“This is your life. Did you choose it, or did you let someone else make the decisions?” the preacher had a voice that would alight on the air and be carried through the chapel even without the microphone. When the microphone was added, it held a hint of foreboding that made one want to comply all week long lest they hear the condemnation of the voice coming at them. Despite my general sense of noncompliance to anything, it always managed to sneak into my thoughts, especially when I had to weigh the pros and cons of anything. If I were to confess, I would have to admit that voice played a huge role in my decision making concerning my husband too. Like the beat of an African drum, it was hard to resist once it gets going in my head.
You see, my husband disgusts me. Literally. He disgusts me. He goes to work every day, comes home, his shirt full of greasy lunch and lipstick smudges on his collar. Fat oil-slicked fingers dive head first into the jar of peanuts he keeps on the old junk table next to his raggedy recliner. You know, the one with the sunken center from his large butt being stuck in it for so long. The huge orange plaid eyesore that sticks out in an otherwise modern decorated red living room suite. I swear he would have gotten married in that thing if I had let him! His cries for dinner, muffled by the sound of the game of the day blaring from the television, I always pretend to ignore. At least until I slap a plate of pure fat beside that jar of peanuts. The slurp, clicks, and snaps of his tongue on his teeth rattle my nerves every single time. When I look at him, I no longer see the svelte man I married, only the beer bloated belly topped with a mashed potato face, gravy running down the creases of his lips and green peas peeking from above it.
I don’t even remember really when the voice started telling me how to deal with Hank. It sounded a gentle greeting at first, then only gained in strength as the days went on until it became a metronome for my thoughts ticking out the minutes of my days. “This is your life.” Tick. “Is this what you chose?” Tick. “Why are you letting someone else make the decisions?” Tick. “This is your life.” Tick.
Tick. Tick. Tick. “Your life!” Tick. Tick. Tick.
Then it changed. “This is your life,” became “What are you doing to get it back?.” Still with the insistent clicking as it changed direction. Every day, every moment. Tick. Tick. Tick. “Get it back.” “Get it back!”
Until I did.
That raggedy old chair is still raggedy, though it is no longer orange plaid. It still remains next to the old junk table. The jar of peanuts, now spotted with crimson dots, still sits on that table waiting for fat oil-slicked fingers that will never again dive into it. That sunken in spot has filled in nicely with the freshly purchased to match, crimson pillow skillfully hidden underneath, and the knife used to slice up its owner tucked cleverly inside.
The metronome is silenced now. The voice only whispers “Well done” in my dreams.
This is my response to the Bloggy Mom’s Writer’s Worshop prompt: This is your life in 600 words or less. My word count: 553 words.
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