Except for Being, It Was Relatively Painless

                                         It was relatively painless except for being
all she could see: a world made of dinner, very pleasant; a lunch
at something called a table in the dining room; an endless night;
a half-day; another lunch, this on Tuesday. Yesterday. Today.
Pieces propped up with supports. The therapist tapped his cigar.
He no longer accepted her general opposition to myth, marriage,
Olympic Games, and the course of decades. He said it was as if
she were engaged in an eternal war, either watching a movie
or acting in one, depending on the situation and time of day.
She sat in silence, the sky above a half-baked blue, a blank-
face dying of awkwardness. The simple explanation boiled down
to the too-easy explanation. He was smart and charming then;
and later, much less so. Behind his head, pictures were crammed
together with the top layer hung so high she had to crane her neck
to see the details. He said to please pretend she was listening.
Mary Jo Bang, "Except for Being, It Was Relatively Painless" from The Last Two Seconds. Copyright © 2015 by Mary Jo Bang.  Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press.
Source: The Last Two Seconds (Graywolf Press, 2015)
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