Middle of Her Life
Ilana in the doctor's waiting room.
I knew that
would happen. Eight, no, nine empty seats in this waiting room and
she has to take the one right next to me. It's bad enough that he's
called me in to talk about the test results, it's bad enough sitting
here just waiting and not being able to stop thinking about it,
all the horrible things they could have found, and me only forty-four,
the middle of my life, bad enough without being crowded by someone
who smells of garlic and wearing that revolting shade of puce that
I can't even look down at the magazine in my lap without seeing.
Ilana in the kitchen.
Those damn fools
have redesigned the cranberry jelly can. What's the matter with
them? Before, you just opened both ends and the jelly slid right
out. Now the bottom is rounded and the can opener won't work. Look,
you can't even poke a hole in it to break the vacuum. You have to
run a knife around the inside, and still it doesn't come. The turkey's
done, I've got potatoes to mash, gravy to make, and everybody else
just sitting around snacking and drinking, spoiling their appetites,
and I've been standing here for ten minutes shaking this damn can
and I can't get the jelly out. Those cheap corporate bastards have
figured out how to save an extra fraction of a cent with a different
can, and they don't care what it does to my life. I swear to God
sometimes I feel like the universe saves up all its torments for
|Ilana on the freeway ramp.
Idiot. He's not
going to let me in. I don't believe it. I can't go straight more than
another few seconds. The lanes merge. He's just blocking me. He's
doing it on purpose. When I speed up, he speeds up. I should slow
down. Why should I let him make me? There's someone right behind him.
I have to get ahead of him. What the fuck did he pick on me for? He's
nobody I know. Fucking idiot. What the hell, who cares, I'm just going
to step on it and run right ahead of him and cut him off, and
|Ilana in the middle of her life.
Turns out the
middle of Ilana's life was when she was twenty-two. She didn't know
it then. Now she does.
|Copyright © 2007 Meredy Amyx.
|"The Middle of Her Life" was
completed on April 26, 2007. This story appeared in the online literary
Slaw on March 20, 2008.