Where it went right

I took the string of my wrong and rolled it around my finger. The wrong circled my wedding band from the carefree time when we first met. It zig-zagged my palm like boxer’s gauze. I was able to shake it off in the morning, but at night it grew exponentially. I was scared. Pretty soon my hand was going to look like that cartoon mouse with only a couple of fingers. I grabbed the string and pulled it taut, gathering up the ends. It pulled me along streets I’d passed a million times. It led me to that old 7-Eleven where we used to sit on the curb, dreaming about getting out of this place. An Indian family owns it now. The kids hung shyly back but the wife in a sari saw my covered hand. She pointed to a utility closet. Inside sat three old women, expertly weaving from an old-fashioned mop, the kind that looks like a head without a face. Like a waterfall of string. I shouted in case they spoke no English, pounding my chest, ape-style. My life, I shouted, you get it? My life! I slammed the door and then bought some Nicorette and a fake red bull from the Indian kid. My hands were free but very cold. I left the trail of the wrong to mark my passage, like a sloughed snake skin. Only the trace of it will be left when we meet again in spring.

Merridawn Duckler
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