Art and Bread

He placed the bag of groceries on the counter and smiled at her. She looked up from the TV Guide, annoyed.

“What’s the problem, baby?” he asked as if he did not know. She was a bitch.

“It’s nothing,” she said with trained exhaustion. How did she get so tired from sitting on her ass all day? “I am just a little ill. And hungry. What took you so long?”

“Just some assholes were giving me shit. They think just ‘cos I’m wearing black skinny jeans, I am a rocker.” He remembered their voices: “What’s up, rocker?” Their danceful stride, their muscular frames, their concealed firearms which were definitely implied. The smell of fear and violence.

She did not care. She started talking about some band that was coming to town.

“You know,” he interrupted, “They give me shit because I dress like that.”

“So what?” she shrugged, “You express your spirit through these clothes. You are a rocker.”

“That’s the thing. I’m not. I play the music because you like it. I wore these clothes as a joke at a party once. That’s when I met you and it just stuck. Because you have big tits and and I wanted to put my dick between them. Which you never let me do. What’s the point of having knockers like these if all you do is lie on your back?”

She wanted to say something.

“I’m not done. I like rock music, I like playing the guitar. But maybe I would also like to grow a little. You know, artistically. And emotionally. I want to be a better person, but you always mold me into this bitchy frame. Well, frankly, you are a bitch. A very bad person, you know? And you think it’s a sign of courage or character. But it’s not. It’s weakness.”

“Well then, why are you with me?” she screamed at him.

“You know what?” he said, looking out the window. On the fire escape across the alley, against the background of red brick, there was a white nightgown drying on a string. “I don’t really know,” and he walked out, slamming the door behind him.

She began to wail a little too late for him to hear, so she stopped, collapsed to her knees and pounded her small fist against the floor in pointless anger.

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