The Story My Wife Wants Me to Write


Carol-Ann says my stories are weird.  "No one's ever going to hire you," she says, "if they look you up online."  What really bothers her is the content.  According to her, I'm always writing about the same eight things.

"Listen, Buster Brown," she says.  (She's started calling me "Buster Brown" lately.  Boy, is that annoying.)  "Your stories are all have a deranged, TV-obsessed, masturbating narrator, a post-Apocalyptic world, lesbians, hi-rises or those damn dumb apes.  Why don't you write a story about a guy who loves his wife?"

"I love you."

"Then act like it," we both say, me in falsetto.  She always says, "Then act like it."

Carol says my stories read like demented porn.  She doesn't understand why a man with a decent-looking wife would spend more time writing about sex than about his decent-looking wife.  It's not like I like Nazi stuff or kid porn or anything -- just women wrestling.  Any time Karen (I do this a lot; forget my characters' names) wants to oil up and wrestle another chick, hey, I'll watch!

All her friends are pretty ugly, though.  She calls the girls in my wrestling videos "skanky."  (I showed her one once; she didn't seem to mind.) But who looks at their faces, if you know what I mean.

OK, so: man loves his wife, yadda, yadda.  He has this secret fantasy life: He travels the world with South American charmer Rosa Marie.  They wrestle women for money and fun and, most of the time, they all end up . . .  Oh, wait, Carol Ann hates stories about guys with secret sexual fantasy lives.  See?  I remembered your name, sweetie!

OK.

I love my wife.  We live in this groovy high-rise right out of J.G. Ballard.  (Cathy Rose says I can't go 24 hours without mentioning J.G. Ballard.  "Tell it to the complaint department," I say.  That's what I call Dora Jean: "The Complaint Department."  She calls me "Dr. No."  Because I'm negative.  I'll show her who's negative!!!)


II

The cable just went out, leaving me vaguely uneasy.  ("Vaguely?" Carol just said.  "Don't you mean 'insanely'?"  Very funny, Carrole Anne!)  If I can't flip the TV on whenever I want, how will I know if the country's starting another war?  Huh?  Maybe we'll find bin Laden and I won't know about it.  Maybe I'll spend the rest of my life wondering if Osama bin Laden's hiding in my closet under the shoes.  How would you like that, Carole-whatever-your-name-is?

III

Last night, I dreamed giant monkeys were eating nachos from my hollowed-out skull.

IV

The night before that, I dreamed about a field of televisions, as far as I could see.  They were all tuned to CNN and Larry King was growling, "So when did you know you wanted pants instead of skirts?"

V

They'll never find me here.

VI

At my fifth birthday party, I threw up on the clown.  My mother said things would never be the same again between us.

VII

My wife, Carol Ann, holds my intestines up to the light.  "Very nice," she smiles.

VIII

I love my wife.
  
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