Sunday, August 12, 2018

On the Roof

The planes flew overhead as usual, maybe a little low on account of the clouds. In the distance the city trembled ever so slightly from all the noise you couldn’t hear.

A few houses down a family was having a barbecue. Dad at the grill. Mom and the little ones up some steps, sitting on a fancy outdoor couch. Look at them, eating at a proper time. With the nice grill and the good outdoor furniture. How much richer they must be than us, I thought. How much better. And then I thought, how could you think a thing like that?

As I drove a nail diagonally through the table, hoping finally to fix that part that’s always breaking off, I became aware of a din across the street. It was a woman screaming. I paused to try to make out what she said.

“You tell her! You tell her! You tell her!” she howled, on the edge of articulation.

Then: “You’re killing me! You’re killing me!”

No one seemed to reply. Or if they did, they did so quietly.