Half Assed

18 Jan


Martha dreaded Saturday mornings. It was the time when she had to clean the house. It reminded her of everything that was wrong with her life. Why couldn´t she had married a guy with the means to contract a housekeeper? Why did she have to live in such a shabby house? Why was her body giving out on her at such a relatively young age? Just bending over to sweep dirt onto the dust pan gave her pains in the back. Pains that as of late have been ever so increasing.

One Saturday morning, Martha decided that she would do a half assed cleaning job but double down the next week. The next week came and she did another half assed job. After a few months of half assed Saturday cleanings, her poor performance started to show and this raised some concerns from her husband, Merrill.

One day Merrill brought his dissatisfaction to Martha´s attention. “Honey” he started “the house is starting to look like a pig pen. What´s going on?”

Martha steamed. She took it as a personal attack. “What do you mean a pig pen? You see me cleaning every goddamn Saturday morning don´t you?” she shot back.

“Honey, calm down. I´m just saying, the line around the bath tub has been getting darker and darker and the toilet has that awful ring around it” he said, carefully monitoring her reaction. She didn´t look too stable.

“You know where the supplies are” she snarled. “Clean it your damn self”

“Listen, I don´t want to fight here, love. It´s just that you decided that you didn´t want to work and part of the deal was, I pay the bills and you keep the house up” Merrill said, regretting terribly that he had breached the subject.

“Well, mister money bags. Bringing home the bacon. Keeping us is luxury in this piece of shit house!” she screamed, spit flying from the corners of her mouth. “Peggy has a house cleaner come twice a week!”

Merrill felt rather hurt but he held his composure. “Yes, well Peggy´s husband earns a considerable bit more than I and furthermore, Peggy brings home a little extra with her crafts on E-bay”

This flew Martha into an even bigger rage, “So why don´t you marry Peggy if she´s such a better wife? I´ve seen the way you two look at each other. Probably got something going on for years! Don´t you?”

“Of course not!” Merrill answered though not being completely honest. “Let´s just drop this. I am sorry I brought it up. Hey, how about if I help you today”

“I´m not cleaning shit today! You do it all by yourself” Martha was sobbing uncontrollably. She had a strange distant look in her eyes and they were a little glassy. As she made her way to the front door she even stumbled a little. She slammed the front door, then the car door, then she was off. To where, Merrill had no idea but he decided to clean the house anyway just to smooth things over.

As he was vacuuming the hall carpet, the vacuum cleaner bumped into the air vent grate and it simply popped off. “That´s odd” Merrill thought. It should be held on by two screws. He looked and looked for the screws but they were nowhere to be found. He was crawling around on his hands and knees when he noticed a cigar boxed purposely put in the air vent that was now without its grate. He pulled it out.

When he opened it up a wave of horror and surprised washed over him. There was an array of prescription bottles all with warnings to not operate machinery and addiction cautions. Some were empty, some were half full. There were colorful pills in little baggies with no description. Merrill dropped the box on the floor as if it were too hot to hold.

Merrill was not a man of conflict. He avoided it at all costs. He slowly picked the box and its contents up and put it back into the air vent and carefully placed the grate back over the hole.

As he Googled “divorce attorneys” he thought to himself, “Well that explains a lot”

13 Responses to “Half Assed”

  1. Priceless Joy January 18, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    Her behavior made sense in the end. I enjoyed reading this.

    • Ryan January 18, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

      Well thank you for reading it! It´s funny because I go into pretty much every piece completely blind. The only prompt I gave myself was that Martha did not like cleaning the house on Saturday. Only when I got to the end I made her a drug addict. I actually had to go back and add a few more “strange behaviors” for the pay off to make more sense. Thanks again!!! 🙂

      • Priceless Joy January 18, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

        LOL! You write your stories exactly the same way I do. On my Friday Fictioneers last week, I had to go back and change a few things to make it fit with my ending. 😀 I love reading your stories.

      • Ryan January 18, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

        I have heard similar things from other writers! And WOW, you just made my day with that last sentence! 🙂

  2. Priceless Joy January 18, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

    It’s true!!

  3. Eric Tonningsen January 18, 2015 at 7:23 pm #

    Now you’ve made me feel guilty about my cigar box. 😦 And how did you know I felt similarly about cleaning? Nice crafting, Mr. I.

    • Ryan January 18, 2015 at 9:48 pm #

      And what may I ask do you keep in YOUR cigar box, sir? Hmmmmmm 🙂 Most people don´t too pumped about cleaning so I bet that part will strike a chord with many folks. Thanks as always my friend. Here´s to a creative and prosperous 2015!

      • Eric Tonningsen January 21, 2015 at 2:50 am #

        My best dark Cubans. 🙂

      • Ryan January 21, 2015 at 11:35 am #

        Nice! And now with relations normalizing they will less sinful! 😉

  4. Jasbir Chatterjee January 19, 2015 at 5:26 am #

    The last sentence is, I think, the crowning glory! It is the key to everything that the story stands for… Simply great! Hats off!

    • Ryan January 19, 2015 at 11:18 am #

      Ha! Thanks so much for writing that. The reason is, I started to second guess that choice. I felt that maybe I created a jerk. A jerk because he found out his wife had a serious problem and he went right to Google looking for a divorce! It´s funny how our own creations can bother us! Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment. It´s greatly appreciated!

  5. Bruce Goodman April 2, 2015 at 7:00 am #

    Where the fuck are you mate?

    • Ryan April 2, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

      Hello my friend!!!!! I told you that I live in Brazil, right? I am opening a company in the US! I will traveling there in two weeks to lay some ground work. We should be operational by September. This is consuming most of my time! My phone is full of voice notes for stories! I know, I know, I have to find the time. I kick myself in the but every month that passes without a new story. I´ll be back. With a bang! Thanks for the concern buddy! You´ll hear from me soon. I promise.

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