“Let slip the dogs of war.”
He heard it first in a Star Trek movie years ago – he couldn’t remember which one. He stirred his coffee and decided he couldn’t remember which Shakespeare play the quote was from either. He just knew that whenever he thought of that quote now, he thought of his ex-wife.
He loved her and deep down he still loved her.
He didn’t take that fact out and play with it very often. When that wriggling little black mass of goo started forward he took the dog out and tossed the ball until they were both exhausted. He worried because old Fido (his actual name by the way) didn’t want to run and play fetch as often or as long as they used to. That was a problem because lately that mentioned black, mass of destruction was surfacing more often.
He knew why, his second marriage was failing. He married her on a whim. She was there, he was there, a need was met and he thought he might as well continue meeting that need. It was fine for the first six or seven months until she decided she was in love.
He dress appropriately, was even happy on the day but now…
Now his coffee was stale and over cooked and the nice neat-as-a-pin house he lived in seemed to be layered in a very thin coating of dust.
She wasn’t lazy, she worked. She couldn’t cook and that was fine, it was just the two of them and he enjoyed cooking. She enjoyed reading and at first that was fine. They enjoyed walking down town to the used bookstore, he would walk away with an edition of Scott he couldn’t believe he had the good luck to find and she would walk away with a bag of paperbacks.
At first it was fun. She tried everything on him – everything. He even flipped through the books but when he came across some of the descriptive parts of the male anatomy he thought he’d leave it up to her.
They had been married about a year when he found himself wide-awake beside her. She was softly sleeping and he was puzzled. What scene had they just played out, what plagiarism in bed did they just perpetrate?
That’s when the face of his first wife drifted in front of him and he sat bolt upright. What if he slipped, what if he got so caught up in the current rush of love making but uttered in ecstasy his first wife’s name?
His first wife read Shakespeare. Loved it. She read and re read the plays. She looked so lovely during the festivals they attended. They were young, inexperienced and let slip away the teachings of commitment.
Where was she, what was she doing? Did she garden? Did she teach? Did she read and study and whisper to her husband what she had learned that day, her new insights and word play?
He stirred his coffee and watched the dust motes on the windowpane.