Issue 35, Final Fringe

Bluebeard's Bathroom

by Michael Thurston Issue 9 04.13.2007

Come on out, now, and let’s talk about this rationally. I know I frightened you. I’m sorry. If you would just open the door and let me explain. Well, in all fairness, I did ask you not to look in there, and you did promise. No, nobody’s blaming anybody, it’s just that you can’t be surprised that it makes me angry. Yes, souvenirs, I guess you’d say, something to remember them by. OK, OK, some people, yes, keep old letters or matchbooks or ticket stubs. Call me idiosyncratic. Why just a lock of hair when you can keep the whole . . .? Hey, that’s insulting. I didn’t eat anyone, did I? Or keep the parts in Tupperware in the freezer? But we can discuss this like grownups, you know, if you’d just come out. You haven’t had dinner. You must be hungry. I’ll make us something. Scrambled eggs. You love my scrambled eggs. It’ll be just like the wedding night, remember? I’ll light the candles in the dining room and we’ll have scrambled eggs and a bottle of that Montrachet. Well, what are you going to eat in there? But toothpaste is made of seaweed. And pee. Yes, it is. I saw it on Nova. Besides, it’ll turn your teeth black. Yes, it will. I knew this girl in high school. Well, yes, she did end up . .  . Hey, what’s that? Are you ransacking the medicine chest? Woman, has tonight taught you nothing? Have you no respect for anybody’s privacy? That’s none of your business. I know we’re married, but that doesn’t give you the right. No, I don’t have problems with erectile function. They’re not my pills. I don’t care what the label says. Wait, what? Are you pouring them in the toilet? Stop that. Do you know what those cost? Oh yeah? Well, that’s not what you were saying the other night. Come on. Remember the other night? You were so beautiful, with your hair down and the soft light falling on your skin. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head, the way you looked when you were on top, when you threw your head back and that flush came into your cheeks. That was sweet, wasn’t it? Of course I was telling the truth. It’s never been like that before. Of course we can have that again. Yes, I put the axe away, I promise, so just come on out. Just turn the little thing in the middle of the knob. That’s it.

Michael Thurston

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Michael Thurston’s fiction has appeared in Confrontation, Knock, Quick Fiction, and Southeast Review. He teaches at Smith College in Northampton, Mass.