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Daniel Gallik
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Sometimes It’s Good To Quit Loving

 

           by Daniel Gallik

 

 

Isn’t normal.  She kept saying

these words to him.  During days.

Even at night while he slept.  He

acted normal but felt like killing

 

her.  He told her a few times

that he did not like living with

her anymore.  It had got boring. 

Then, he stopped telling her this

 

because she did not understand. 

She didn’t make an attempt to see.

She kept at it, isn’t normal.  You

aren’t normal.  Finally, he left.

 

Didn’t take a bit of his clothes.

His guns.  His collection of rare

bks.  The odd decoys he had laying

around the corners of each room.

 

Yes and he took his car.  Funny,

how she thought she was getting

used to not seeing him anymore.

The months added up.  Actually,

 

she thought, it’s delightful.  It’s

relieving.  The kids even quit

asking where the old man was.  She

died without a thought in her mind

 


 

 

 

Joe Floated

 

Daniel Gallik

 

 

          “The winter is crawling.”  Joe felt full of statements this morning before he awakened to face another cold day.  Age had silently crept into him.  He was nearing sixty.  “I am tired of being tired.  Tired of this life in Somewhere, OH.  Tired of all the yesterdays.” 

 

          Joe walked into his shower and turned it on without warming it up.  He needed the abrupt shock of cold water to wake him up.

 

          Linday, his wife, said to him, “Looks like another great day.  No snow.  But the kids are looking forward to their field trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art.”  Linday was always full of information, full of excitement.  Teaching second grade had worn off on her.  She didn’t even know her husband thought life lifeless. 

 

          Joe smiled at her, got dressed, and took a walk.  He wanted to listen to the trees in their subdivision.

 

          Out there, he started to talk to himself again, “I guess I don’t know where I am heading.  But man, I suppose I never knew where I was heading, anyway.  I have been without a compass for a long time.  Oh, look, the pond is frozen over.  Light coating of ice.  No people.  No hustle.  And bustle.  Just dull nothingness is going on here.  I think I will take a long walk today.  I feel physically healthy.  But I feel I am no longer mentally here.  I am elsewhere.  I suppose what I will do today is figure that out by taking a long, long walk, and then, maybe I will get there.  But, let’s say I get there, will I be too far away to get back?  Or maybe I shouldn’t go back?  Maybe I should stay away from whom I really was?  Listen to me.  I am full of statements that are questions.  But maybe that is it.  I talk to myself.  But don’t actually do much.  I should do more stuff around the house.  Fix things.  Clean up the house.  Put a fresh coat of paint on things.” 

 

          Joe kept walking and talking to himself in dribbles.  In the last few steps, he was speaking out loud.  No one was listening.  But it felt kind of good to empty his soul.

 

          He approached the tiny falls that had perched itself in the development; that tried to empty the lake.  He could hear its minor roar coming up.  Part of him felt like floating down its rocks and landing in the small pool below, and then, quietly mixing his mind with the waters down stream.  Joe felt a lot of these scenarios.  He had always liked climaxes. 

 

          Today he felt like doing one.  Just one.  Today.  Getting away from his words and into doing something with his aging life.  Downstream. 

 

          Sure, he thought, This is going to be cold, but it will be different.  Maybe this time someone will rescue me.  There may even be a small item in the local newspapers. 

 

          Joe was not hearing any voices, even his wife’s.  He was hearing his own.  Joe thought it was about time he started to listen to his own voice and what it meant to a vast earth that does not care to listen.

 

 

 

Daniel Gallik has had poetry & short stories published by Hawaii Review, PARABOLA, NIMROD, LIMESTONE (U. of Kentucky), THE

HIRAM POETRY REVIEW, AURA (University of Alabama) & WHISKEY ISLAND (Cleveland State University). His first novel, A Story Of Dumb Fate is available at publishamerica.com  The book concerns the raising of a child with disabilities in a low class neighborhood in the fifties.  Check out a review of one of his recent flash fictions at

http://www.albany.edu/offcourse/issue39/e_garber_letter.html

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