by Sean Ennis
Woe is Grace
It’s blue outside because of the snow, and this storm is a hyperobject, which I’ve learned means it is too large for the human mind to comprehend. Grace’s depression is a hyperobject too, though Gabe and I have produced a small circus with the dogs for her enjoyment. It’s 2pm and she won’t budge from the bed. The dogs love the snow. Even Gabe, a gnarly teenager, is enthused. But when I tell Grace about this miracle in Mississippi, she just mumbles, “K.” If you know anything about depression, she has the type where nothing is really wrong, or can’t be solved with a little effort or help, or can’t be ignored with a little distraction. But that’s the problem. The bedroom window looks out onto the backyard and the dogs are frolicking and Gabe is throwing them the ball, and the snow, and Grace won’t even peek. Our marriage could sustain this but would prefer not to. I took her to dinner and she ordered the dumbest, whitest fish, though they had garlic snails and sea urchin and gizzards or livers. She drank two Svedka martinis and furrowed. Then, she would not button her coat on the walk to the car though it was freezing. Oh Grace! I’m trying not to be inconvenienced by all this–it’s not about me. Though I am now sadder too by proxy. I’m shoveling at night. If I thought her love for me was truly in jeopardy, I would encourage something to be prescribed. I have my own, and the pills are little hyperobjects. There’s a hawk in town—we should all stop what we are doing. Like a real hawk, a bird. The snow has melted, so if I could just get Grace to look up. The little dogs, other people’s dogs, are freaking out. It was on our roof then took off! But it’s not far. Everything is a hyperobject once you learn the definition.
Grace Comes Out of It
Things should happen faster. I feel like a puppy following the sunshine on the carpet. Then, Grace is up at 6:30am, wanting breakfast. I get potatoes, jalapeños, onions, tomatoes and sliced cheese. I brew coffee and set the cream and sugar on the counter in bowls. I mean, I’m the one who’s supposed to be depressed. It’s about as erotic as breast feeding, depending on your opinion. She eats the whole meal, says she’s feeling frisky, then flashes me. Will I have to think of her in a new way? Will she see colors differently, more vibrant, more colorful? And will I remain enthralling?
Grace is watching the show about that bad addict and they’re screaming and it brings up bad memories somewhat. After all those years, I don’t fantasize about bourbon, but I do dream sometimes about being institutionalized. In it, there’s a painful helmet I’m required to wear to fix my brain. Life is good now, easier. It’s unclear if Grace sees me in this TV show, but that’s her own private, mental life. There is a reptilian part of my brain that lights up still when she pours another glass of wine. I guess this anatomy would have to be removed with a laser for it to stop.
All of this to say, there’s a lot of yelling on TV these days. I’ve stopped watching the news and most other things and this decision is contributing to my new happiness. Am I hiding? Blind? Ignorant now? Better than well-informed and fucked up and sick. There is one show I like about a fish out of water. There’s another show I like about when a stranger comes to town. Grace also likes the one about going on a trip.
Listen, my co-worker often says. Listen, before she starts to talk officially.
Sean Ennis is the author of Chase Us: Stories (Little A) and his fiction has recently appeared in Wigleaf, Hobart, Pithead Chapel, Flash Frog, and Maudlin House. More of his work can be found at seanennis.net