“Counting” by William Fedigan

She’s looking at him. She’s sad, looking at him. He’s saying to her:
-I can’t get thru the day without them, can’t get thru the day, the day, the day without them. Without them, I can’t get thru the day. I can’t.
-Can you try? Can you? she says.
-When I’m ready. I’m not ready. Not yet. I’m not ready.
-When will you be ready?
-When I’m ready, I’ll be ready. Now leave me alone. Alone. Leave me alone.

She wants to scream, scream at him but doesn’t. She lowers her voice so it’s calm, quiet.
-Ok. Ok. Let’s talk about something else, she says.

He’s not listening. He’s counting bottles, counting days, reading expiration dates, counting, counting. He looks at the calendar on the wall. The calendar has dates marked in red ink. Some dates are circled, some underlined once, twice, three times. He looks from calendar to bottles, counting days, checking expiration dates. Counting, checking, counting, checking again. His hands shake.
-What did you say? he says, counting bottles.
-I said let’s talk about something else.
-What do you want to talk about? he says. He’s counting days on his fingers. He’s losing count. His fingers shake.
-I don’t know, she says. She doesn’t know. She doesn’t.

He’s counting. He’s counting bottles. He’s counting days. He’s checking expiration dates. He’s looking at the calendar.
She’s looking at him. She’s sad, looking at him.

He’s counting days on his fingers.
He’s losing count again.

Profile: William Fedigan

1 thought on ““Counting” by William Fedigan

  1. Pingback: Fred Durst Gives You This Week’s Lit News (Because What Else Is He Doing?) | Specter Literary Magazine

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