That Place
A Short Story by Jeremy Benjamin
Written using the suggestion ""I’ve Lost You" "morning" "receive" "kind" "crucial" "bees""
Originally featured on 08-14-2009
As part of our series "Stories Written for Mel Favara’s “1,000 Words” Reading Series"

I can see it in your smile when you twirl through the door with two armloads of groceries twisting the tattoo on your forearm; I've lost you.  Lost you to the dragonflies and bees in your tattoo.  Lost you to wherever your eyes go when they retract and you lie there without speaking.

  I don’t know when it happened, if it was Tuesday morning when you came back from the doctor’s.  Or if it was when you lifted the cat’s bowl and saw the purple envelope stuck to the floor.  Or I lost one small piece of you a week.

  What I know is, you no longer ask me about the part of my day between five: thirty and six, the part that matters.  The part where my skin stretches a little bit and then relaxes.  So I grab the groceries from you.  You, startled.  I watch the ring of distended pink angle across your forearm - undeniably, with some arousal.

  I want to tell you it’s not the kind of purple envelope that matters like you think.  It’s where I put business cards I never want to use.  If you’d just-

  Your eyes go to that place.  That crucial place where I can’t follow.

  Every time I see you go there, I remember the other times, and for a moment all the air leaves the room.  The moment is thick with the weight of all the other moments I couldn’t go there with you.

  Stuck in your face like that, no sympathy received.

 

Read More By Jeremy Benjamin

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Portland Fiction Project

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