Around the same time my mother was having an affair, Jesse says, taking a sip from his whiskey without making a face or a grimace as if he’s drinking ice water and he says, and she was not discreet.

She used to talk to her secret lover on the speakerphone in the house, from the kitchen counter, when my dad wasn’t home, he says. She used to lean against the counter, he says, like her man was on the other side and I can hear his real voice garbled from the other end romancing her, like he was trying to whisper into her ear through the phone holes, and watching your mother twirl her toes to some man’s serenade, some asshole’s sweet absolute nothings, is fucking disturbing. I don’t know why she always used the speakerphone. Her children were like ghosts to her.

I’ll drink to that, Jesse says, almost as if in a different voice. Someone happier.

She drinks too and she knows her velocity softly and slowly and never breaking the sound barrier. Her whiskey is quiet.

< Return          Continue >