#201 As Bad As It Gets

by Betty Dobson

You sit at the dinner table, drumming your French manicure on polished oak and cursing your husband for being late for the third time this week. Worry doesn’t cross your mind. You know he’ll never cheat—the prenup sees to that—and you’re so far above silly thoughts of car accidents, unlike the other corporate wives. Death and disasters feel like something that happens to other people on the other side of the world—or at least south of the forty-ninth.

You don’t realize it’s as close as the remote on the sideboard and the television perfectly aligned with the doorway so he can watch the scores scroll by while he eats.

You don’t hear the sirens at the city’s heart. You don’t see the hideous beauty of emergency lights reflected in shattered glass, the twisted metal sloping into the harbour or the dark stain newly formed beneath the surface.

That burning smell is just the once juicy pork roast now pushed beyond its limits. Following a practiced sigh, you race to the basement to hit the breaker for the smoke detector and wonder how things could possibly get worse.

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