He had lost his headphones. She had lost her mind.
“I’ll look under the bed,” he said, setting hands and knees to vacuumed wooden floor.
“I’ll look out the windows,” she said, running accusatory finger over slatted white blinds. Pulling up dust, she used it to cut a crucifix onto her forehead.
Maybe they fell behind the bookshelf he had built for her, to the left of the windows. There’s nothing there, she promised, just arsenic and purloined scarlet letters and no one knows what happened to Edgar Allen Poe.
Around the TV then? Yes, maybe that’s right, they agreed hand in hand. The most looked-at of overlooked spaces. Maybe it is that simple and the answer was right in front of them all along—between the candle leaking artificial leather and the broken Lazy-Boy creaking a dead beat bump.
He rifled through his Lenny records, her Rundgren albums, thinking maybe they’d fallen amid the white noise, the black light, into the bottom of the rickety red milk crate, decades-old and found, like magic, at the end of someone else’s gravel driveway. Treasure.
She circled the rectangular room. The more time she spent not knowing where to look next, the more time she spent not knowing anything at all.
In the nightstand with the condoms?
Behind the pictures of time frozen cold?
Underneath the blue rug, where unforgiveable things often found themselves hiding?
“I’ll just lie in bed,” she said, embalming herself in sheets as bottomless as a well. “Maybe it will come to me instead.”
But he couldn’t hear her. Headphones now glued in his ears.
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