Tourmaline – Micro Essay

by Karen Eileen Sikola

The day you got married, the forecast predicted rain, a rain that never fell but seemed to remain still in the air. I took my dogs to the park, where the mist clung to their fur but never seeped in. I ate breakfast in a train car diner, where the coffee was weak and the Spartan Special sat uneasily in my stomach. I returned home and watched recorded TV dramas until the meal settled. I had sex in the shower. I finished an opened bottle of blended red that had been on the counter a day too long. I ate Rice-A-Roni, and roasted Brussels sprouts, and an ice cream sandwich. I went to bed.

The day after you got married, I ran six miles in new shoes that gave me shin splints. I showered too soon afterward and sweat through clean clothes as my body tried to recover. I watched my boyfriend and his friends brew a batch of stout so dark the runoff stained the patio, listened silently to their banter as I closed my eyes and soaked in the last few rays of sunlight before the cold turned permanent. I watched the dogs chase flies that flew into our rented townhouse every time the screen door opened. I drank cider in 4 oz. increments. I ate leftovers and watched the Saints overcome an 11-point deficit. I stayed up for the evening game only to go to bed at halftime.

The Monday after you got married, I woke up.

Karen Eileen Sikola received her M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from California State University, Fresno. She now lives in Boston, where she works in publishing and conducts the blog TrainWrite. Her nonfiction has appeared in several journals, includingMonkeybicycle, Specter Magazine, and Used Furniture Review. Her digital chapbook, “Riding the Green Line,” is available from Walleyed Press.

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