Folie a Deux

by Carolyn R. Russell

My wife comes in and says, I’ve got to…, as she slaps her palms against the kitchen tabletop and dangles her head between her shoulders and groans. I wait politely for her to finish even though I know she won’t; I’m used to these episodes. She’ll say, I’ve decided I’m…, and I can’t believe that…, and Jesus Christ it’s…, that sort of thing, and then stop, and then I’ll prompt her to say more, and she’ll look at me like I’m nuts, or she’ll get angry. At first it was merely annoying, but eventually it became maddening; I came to believe that she did it on purpose to keep me off-center. When the truth hit me, it was hard to take -- it isn’t about me, because I don’t figure into her considerations, like you don’t consult the bug on the windshield before you go through the carwash. You’ve got to what? I ask.


Carolyn R. Russell is the author of “In the Fullness of Time,” a dystopian thriller published by Vine Leaves Press in 2020. Her humorous YA mystery, “Same As It Never Was,” was released in 2018 by Big Table. “The Films of Joel and Ethan Coen,” her volume of film criticism, was published by McFarland & Company in 2001. Her poetry, essays and short stories have been featured or are forthcoming in numerous publications, including The Boston Globe, 3rd Wednesday, Litro Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, Club Plum Literary Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, Orca: a Literary Journal, and Lowestoft Chronicle. Carolyn lives on and writes from Boston’s North Shore. More on her website.