Monday, April 2, 2012

Cliffs Notes

At the bookstore I send my children on their way. Stay together, I tell them. As if together they can face the dangers of this world and their futures. I linger near the front. Holding a book about a woman who has fallen apart. Her father died. Her family scattered. She married. Then divorced. She broke down. I begin reading, trying not to flip to the ending. To the solution. Trying not to cheat. The urge is so strong. The door behind me opens. A woman with three children. Stay together, she tells them. They scatter. She watches for a moment then looks at a book on the table we share. Her hair is dyed blonde. Bobbed. Her face is tan in March. She is lip-gloss moist. Her body is tall and thin. She has sensual fingers. I swear it. She puts down a book and walks away toward new fiction. I write her story in my head as if it were mine to tell. I’ve forgotten the book I hold in my hands. My children run toward me, books in their hands. Can we buy them? Can we? We walk to the register. I pay for three books. At home, I hold the book in my hands and wonder why I bought it. The ending seems so obvious now.