Journey together through innumerable worlds of fiction with Prose, a biweekly podcast series that offers up short stories of all genres and subject matter.
If you like fiction of all sorts with the occasional bit of poetry or verse thrown in for good measure, join us on our adventures through the labyrinths of the human psyche and the infinite spaces of the imagination.
Telephone rings several times; a “beep!” is heard (with no explanation).
“Mom! Pick up! It’s Seth--I know you’re there somewhere. I really need someone to talk to. I mean, I usually tell you all the cool things that are happening around here and keep you posted on the kids, but this time I’m freaking out and I need support. It’s about Jessica—today is our anniversary and she’s been acting mean all day—like totally nuts and irritated and negative, like she’s regretting every one of our ten years. I mean, she hasn’t actually said that she wants to leave me, but ... I ...it’s really hard. I don’t know what she wants. It’s like I try so hard to make her happy but it’s never enough. She never learned how to make herself happy. She doesn’t know what she really wants. It’s like when she wanted to learn guitar so that she could be a rock star like her friend Suzie and play at coffeehouses, so I bought her a used guitar and she complained that it was cracked but she quit her lessons after a few months anyway. Well I think she wants to be single in New York City now, that she has some image of herself wandering down Broadway or Times Square or something with music and lights and fun, but she’s stuck here in Branson with a husband who works at the Savings and Loan and two kids. I swear, ....”
“I mean, when is she going to grow up? What can I do? We’re living a good life, in the real world, but I can’t compete with the dreams that are in her head. Maybe it’s me....I know I could lose weight and take her out more, but I feel like even if I did, she’d want more....and I’m happy. I love our life, but I don’t know what to do. So I bought her flowers and told her she was more beautiful than the lights in New York City, and she threw away the flowers and told me that I didn’t know shit about New York because I’ve never left Branson in my life. How can I leave Branson? So many people depend on me here...at Church, at the Savings and Loan....you and dad...and our kids love it. What does she want, me to quit my job and pull the kids out of school, and what? Where would we live? What would she do? I mean, she’s never had a real job in her life, except that time she took pictures of the lake houses. And Branson is so beautiful, with the fair and the Ozarks and ... well...there’s always something going on, especially in the summer. It seems like we have barbec...”
Beep interrupts. Phone clicks off. Sound of dialing and ringing again. Once more, a commentless loud “beep!”.
“Anyway, mom, I just don’t know what to do. I’m tired and it seems like the more I try, the worse it gets ... I guess I’ll call you back later. Thanks for listening ...” (long pause, then “Click).