“Thirty Years of Marriage”
by Anna Hood
An old Dodge pickup huffed along the ribbon of melted blacktop that is Highway 1A, the driver, Pete Gonzales, groaning, cursing the busted AC, shifting his ass from side to side, vinyl sticking to his aching back.
“Gettin’ too old for this shit.” He must have lugged ten tons of concrete blocks up a ladder that day.
Pete was hoping his old lady wasn’t having a bad day. He loved her, God knows they’d been married thirty years, but she always got a little testy with the heat. He couldn’t blame her, he was a bit snarly himself, but just once he’d just like to go home, have a cold one, kick his boots off. Chill.
She met him at the door. “Sorry,” said she. “Another damn bill collector. I tried Pete, really, but he just kept pounding and pounding so I finally had to let him in.” She started to cry. “I know you work so hard and then you have to come home to this.”
He took her into his sweaty embrace, stroked her hair, “Never mind,’ he said, “this heat’s enough to drive anybody nuts. Where is he?”
Hand in hand they walked to the porch. Each grabbed a bill collector leg. “Let’s leave him in the garage; we’ll bury him later when it’s cooler,” she said. “Tomorrow I promise, I’ll try harder.”
“You’re doing great Babe. I’m proud of ya. Just think, only one today. Damn heat does it to everybody.”