The House of Happy Mayhem - A book by Trent Zelazny(11)
Author:Trent Zelazny

    Whenthe show ends I switch off the TV and just as I do I hear a car doorclose outside. I hop to my feet and listen. I can hear footstepscoming up the steps, then up the walkway. I run into the kitchen butknow I don’t have time to go out the sliding door, so I closemyself in the pantry, in which, in addition to food, there is awashing machine and dryer, as well as a large hamper piled with dirtyclothes and more dirty clothes piled on the floor. I crouch behindthe hamper, in the darkness, as I hear the front door close.

    It’sLisa. I can tell by the way she walks, dainty and beautiful, evenher footsteps are beautiful and I hear a beep and I know she’schecking her phone messages. I can’t hear anything other than atinny, sexless voice that rambles on for a minute, and then there isanother beep followed by silence and I guess that’s it for themessages. I hear a door in the kitchen open, hear it close, hear thepop of a soda can then the solid sound of it being set on the diningtable. Then the dainty footsteps grow louder as they approach andbefore I know it the pantry door is open and there is Lisa, lookingto the shelves on her right. She looks so beautiful, wearing a whitecardigan and a black skirt, her hair pulled back into a ponytail asshe reaches for a bag of chips. She doesn’t glance anywhere nearthe hamper, and then she closes the door.

    Sheopens the refrigerator again and makes herself a sandwich. I knowshe’s making a sandwich because what else would she be making? Andnow she’s sitting at the table, eating her sandwich and thinkingher thoughts. Thinking about how she wants to renew her membershipat the health club she used to go to, and how she misses playingtennis with her friend whose name is probably Valerie or Sabrina orsome pretty name like that. Now she is contemplating the book she iscurrently reading, I bet, and it’s probably TheTime Traveler’s Wife, or maybe ReadingLolita in Tehran. I wonder if she belongs toa book club. She probably does, or did at one time.

    Fora moment the entire house becomes a vacuum of total idleness. Then Ihear her get up and hear the clink of dishes in the sink, and at thesame time I hear the front door close and heavier footsteps enter thekitchen and James says “Hi, honey.”

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