Acupuncture After The Apocalypse

That I’m Now Wondering

“I’m miserable at this, I know.”

Mason appears so conflicted that I’m now wondering if our confrontation was such a good idea. Eve and I decided to make him sit down and not let him get up until he told us what happened to him out in Ottawa, and where he’s been going during the days.

“I’m your wife,” Eve says. “I have a right to know.”

“I’m your stepmother,” I say. Sometimes I forget this is the case, but just now I remembered that I have my own legal standing.

Eve and Mason look confused for a moment.

“Oh, yeah,” Eve says. “That’s right.”

“I want to tell you everything,” Mason says. “What I’m doing is nothing…untoward. Or unsavory, or even wrong. I’m not giving you the runaround because I don’t want to say—I just can’t.”

“Are you cheating on me?” Eve asks. “Is that in there somewhere? Would you at least tell me that much?”

“What would cheating on you have to do with my looking like this?” Mason touches his black eye. “You think I stepped into some Tennessee Williams play and got beat up by Stanley for touching Stella?”

“Please.” Eve closes her eyes. “Don’t say ‘touching Stella’ in front of me right now.”

“Jesus, Eve,” Mason says. “Really?”

“She’s mad at you,” I say. “Don’t make it worse.”

Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.