Flash Fiction: Commiseration by Sean Ennis

That we are in decline, if not bottomed-out, seems obvious in the macro. But, I, here, have been renewed, rising with some speed, happy. I cannot make sense of it. Even Gabe, in his miniature weight room, is literally getting larger, taking up more positive space. Am I supposed to be gloomy? I even stopped for a turtle in the road, and moved her safely on her way out of harm. What happens next will be up to the she-turtle, but I can’t help but think I’ve done my part. I was given a raise also.

Fast forward, and Gabe and I are watching the Indianapolis 500 like experts, like engineers. He has picked the winner with thirty laps to go, and he will be correct. Grace says, erotically, “I’m going shopping for a bathing suit,” and out she goes. I hope she gets an expensive one.

This country is again in mourning, and also the whole planet, and there was even a bad house fire down the street from my work. That enormous flag at the community college is at half mast, almost dragging in the parking lot. My own situation is not in tune. We’ve rediscovered the pleasure of mixing iced tea with lemonade, cinnamon with milk. The days are longer, and the music I listen to is getting calmer and calmer.

Would it be more appropriate to be sad? I’d have much more to say—I’ve been struck dumb with felicity. Yes, don’t get it twisted: I have come close to being tragic, but this, right now, is a small gee golden age. I know the world will infringe, take something from us, spit, maybe soon.

For instance,  I just saw a picture of myself with gray hair. The doctor said, use this medicine for the rest of your life. I abuse my heart.

Grace returns from shopping, pleased. Just so you know, she is covered in flower tattoos and sunburn, but did not get a bathing suit. I’m grilling a farm-raised rabbit and spring asparagus.  I’m smoking my favorite type of cigarette, which is getting harder and harder to find. I’m making plans for as far ahead as next weekend.

Sean Ennis is the author of CHASE US: Stories (Little A) and his fiction has recently appeared in Maudlin House, Rejection Letters, Pithead Chapel, and Wigleaf. More of his work can be found at seanennis.net


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