"I collected sheep."

He moved the pillow from over his head and strained to see her in the darkened basement. "What?"

She was out of her cot, standing, peering up out of one of the little head-height windows, watching zombie feet and ankles shuffle by. Her voice was quiet, almost a whisper. "I collected sheep, little plastic toy ones, pewter ones, cartoony, photo-realistic, whatever. I had, like, four hundred of them, probably. They're lined up on shelves in the living room. Out where people can see them."

He rubbed his eyes, yawned. "Okay."

"I was so proud of them. Like, it was a neat thing about me. 'Oh, Missy's the girl who has the sheep thing going on'."

"Nothing wrong with that, I guess."

"Everything's wrong with that. All that money, all that time. I used to go to craft shows, just to look for sheep. I scoured the internet. What did it get me?"

"A lot of sheep?" She didn't respond. He offered, "I collected Lego guys for a while. But I guess I was pretty young."

"I wish I could get back over there to the house," she said. "I'd break every last one of the damn things."

Three Line Thursday: "Standing Over The Body"

I don't get it. I don't understand why this happened.
You've seen the movies, you know how this stuff works.
You never open the creepy murder clown box. Not ever.

The Enclosed Is To Be Buried With Him

I don't want to spend every Christmas at your Mother's, and I don't think being a vegetarian is one of those things one should compromise on just to be polite to someone who would never compromise in return. And that egg nog is fucking repulsive.

It wouldn't hurt the kids' development for me to take a class one night a week, and it wouldn't hurt you to have to fix them dinner while I'm doing it. Make spaghetti. Jesus, how hard is that?

You need to be nicer to me. Especially when you're drunk.

I let Dwight Horseman kiss me once, in a weak moment, while you were away for work, and hated myself for years. That's why we stopped going to that church; I couldn't bear seeing him.

Go to the doctor. Every year. No stalling. If you don't, you'll get colon cancer and die and I'll be alone.

Having Come Back From Barbados

There was a week and a half there, maybe two, where we were perfectly happy. The reality that love doesn't fix everything else wrong with the world hadn't yet shouldered its way through the door of that first cheap apartment. We ate Chinese food, naked together in that bed that hadn't started to seem overly small. We talked, not having run out of mysteries. Our peculiarities were adorable, our human frailties endearing.

She's cut her hair; I have a bit of a paunch. We're naked only in the shower with the door locked. It's work, now. But it's still love.