Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Author:Lisa Taddeo
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Published: 2019-07-08T16:00:00+00:00

The next morning it’s raining so hard that rain is shelling sideways against the window. The new development in which Lina lives seems to go on forever, metastasizing in soaked greens and grays in the distance.

Lina says, Did I turn the oven on?

And looks at the oven and says, I did. Okay.

If you have a husband who barely touches you. If you have a husband who touches you too much, who grabs your hand and puts it on his penis when you’re trying to read about electric fences for golden retrievers. If you have a husband who plays video games more than he touches your arm. If you have a husband who eats the bun off your plate when you’ve left it but you aren’t one hundred percent done with it. If you don’t have a husband at all. If your husband died. If your wife died. If your wife looks at your penis like a leftover piece of meat loaf she doesn’t want to eat but also refuses to throw out. If your wife miscarried late into her term and isn’t the same person and she turns her back to you, or she turns her emails to someone else. It’s impossible to be with Lina and not think about everything in your own life that is missing, or whatever you think is missing because you don’t feel whole on your own.

She says, Danny, do you want to see the nuggets cooking? She turns the oven light on and Danny comes running to see and she smiles and says aloud, You find little ways to distract kids. You have to find a thousand different ways a day.

Danny picks up an invitation from the table. It’s a cookie wrapped in cellophane tied with boy-blue ribbons, and smooth blue icing on the cookie says, Come to Cole’s Birthday Party at Wonderlab!

Oh isn’t that nice, Lina says sarcastically. Cole’s mom is soooooo organized.

She lays the cookie invitation down on an end table next to the mini books Don’t for Wives and Don’t for Husbands, little joke volumes containing the 1950s rules for housewifery and husbandry.

The nuggets come out and Danny pushes the plate away like a French girl refusing a lover’s advance.

You’d better not eat that! Lina says. Don’t you eat those nuggets!

That’s how Lina’s mother taught him to eat food. Lina doesn’t like it, but sometimes it’s the only thing that works.

Danny, honey, she says, drink your milk. Danny gurgles a few words. He has a language, slurred and modular like Lego blocks, but Lina knows it intimately.

You want a cookie. No baby, nuggets first.

Outside the rain is thunderous. This is wide-open Indiana and land and building materials are inexpensive and so houses run big with fresh green lawns and playhouses and tree houses and swing sets.

You have to chew every piece five times, buddy. You know the rules.

For dessert she’s slicing strawberries and it’s right around Christmastime so she’s singing “The Newborn King.” There’s no sound in the house besides Lina’s voice.


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