Writer’s Club Fiction by Mike Dykstra
As I get older, I find my attention wandering more and more. This is a good thing. Life is a lot more interesting when I misread or mishear things. A couple of months ago, my wife was telling me a story. Like many men who have been married for a million years (give or take a million or so), I was following along with a host of ‘uh-huhs’, ‘oks’ and hm-mms.’
Then she said (and I quote what I heard): ...because of a ‘broken caterpillar in my nose.’ You could almost hear the screech inside my head as I backed up.
‘How did it get there?’
‘In your nose.”
‘It’s just there.’
‘Oh…how did it break?’
‘How did what break?’
‘The one in your nose.’
This conversation went on a bit longer than was necessary. At the end, my wife looked at me with (I like to think) understanding and love and said, clearly and loudly: a broken CAPILLARY in my nose.
What’s more interesting: a wife with a broken caterpillar in her nose or a wife with a common, nasal complaint? The broken caterpillar conversation lasted several minutes and evoked the spirit of Laurel and Hardy. The broken capillary conversation lasted 5 seconds and evoked the spirit of a medical dictionary. And it’s not just hearing, but things I see as well. I saw a sign the other day for ‘the guilt patch.’
I said…’huh…look at that.’
My wife said: ‘oh my mom would like that.’
I replied, slightly confused: ‘yes, I suppose she might. Let’s go in and check it out.’
My wife said: ‘No, I’ll tell her about it but making quilts is her thing, not mine.’
‘Quilts…she makes quilts.’
‘Oh…I looked at the sign again. Right, the quilt patch.’
Admittedly, that makes a lot more sense but is far less interesting. There’s a pretty good chance that I will never willingly enter a ‘quilt’ store but a store selling guilt…. Just imagine how much more interesting I will be if I’m atoning for things I’ve never even imagined doing.
The Guilt Patch © 2016 - Mike Dykstra. Mike Dykstra is a member of the Medicine Hat Rhyme & Reason Writers’ Club which meets each Tuesday at 7.00pm in Room S103 at The Medicine Hat College. For more information visit them at rhymeandreasonmedhat.wordpress.com or call Martin at 403-529-9287.