The Thing Is

“The dumbest fuckin’ thing is I should’ve known this was coming months ago.” The open window and the natural cadence of the truck’s engine didn’t drown the futility of Olsen’s hindsight. Mark Olsen’s parents gifted him with a common first name and a compelling to the point of use last name. When we were in the larger group, the one including Other Mark, I often forgot that Olsen could answer as well. Olsen adjusted the passenger’s mirror. Maybe he was looking for the older months before these newer ones.

Outside the truck, Oklahoma rolled by unabated. Red water creeks gouged deeply into the sandstone leaving green farmland so much growing room that farmers could afford to leave the Blackjack Oaks and thirsty Cottonwoods lining the creekways. South of us, hovering over north Oklahoma City bright purple clouds drowning in their own water-weight splashed onto Britton road. Maybe coming as far north as Hefner, but drying up abruptly well before getting to 122nd. Bone dry Stillwater lay a windy hour ahead.

I realized the 70 mile an hour barbwire fence had hypnotized Olsen into reticence. Or he purposefully required me to drag this inevitable conversation out of him.

“The dumbest fucking thing?” I asked.

“The thing is that it never occurred to me she’d leave me. I always thought I was the one putting up with her shit—staying with her. Not the other way ’round.” He punched open the glove box and slammed it shut. “But the dumbest fuckin’ thing—please don’t tell anyone else this—the dumbest fuckin’ thing is that I knew the minute I farted in bed and she didn’t react that it was over.”

Word count: 276
Day 212

2 Replies to “The Thing Is”

  1. This is my favorite to date. Good dialog, real, and well written. Well done.

    I feel a connection with Mark (common name) Olsen (compelling to the point of use last name).

  2. Thanks Swope. I did have yours and Other Todd’s names in mind for that aspect of the blurb.

    Maybe I should write “fucking” more?

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