by J. Spinazzola
She stuffs the rolled socks into his mouth. The door left ajar, maybe he was expecting a kiss.
She grabs a fistful of jean and ball sack, her other hand pressed against the bulge of cotton crowning his lips.
His lips are fat from the night before when she swatted them with a frying pan, the sedative in his whiskey strong enough for a man to sleep through.
“I hope you washed these socks,” he says into a mouthful of cotton. She understands what he’s saying because his everyday voice is not so different from mumbling.
“Shut up about the socks, or I’ll stuff your balls in their place,” she says, applying enough pressure for his knees to buckle. “All the way down, boy.”
He goes down on one knee first, escaping her grip, and then the other. She kicks to the side of his head, her boot hammering the door closed. The light from the porch cuts a line at the bottom of the door.
“I thought you were going to have this door replaced?”
He mumbles through cotton about being tied up.
“Don’t blame this on me,” she says. “That was Friday night. You had all day Saturday before I spiked your drink.”
“That explains the lips.”
“What, you expect me to spoon feed you? Be a man. Figure out the details for yourself.”
She feels his hands at her boots before her feet lose contact with ground and her arms reach back to brace her fall.
Her heel, like a mouth in the dark, finds his fat lips: the sound of his back hits the door as a thud, his head as a knock.
“I’m taking out the socks.”
“Don’t your dare.”
“I think my lip is bleeding,” he says in a voice clear enough for her to know that he’s already defied her.
“Put those socks back in your mouth.”
“I’ve got to sop up the blood.”
“Then I want that door replaced.”
“I want my privacy,” she says, stomping the heel of her boot.
“No one can see through a crack that small.”
“I’ve waited long enough for you to hang a new door.”
“It’s Sunday night. The hardware stores are closed.”
“Stop being a pussy. I’ve got tools in the garage, paint, and measuring tape. One of the neighbors must be out of town. With a new color, they’ll never notice the door was theirs.”