I Think My Wife Might Be In Serious Trouble


“There’s something in the water,” she told me from the kitchen.

I couldn’t get myself to think of anything to say back, but part of my brain in charge of basic communication must have been running on autopilot. I heard a “Huh, really?” come out of my mouth, but I shouldn’t have engaged at all. Now I was a part of this little back and forth. Before it was just noise. But now … I don’t know.

I hoped that my mumbled response telegraphed exactly what I was thinking, that look, I’m not interested, I don’t care if the toilet is making a sound, because I don’t hear it, OK, I could get up, I could fiddle with the handle, I mean, do you want me to take the top off of the tank? Because I could do that. Sure, I could stop watching TV right now and check out the toilet again, you know, because I have so much training in fixing toilets.

And then maybe after that you’d want me to check out something else, always a laundry list of chores you need me to check out. What’s that? You don’t think the refrigerator is cold enough? OK, well, let me just poke around and pretend to play with a bunch of knobs inside. There, is it colder? No? Well, let’s just give it a minute to kick in, all right? How does that sound, does that sound like maybe that could be a plan? Maybe? We’ll just wait a little bit? And to be perfectly honest, I’m a little skeptical of your ability to tell the temperature of the inside of a refrigerator just by opening the door. Look, I don’t want to get into it again, but are you taking into account how warm it is inside the house? Because I don’t know, it just feels like a fridge to me, like a regular fridge.

“Honey,” it was a conversation now. This was something that I was going to have to be actually dealing with.

“Huh, really?” OK, that was probably a little mean, that one wasn’t on autopilot, and now I felt a little bad, making her think that I was still on autopilot. If it worked though, if it got her off of my back for a minute, I’d feel bad still, but if that’s as far as that conversation went, well, I’d at least be able to finish this show, I wouldn’t have to put it on pause, really give her all of my attention.

“There’s something in the water.”

There’s something in the water. Can you take a look at the oven? When did I sign up for all of this handyman work? I don’t have any technical training. And she knows it, too, she knows that I don’t know how to fix anything. I mean, sure, I can hang up a towel rack, right, that’s fine. A drill, a screwdriver, I don’t want to make it sound like I’m completely helpless here, I know how to use your basic toolkit. But machinery? What is our oven, gas? Do we have gas? Or is it oil? I’m just … I’m not really capable of dealing with stuff heavier than your average hammer-and-nails very basic work around the house.

“Babe, can we just call somebody? I mean, I don’t know how to do any of this stuff. Can we just like have someone come and take a look? A professional?”

I started to feel a little bad, although that should have done it, that should have ended the dialogue for a little bit, now I’d have to sit here and feel bad, I’d go right back to my show, but I’d feel her staring at me, like why shouldn’t she be able to ask me for some help? I mean, I’d be thinking, I guess I could just get up and check it out. Even though all I had wanted to do was just sit down for like thirty minutes, just an hour really, and even though I was direct, right, communication, you’ve got to be direct, even though I made it clear that I wasn’t ready to deal with this stuff, now I’d be sitting there, of course I’d get up, I’d feel bad about the quiet, about that look, like, why can’t he just get up?

“There’s something in the water.”

But she wasn’t done yet, and so I guess I wasn’t done either, this whole exchange wasn’t done, and at least I wouldn’t have to feel bad.

“Fine, I’m up. OK. You win. I’m up. What is it?”

“There’s something in the water.”

And she was just standing there, she looked totally vacant, she wasn’t looking at me, she was still looking at where I was sitting, even though I wasn’t sitting anymore. I was up. I was right here.

Her arm, it was covered in … it wasn’t water. It was liquid. Was it liquid? It looked wet. It was black. I grabbed her arm and leaned my face in to see, to smell, what was it, was it some sort of an oil? A grease? No, it was moving. It was liquid, yeah, but there were all of these tiny black … things. Like machines, but really small. Almost like little tiny robot bugs. That doesn’t make sense, I know.

But they were going up her arm. And on her fingertips. They were eating the skin. Shit. I could tell, it was only at the tips, but these things were eating her fucking skin. Holy fucking shit. I could see bone.

Motherfucker I could see her bones. And they were spreading, upward, up her shirt.

Fuck, Jesus Christ, they were on my hand now too, right where I was touching her. They were on me.

“What the fuck is this? They won’t come off? Can you get them off? You tried to get them off?”

She wasn’t responding. She wasn’t looking at me anymore. She said it again.

“There’s something in the water.”

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