Think #4: Schlopp.
This story was inspired by one of the “Thinks” proposed by Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Thinks You Can Think!”. If you are unfamiliar with the book, you can find an online version of it here. Every day from now through February 15th, I’ll be posting a short story or poem based on one of the “Thinks” in the book. Enjoy!
He looked at them–all twenty-two little blue beauties. All in a perfect row. All he had to do was scoop them up.
What had his life turned into? Schlopp.
He smiled–the first honest smile he had in a while. It was because of his mother. She refused to use curse words.
“They belie a small vocabulary,” she’d say. So, instead she had her own little words, all made up and imaginary. Schlopp. Farkly. Helicosis.
How many times had he heard her utter those little nothings of nonsense before? How many times when she had forgotten something at the house had she mumbled, “Oh schlopp!”?
Now, here he was, thirty eight years old, still mumbling the same words.
His life wasn’t schlopp. It was shit.
She was out again. With friends–that was what she said. Friends.
She didn’t know he had seen those chats on her phone. She didn’t know he had heard her whispering when she was locked in the bathroom one night. She didn’t know he had found the pictures.
He hadn’t slept in months. How could he? Every time he closed his eyes, he kept seeing her laughing with that stranger, cuddled up, the look of love in her eyes and it wasn’t him. It wasn’t him that was making her feel that way, it wasn’t him that she dressed up for anymore.
It wasn’t him.
Twenty-two of them, lined across the kitchen counter. The pills his doctor told him would help him sleep. All he had to do was pick them up.
Then he could hear his mom tell him made up words again. Then he wouldn’t care about anything anymore. Then his wife could go be with whoever she wanted to be with–he wouldn’t be in her way. No more secrets.
No more schlopp.
“Daddy, what are you doing?” the little girl asked him, rubbing her eyes. He looked at her head, her hair wild from some war that must have happened in her sleep, and kissed it. He picked up the pills and placed them in the bottle.
“Nothing, hon. Let me put you back in bed.” He smiled as he picked her up and walked back to her room.
His life was schlopp.
J Hewitt wants to die just like Hemingway: fat, drunk, and in Europe.
Two out of three ain’t bad.