Proud to Be a Pig
I am proud to be a pig. And
I think I will tell June, my wife, just that. When I see her again. If.
you sleep with the TV
on. It works that way sometimes.
two years ago, I began to
doze in front of the television. A comment on the state of American TV or my
attention span. That is not for me to decide.
The sofa felt soft and
warm on a chill winter’s night. The cushions gave and sighed with my every
move. A lovely sofa, it held me in its relaxed embrace like an overweight
lover. The rich taste of hot chocolate floated on the back of my tongue. What
pleasure my nose felt; that piquant scent of cinnamon does it every time.
didn’t hear June open the door
to our spare bedroom/TV Room. I didn’t hear her light tread on the wood floor.
Sleep had claimed me.
woke me with a tap on my
balding pate. As the world swam into focus around me, she said in her playful
kitty voice, “No sex if you fall asleep before ten.”
I’d been dreaming of
breakfast, my favorite meal: Sizzling strips of lean bacon, light, fluffy eggs
sending tendrils of delicious-smelling steam into the clear morning air.
I answered, closing my
eyes again against the flicker and flash of the muted TV.
bit off my ear. The left
pain flared like a roman
candle. My hand shot out, reaching for something to stop the flow of blood. It
encountered an open bag of pork rinds. Good enough. I fished out one of the
tasty treats and shoved it up against the side of my head. The flow of blood
stanched, I turned back to the TV to enjoy the latest video treats.
wanted her Masters.
Following this desire, she’d enrolled at Crafton Hills College. A Physical
Education Major, she spent her evenings running and shouting and sweating.
used to greet her with a kiss
and a hug when she came home. Then this falling asleep thing had become a
regular habit. A problem with an easy solution: I set an alarm clock to wake me
a few minutes before she was due to arrive.
foolproof, except when
the teacher canceled her 20th Century Exercise Habits class for the night.
I been awake:
front door opened with its
usual groan. Laugh tracks and other features of Prime Time TV probably masked
the sound of her books thudding to the floor. Had I been awake.…
a little aside, my Mom was an
avid National Geographic fanatic. Her fanaticism ruined my school years. Oh
yeah, what’s in a name, right? A lot!
she called, “I’m
heels probably clicked on
the parquet entryway, turning to a faint thump when she moved onto the carpeted
hallway. Had I been awake.…
lips moved softly down
my jaw and throat. A darting tongue licked and teased the curling hairs of my
I simultaneously farted
and snorted; a drop of saliva spattered her nose.
bit off my right nipple. Not
from anger, she later assured me. The combined shock of slime and scent.
slicked my belly and
spattered the hall carpet as I ran toward the kitchen. No biggie, I knew that
rust-color would come in handy one day. The linoleum chilled my bare feet. I
had run out of my slippers, in my haste. On the refrigerator, I found a tiny
suction cup. From its bent metal hook dangled a gaily-patterned potholder. I
read the word “Hormel” on the plastic deelie.
promotional item in a
package of bacon to replacement body part. I licked the cup and stuck it in
called from the bathroom, “Honey,
we’re out of mouthwash.”
blood stopped and I opened
the refrigerator door. Grazing time in the Simptie household.
voice got louder as she
walked from the master bath to the kitchen. “Can you pick some up on the way
home from the studio tomorrow?”
She had her hands on her hips, a favorite what-an-exasperating-man-you-are stance.
Blonde bangs curtained her blue eyes.
had a couple slices of bologna
in my mouth, so my answer was a little garbled. “Okay.”
the touch of the “Perform”
button on my computer editor, I finished my documentary on the early Warner
chair’s wheels squeaked in
protest as I backed away from my desk. Have to take care of that; I couldn’t
even hear the final “Th-th-that’s all folks”.
gained a lot of weight
recently. A combination of June’s night school and my own laziness/lack of
imagination. Franks ‘n’ beans played a large part in my night-time routine. As
did chili, stew, and ravioli. My wrist was looking quite buff from working out
on the can-opener.
slid off my chair and onto my
couch. Every office should have one. Remote in one hand and a can of Vienna
Sausages in the other, I zapped the TV into colorful life. Idly, I opened my
zipper and pulled out my penis. Fondling myself, I daydreamed of tall, naked,
Latin beauties. One in particular caught my attention. She carried a tray,
overflowing with bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches. With no lettuce or
tomato. Before me, the opening shots of the movie “Babe” filled the screen.
Sometime around the little pig’s introduction to the animals on the farm—his
new home—my eyes fell to a close. My erection remained intact.
know the air whooshed out my
door when June opened it. It always does. I know her heels clicked on the marble
tiles as she approached my recumbent form. They always do.
know the fire leapt from her
eyes, hot sparks of rage that burnt all in their path. She has a temper. She
leaving you Jacques, you
Right in the middle of a
towered over me. One hand
waved a sheet of company stationery. I recognized the blue logo at the top. I
recognized, too, the illegible scrawl that filled the front and half the back.
Not so illegible that I could not have deciphered the “Dearest Maryann” and the
“much love, J” written at the top and bottom respectively.
in hand, I stared but made
said I’m leaving you, goddamn
it, don’t you have anything to say about that?”
than thought, she bent
at the waist, pushed my hand away and bit.
I had been eating a hot dog instead of Vienna Sausages.
“Proud to Be a Pig”
originally appeared in Unlikely 2.0 (April 1, 2011).]
California, Bob Ritchie now lives on the lovely island of Puerto Rico, where he
discovered, among other things, that wet heat is better than dry. He and his
fantastic wife have released five adult children into the wild. He does some
editing, yeah, some teaching, sure, some translating, claro. Ritchie (as his
wife calls him) is a musician who is fortunate enough to have collaborated with
Jon Anderson, a favorite of many. Bob (as he calls himself) is also a writer of
stories and has penned several things that he believes are good. His work has
appeared in Penumbric Speculative
Fiction Magazine, Small Print Magazine, Triangle
Writers Magazine, and others;
two of his stories were nominated for a Pushcart
Prize. Neither won. Oh well.
KJ Hannah Greenberg captures the
world in words and images. Her most recent poetry collection
is Rudiments (Seashell Books, 2020), her most recent essay collection
is Simple Gratitudes (Propertius Press, 2020), her most recent short story
collection is Demurral: Linens, and Towel and Fears (Bards& Sages
Publishing, 2020), and her most recent photography collection is 20/20, Eye on
Israel (Camel Saloon, 2015).