“The Way You Used To,” by Matt Bower

Jun 8th, 2016 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

I miss you, baby.

I miss the way you used to read me the morning obituaries in your best sexy voice. That always reminded me to be thankful I’m alive. I miss the way you used to coerce me to sit on the scale at the grocery store self-checkout to hear the machine voice tell me how much I’d cost if I were an artichoke. That always reminded me that my life had value. I miss the way you used to get me out of all those awkward social jams whenever I had a wee bit too much to drink and said things and did things you promised “you’ll live to regret if you pull another one of your stunts from this moment on.” That always reminded me you’d be there for me no matter what. I miss the way you started slipping on a Halloween mask while we made love in the dark, and then flip on the bedside lamp mere seconds before I’d climax. That began to remind me your timing was impeccable, and that Ronald Reagan’s rubbery face can postpone ejaculation indefinitely. I miss the way you started inviting me on to the dance floor at our friends’ weddings, and then whisper into my ear, “You have the rhythm of an arthritic knock-kneed orangutan.” That began to remind me to dance like everyone was watching, and judging harshly. I miss the way you started responding to my subtle allusions about someday starting a family by perfectly recreating the maggot birth scene from the Jeff Goldblum version of the The Fly, props and all. That began to remind me that childbirth is very demanding of the female body. I miss the way you started to say “Knowledge is power, honey,” and then beat me senseless with the P volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica. That began to remind me that I should’ve taken Judo lessons as a kid. I miss the way you started to lock me outside on a freezing winter night and the only way I could get back into the house was to strip off all my clothes, smother myself in the Vaseline you’d leave on the welcome mat, and then squeeze myself through the doggie door. That began to remind that I was juuust flexible enough to avoid hypothermia had I been a medium-sized dog, and that Vaseline existed as a thing. I miss the way you started to lie with me on a blanket under an endless starry sky and tell me how much you wished against all hope that your hominid body could somehow magically take on the specific alien bodily functions that would enable you to thrive on a planet—however hostile the environment—somewhere in a galaxy millions and millions of lightyears away from me and “every-goddamn-thing you ever touched with your stupid boney fingers or saw with your stupid beady eyes during your despicably pitiful life.” That began to remind me just how incredibly vast the universe actually is, which made me feel even closer to you.

But honestly, I always fuckin’ hated the way you never ever washed out the Tupperware after you ate tomato soup. That shit would cake to the sides and the bowl would need to be soaked for AT LEAST a good half an hour before being sponged. You’re lucky I stuck around as long as I did.


Defenestration-Matt BowerMatt Bower has performed with several comedy troupes, including the Cellar Dwellers and Player One, as a writer and actor. His work has been published in Defenestration, Neutrons Protons, Rum Bunter, The Crucible, PGHCOMEDY, and various blogs. His novel Save Me, Rip Orion was a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013. Currently, he spends time raising his young son in his image, and maintaining his blog Crooked Lullabies.

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