It got dark early that evening,
as it always does when winter is in full swing
the day's sun never quite
manages to ease the chill.
Moods were equally brisk inside and stung about as sharply as the winds shrieking through the windows.
had been cooped up inside for the last few days.
Tempers were flaring often that winter,
our nerves were especially raw that day.
He had been in my face
barking orders from the moment he woke up.
I tried to bite my tongue but my tongue would often betray me.
"Hey, you gonna go get me some cigarettes?"
I knew by the tone of his voice, it wasn't really a question.
"No, I don't have time yet,"
He'd spent the whole day in the recliner wearing the same ***** t-shirt, boxer underwear
smelly socks as
he had on when it had started snowing days ago.
He hadn't gone out job hunter for the last couple of weeks.
My life had become relegated to cleaning up after him.
It wouldn't have been so bad
if I hadn't moved so far out
into the country,
relying on a drunk
for my sole source of companionship.
He sat in his chair chain smoking cigarettes,
watching me as I folded the laundry,
gulping down one beer after
loudly crushing each can that he emptied.
Bite my tongue, bite my tongue, I reminded myself.
I continued folding jeans.
It kept me from glaring at him,
seething with gritted teeth.
I dont think I could have hated anyone more at that moment.
"Come on, ******!"
Go get me some cigarettes,
I threw the basket of jeans at him.
They scattered across the room.
I came toward
I balled up my hands.
"What the hell is wrong with you? Don't start with me! I don't want to hear it,
His words had no effect on me.
He cowered his head with his arms,
lowering them towards his lap.
aiming anywhere on his body.
Faster and faster.
He made the mistake of looking up.
I felt the
punch hit his right cheekbone.
His backhanded slap landed on my right ear.
After that, all sound was gone,
replaced with a ringing silence.
I couldn't hear what was coming out of his moving lips,
nor out of my own.
"I am sick of this! I am sick of this!"
"I can't live like this anymore.
I am sick of you mooching off of
In one swift motion,
he had managed to pull himself up
knock me down off of my feet.
I don't know why I scrambled on hands
knees over to the car keys on the coffee table,
became priceless treasure.
The all day beer binge caused him to swagger,
and he landed on top of me.
He tried to pry the keys out of my grip,
knocking the coffee table over, spilling cigarette butts
the pile of folded