Tuesday, May 27, 2008

George steals the sport page

Etta Marie's neighbor George steals the sports page, now and then, out of Etta Marie's newspaper before she gets it. he reads it and then uses it from his cat litter box. She can't prove it, but it seems to be true. Why won't he buy his own paper?" she thinks. "Why doesn't he just ask for that section? I'd give it to him. I don't really read the sports page unless I'm very bored, she thinks. Maybe he isn't stealing it. Maybe it's just missing sometimes, but that doesn't make sense either.

Etta Marie sets her alarm for 5:30a.m. and waits for the newspaper. She makes coffee. She blots her eyes with cold compresses. Allergies have taken their toll. She is not a morning person. She hates George with a tiny piece of her heart, but she isn't sure it's warranted, not yet, or ever. God doesn't like this. It's true. She sips coffee, and presses her nose to the door, and her eye to the peep hole. Her breath mists the lens.

Soon the newspaper flops to her doormat, and a moment later, a dark figure rummages through it, delicately, but who? She fumbles with her locks. The thief scoots away, and into the shadows. Etta Marie puts a smooth orange yellow stone in her mouth from the mason jar on her table, and folds it in her tongue. Why is life so strange? She tastes a hint of sand and salt on the stone. She thinks of the beach, of the gulls, of and waves.

She gulps and swallows and starts her day, early.

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