Secrets & Lies
Featuring stories by Maureen Duffy, Marie Sabatino, Ben Black, Tom Hopkins, and Katherine Jamieson; performed by actors Josephine Cashman, Katherine Barron, Matt Alford, Jere Williams, and Calaine Schafer. Hosted by Andrew Lloyd-Jones at KGB Bar on 6th March 2013.
“I have to tell you something Alfie,” Martin says and right away I know it will not be good. Like when he said, I have to tell you something Alfie, and then it turns out he lost my balsa airplane in a tree. Or I have to tell you something Alfie, and it turns out he accidentally ate the gingerbread house I built. We are sitting in the mud down by the creek, the dark water that runs behind the house. Grandma is asleep in her chair facing the window. Yesterday she gave us each a yellow frosting cake, exactly the same shape with jam, and this morning she forgot what day it was and had to ask. Wednesday? she asked, and it is Friday.
Yes. It was an online posting. And, yes I responded to the ad. But technically, I rationalized to myself, it was not that kind of posting. You see, it was one of those ads on Craigslist posted in the community forum section. I reminded myself that I wanted to meet more writers. That was it.
Unless I’m wrong—which I very well might be—that morning in August 1990 was the closest Jackie and I ever got to marriage. We were sleeping on an old futon crammed into the capped flatbed of my father’s F-150. Her sleeping bag had fallen open. So had mine. Jackie rolled over toward me. It might have been an accident—or maybe she was dreaming of Carl, and her dreaming self thought my body was his body. Either way, her mouth was one inch from my neck. Her body was touching mine, just slightly. We were lying close, lying still, breathing. I woke to the wind of her breath moving slowly across the surface of my jaw.
We met Leah at the train station on a bone-cold day when only crows walked the white snowfield outside our house. The threat of black ice on the highway would usually deter mom from getting in the car on a morning like this, but today she couldn't be stopped. We headed out an hour early in case there were accidents, but we passed only one car that had spun off the road. Through the driver’s window we could see that the woman was yelling into her cell-phone, so we didn't bother stopping.