Sunday, April 26, 2009


The days wore on. He stared at the ceiling as he tried to find a reason to get out of bed for the ten thousand nine hundred eighty sixth consecutive day. Inevitably, his thoughts found their way to her, and he rose from his comfortable yet tiresome bed. She, on the other had, had been out of bed for hours.

In the kitchen, he finished the milk by drinking straight from the gallon. She simply smiled.

Today was the first day she had not greeted him with a lecture. He was prepared to lash back at her for criticizing his laziness and odd hours. Eventually he probed: why was she giving him the silent treatment?

For reasons she didn't understand, she had quite honestly lost her ability to speak. If she tried to make a sound with her voice, she could not. Regardless of how hard she tried, she could not find a way to vocalize. She felt like the little mermaid, except she did not know what she was getting in exchange for her voice; she already had legs. Tomorrow, she thought, she would visit her doctor if her condition had not spontaneously improved.

She awoke the next morning with a pleasant surprise. The problem that had afflicted her the entire previous day was no more. Opening her mouth wide, she sang to him. Responding, he joined her for a duet. Years had passed since their most recent duet.

In the single day that she was without speech, he came to appreciate her nagging. Nagging is not the right word; criticism is.

Criticism is, he decided, necessary for everyone. Once he came to this realization, he no longer saw her speech as criticism, nagging, or lectures. Debates were sometimes held, but from that day on, spats were avoided entirely. Eventually both of them died, but until their deaths, they lived happily ever after.