Sitting Down To Pee

         He had taken his picture with her at his wife’s ten year high school reunion. It was fall and the leaves were starting to change. While his wife was in the bathroom, he stood before the camera, eyes wide open, palm

resting on the small of her back. She must have been filled with intoxication at the thought of having her picture taken with him while his wife was on the toilet.

         When his wife received the pink book of memories in the mail a few weeks later she was confused. On the second page she saw herself and her husband beaming back at her, but upon turning to the fourth page she found her husband again, a perfect replica, only this time with a tiny redhead by his side. The book contained photos of each class member along with his or her spouse. Those without a partner posed alone. So it made no sense at all that her husband had taken his picture with one of her fellow classmates.

         “Why did you have your picture taken with Denise Williams? She asked him as they sat eating dinner.

         “She asked me to. Said she didn’t wanna take it alone,” he said.

         “You don’t even know her.”

         “I was chatting with her while you were in the bathroom,” he said buttering his roll.

         “And your conversation was so captivating that she asked you to take a picture with her?” she said cutting her steak.

         “Guess so.”

         “Well what exactly were you talking about?”

         “You, the baby, the toilet. Told her ever since you got pregnant you can’t stop peeing. She said she doesn’t have any kids, not ready for the commitment, still wants her freedom,” he said wiping his mouth. She got up and started clearing the table.

         “Well it still seems odd to me,” she said wiping down the counter.

         “Aww you’re getting all worked up over nothing,” he said walking into the living room.

         She didn’t bring it up again, but began taking note of the small details of his life. Over the next several months she noticed small changes in him, changes so subtle only a wife would notice. He would shake his leg nervously beneath the dinner table during conversation. His kisses were dry and detached. He changed his aftershave and started reading the newspaper. There were other more overt changes as well. An increase in late nights at the office, Saturday evening practice for a newly joined softball team, and a small patch of hair directly below his lower lip. When asked about these changes his response was always the same.

         “Can’t expect me to stay the same forever, babe. A person’s gotta keep changing. Growing. It’s evolution. You’ve changed too.”

         Spring came and the seeds she had planted began to sprout from beneath the earth. Her belly was big and round and made it difficult for her to bend over and pick up the clothes off the floor. She dumped a capful of soap into the washer and began to turn the clothing inside out one by one. She had heard this kept the fabric from fading. She pulled a pair of her husband’s trousers from the basket and gave them a shake. A crumpled piece of white paper fluttered to the ground.

         She opened it and saw it was a receipt for Tantalum, the restaurant on the bay. Two entrees, one bottle of wine, and one dessert. She shoved the rest of the clothes into the washer not bothering to turn them inside out. Her palms were damp as she padded over to the refrigerator and taped the receipt atop the magnetic to-do-list. She turned the computer on and then headed to the bathroom as she waited for it to load. Sitting on the toilet she pondered what she would do once she left and where she would go to start over.

Laci Chiodo obtained a degree in English-Creative Writing and is now working as a freelance writer amongst other noble jobs. When she is not perfecting her prose she is exploring the world, swimming with mermaids, and catching up on her beauty sleep.

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