Friday, March 2, 2012

(New Fiction from the Astronaut Blood book) Where The Red Fang Grows


I had another fight. Yeah, you know, with Ruth. She was born with that name. Ruth, short for Ruthless, the irritable daughter of Genghis Khan.

Grabbing her purse and a small black crocodile suitcase, she turned to face me before opening the front door.

“I’m leaving for the airport, you can finish your baked asparagus and goddamn garlic mashed potatoes by yourself.”

“What, now?”

“No, in two years. That’s when I’m leaving you. I just wanted to give you a heads up."

“Yeah, okay, see you then.”

She slammed the door and I put Trogglodynamite by The Troggs on the turntable. It’s been my devil vapor fumigator for years.
I turned to the kitchen and poured a couple fingers of whiskey. There was some Budweiser in the fridge but I only feed that to the dog.

They say artists and business people don’t mix. I’d say they’re right. While the sex was always good, my seemingly laidback career as a painter and househusband was secretly making her batshit crazy and her new evil role in the downfall of the United States was increasingly offensive to my morals. This was supposed to be her celebration dinner. Ruth moved her manufacturing plant overseas three years ago but had now moved it back to the U.S. She hired back her old employees at half wages with no benefits and was awarded a medal from the Mayor for bringing back jobs to U.S. soil and for being a hero and all that shit. She had received local and national news coverage and so on.

One of my friends worked at that plant. When I told her he couldn’t survive on what she was offering, she called me a communist. Every time she calls me a communist I start singing folk songs. Labor songs and the like. The songs of Woody Guthrie make her really mad. But now our experiment in love and terror was at a close. I poured our dog Mavis another beer and leaned back in my chair. I’d pack up my things after the record was over. I had some friends in Minneapolis. Perhaps I could have an exhibition there.

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