Routine

by Michelle Elvy

She wakes to the weight of silence, carefully picks her way through the morning, fearing feeling like shattered glass. She pours cereal, snap crackle pop go her nerves. She watches him stab his eggs, hears the fork clink on china and dink on teeth, why does he eat so fuckin loud, with that dribble of spit at the edge of his lip, that nosehair wild and damp, I'd like to reach over and pluck that fucker out. But she sees past the grime the smell the waste as she always does, pulls long and slow on her Camel and falls back into the past, when they drank beer for breakfast because they were coming off an all-night high of skin and sweat and the Rolling fucking Stones. If she looks past the grey of today she can recall olive arms and chocolate eyes and a smile that made her weep with joy. She could live there forever, in that smokey memory, but a small voice brings her back and she gets up to put the toddler on the toilet.

6S

Michelle Elvy is a writer who's been roaming on a sailboat for the last eight years. Her professional lives have included teacher, historian, translator, editor, and chief wrangler at a software consulting company. You can find her these days in Whangarei, New Zealand, or at her website.