the weekend. No different than any other day - except her husband won’t be sleeping home tonight. He is away on business. This alone is enough to make housewife feel it is the weekend.

In fact, it is THE particular event that - as a whole - will define her weekend. Her routine is broken and less stores are open. This defines housewife’s routine and therefore her life. The kids are now living away and so she can be referred to as a retired housewife. She is married to television, boredom, and an excess of time.

On Saturday, retired housewife drives by a certain part of town, seeing a car rolled over and various onlookers staring as the ambulance loads someone onto a stretcher. This is not routine, despite the fact that on this particular intersection accidents occur more frequently than at others. Retired housewife returns home, and the universe has competition. As if she thought it was possible - or even allowed - to go from retired housewife to God - she creates. The quirky combination of ingredients that make up her life give way to wild speculation and, basically, creation. She maintains this state for over 24 hours. No other event occurs to shake off the car accident in her mind. So time, without any other interruption or interest, passes.

Sunday arrives. Husband arrives. Reason flows back into the house the way a vacuum is filled with air. Retired housewife rushes the “how was it”s and the “was it OK”s. Quickly, she tells of the accident - leaving a pause in her account of it, near the end - for the husband to make a comment or two. Perhaps to guess what hers is. As all women, even retired housewives - she still yearns to have her mind read.

His reply to the recounting of the accident, “Yeah well that intersection has two things going against it. For one, during the previous two intersections you have the right of way, then suddenly you don’t. This confuses people. And second, there is very little sidewalk there, so that even if you do stop and look to your right for oncoming traffic, the driver must jut out into the street to know if it’s safe to pass or not.”

He puts his bags down on his bed. He is tired from the trip.

Housewife responds with a pause of rejection. His answer is not hers nor is it correct. She does not appreciate the offhanded manner with which he offered his solution. Retired housewife feels it was too fast.

“How boring my husband is with his bland, rational answers. He thinks he’s figured it all out in ten seconds, little does he know I’ve been at this for over 24 hours.”

She says, “One car, that’s all there was. So that means one took off, which is a pretty clear sign that the other car was running away from someone else or had just committed a crime.”

Husband sits down for the first time in days, tired. He sighs deeply as he pretends to accept what his wife is saying as even feasible.

“It looks like Mafia to me, probably planned - drugs or something. Because if you look at the paper the day before there was an article that said...”

Husband nods into oblivious acceptance as if interested. He can feel reason itself dissipating and is suddenly overwhelmed by a vast sensation of emptiness pulsing throughout the house.



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