Sunday, October 5, 2008


I have been faithful to you, Cynara, in my fashion. I am glad that you can forgive me and I’m glad that you came back. After all, when we were just seven years old, you said that we would be together forever. Maybe if you were patient, I never would’ve strayed…but technically, I didn’t stray…you left.

The statistics for a marriage of childhood sweethearts lasting were against us, and you so desperately wanted me to get a job. I could’ve applied myself, but why would I bother when I knew my ship would come in? You should’ve trusted me on that one, though I wouldn’t have, either, with my track record.

Sure, my eyes wandered, but I was married, right? I was like a diabetic in a candy shop and I never cheated…while we married. But while I looked at women, flirted with women, texted women, I never looked for a job, and that was too much for you. What was that William Congreve quote that you would browbeat me with, whenever I pushed things too far?

Heav'n has no rage like love to hatred turn'd

Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn'd.

So you left me before my ship came in, as I knew it would, in the form of an inheritance from my Uncle Elijah and it was just right on time, before they could repossess my truck. Of course you were long gone by then, leaving me with an empty home, an empty wallet and an empty heart.

You left for greener pastures, Cynara, never figuring that our old house would become an oasis again. And who benefited? Why, all those women from town who were waiting in the wings, that’s who. They kept me afloat; they kept me alive; they kept me happy. But there’s only so much money to go around in this hick town, and despite whatever I could do right, not every woman could come across with some cash or food.

So that meant that for all intents and purposes, that I could’ve (or is it “should’ve?) installed a revolving door in this bedroom. Jane, Janet, Jenny, Joan, Jolene, Juanita, Jycinda, and that was just the “J’s.” Yet, you were the one that asked for and got the separation. You were the one that filed for the no-fault divorce, as long as I didn’t ask for alimony and, like I said, I was faithful to you in my own fashion. I almost waited until the divorce decree was official, so there might have been a few weeks where I wasn’t so monogamous? Well, hey.

I didn’t tell you about Uncle Elijah, but you came knocking on my door anyway. You always smelled so good…and you could always smell money. How could I say “no?”

Sitting here in this bed watching you slip into that dress...just makes me want to take it off of you again. And the way you put that lipstick on just gives me all kinds of ideas. Of course you know that I won’t be exclusive until we walk down the aisle again, right? I mean, why else would you laugh off Kara’s little message on the answering machine and Terri’s panties hanging on my headboard?

“Did you like the way I put my lipstick on, Owen?”

“You can clearly see that I do, Cynara.”

“Would you like a taste?”

“Yeah, baby.”

Wow…that tastes different, I’ve never tasted…why am I having a hard time breathing? Why is my tongue swelling? Oh, God, I’m falling off the bed. What the fuck is going on? It feels like my lungs are turning inside out and all the air went with them.

“Crawl around Owen, go ahead, you won’t find your epinephrine because it’s in my purse.”

Damn…it’s my peanut allergy, she’s known about it since we were six. I wonder if Samson and Delilah were childhood sweethearts.

“I have been faithful to you, Owen, as you say “in my own fashion.” But if you thought I would just forgive you for bringing all of these sluts into my house, while my name is still on the deed, you are sadly and fatally mistaken. My sister has told me about the parade of whores that go through here and the bank sent me a notice of foreclosure. You are not dragging my credit down with yours.”

You dumb bitch! If you’re so damn smart and your sister knows all of my business, how could you not know that we’re rolling in money...

Patti Abbott said-

What I need to do to take me away from so much stressful news is to write something short and sassy. Will you join me? It's been six months.Aldo Calgagno, Gerald So and I are ready to challenge flash fiction writers once again. I hope you're in the mood.

Since women have become a bit of a political football of late, I have a choice of two lines to use in a 750 or so word story. Both lines come from an obscure and strange Kay Francis movie from 1932 called Cynara.

"I have been faithful to you, Cynara, in my fashion."

Or "Call no woman respectable till she's dead."

Change the name to whatever suits you if you choose line 1, although it's hard to beat Cynara for mystique.We're thinking of an end date of October 20th. Aldo will post stories for those without sites on Powder Burn Flash . And Gerald So and I will post the links for those who do have blogs. Hope to hear from you.


Veronica said...

The first half of this is so strong it sucked me right in. Elusively blunt. Very well written.

Cormac Brown said...


But the second half?

"Very well written."

Thank you very much! As of late, I'll take any compliment that I can.

Gerald So said...

Yet another victim of the housing crisis/credit crunch. :)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Tidy twist, great voice. Nicely done as usual. Thanks for playing.

r2 said...

Great little twist at the end. Nice work.

sandra seamans said...

Nicely done, Cormac!!

Cormac Brown said...


That put a smile on my face that I desperately need.


Thanks and thanks to you, Gerald and Aldo for providing the impetus and means.




Thank you.