Pillow Talk


Carl was reading Great Expectations and marked his place with a paper clip. He placed the book on the nightstand and pulled the gold chain on the lamp, extinguishing it’s light. He looked over at Jane. She had curlers in her brown hair and was wearing the same old beige nightgown she’d been wearing since the dawn of time, or so Carl would have sworn. He thought about how she could be so pretty if she wanted to be. “I talked to Les earlier today.”

She sighed and put down her magazine. “Les Martin?” She asked with a sneer.

“Yes, our neighbor.”

She picked her magazine back up and began to read about the latest exploits of Charlie Sheen, of a Vampire named Edward and of a slutty girl named Snooki. Les Martin could wait. “I don't like him.”

“I know. Did you know that he and Kathy are splitting up.”

Jane rolled her eyes and scoffed and once again put the magazine down, this time closing it and putting it on her nightstand and turning off the light. She rolled down into the bed, under the covers and began to fluff her pillow. “About time.” She lay down on her side, no longer facing her husband. He leaned over and put his arms around her. She shrugged him off with a groan. “No. it’s too hot.”

“He doesn't have a place to stay. He's letting Kathy and the kids stay in the house,” He said gently. Les was his carpool partner at work. They both worked at Moulson Plumbing Supply, though Carl was the regional manager and Les just a commissioned sales person. Things were tight for him and Kathy and Carl always drove and never asked Les to pay for gas or even let him buy a cup of coffee. It was his way of helping.

“Well, he can't stay here,” Jane snorted.

“That's awfully Christian of you.”

Jane turned her head toward Carl, who had his hands behind his head and was looking up at the ceiling with a funny grin on his face. He had brown hair that was slowly greying on the sides and a fashionable goatee. He has muscular arms and, with his arms folded the way they were, she saw them, but did not take notice. “I don't like him. He always gawks at me.”

Carl smiled and looked towards Jane. “Well. Can you blame him?”

She groaned and looked away. “Uggh. He's so gross. What the hell took Kathy so long? She seems like a smart, good looking woman.”

“Be that as it may, he needs a place to stay.”

“There's a Motel 6 on Riverfront.”

“It'll just be for a couple of days. Just 'til things smooth over.”

“I said no!” She shot up and raised her arms in frustration. “What? What the hell do you mean it’ll be a few days?”

“Well, I sorta already offered him the spare room.”

“That's awfully Christian of you.”

“Just a few days. I Promise. A week. At the most.”

“Well, I hope you like the couch,” Jane snorted as she rolled over and pretended to sleep.






All rights reserved. Copyright Justin W Price. 11/20/2011

Thanks for Reading.

A FREELANCE WRITER, HONORS STUDENT AND GOVER PRIZE FINALIST, JUSTIN W. PRICE (AKA, PDXKARAOKEGUY)IS A POET, SHORT STORY, BIOGRAPHY AND HUMOR WRITER. HIS POETRY COLLECTION, DIGGING TO CHINA, WAS RELEASED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 BY SWEATSHOPPE PUBLICATIONS AND IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND THROUGH YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER.

HIS WORK WILL ALSO BE FEATURED IN BEST NEW FICTION (2014 EDITION), AND HAS APPEARED PREVIOUSLY IN THE RUSTY NAIL, EFICTION, THE CRISIS CHRONICLES, THE HELLROARING REVIEW, BURNINGWORD, SEE SPOT RUN AND THE BELLWETHER REVIEW. HE CURRENTLY SERVES AS MANAGING EDITOR OF EPOETRY MAGAZINE AND THE BRIDGE ONLINE NEWSPAPER.

HE WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER, EDITOR, AND GHOST WRITER, AND IS WORKING TOWARDS HIS PH.D. HE LIVES IN A SUBURB OF PORTLAND, OREGON WITH HIS WIFE, ANDREA, THEIR LABRADOODLE, BELLA, SCHNOODLE, SAUVEE AND BLACK MOOR GOLDFISH, HOWARD WOLOWITZ.

PLEASE VISIT HIS PROFILE PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION. THANKS!

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Comments 41 comments

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

ALUR, thanks for the comment. Much appreciated!


ALUR profile image

ALUR 3 years ago from USA

Love the wit, sarcasm and the opening of a story that could happen to any of us...


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks, Johanna. I'm pleased that you enjoyed this!


Johanna Baker profile image

Johanna Baker 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

brilliant...very enjoyable read!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

I'm glad you enjoyed this, Tams! This is a work of pure fiction, so I can't say that I'm carl or Jane :-) I'm glad you enjoyed this!


Tams R profile image

Tams R 4 years ago from Missouri

Poor Jane. It appears she gets to be Christian whether she likes it or not.

Pillow talk always brings out the most interesting of conversations. It makes me wonder if you are Carl. :)

Nice writing and a pleasure to read.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

thanks so much Audra! Great kind words. I appreciate them!


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Justin,

You are an awesome short story writer! I wish I had that gift! It was very impressive and brought me in from beginning to end! Voted up!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Stessily, I like that title too. Thanks for noticing. Good seeing you and thanks for stopping by!


stessily 4 years ago

PDX, Yes, it is clear that you choose your titles with care. A title lures the reader into taking that first step! I love your titles. My sentimental favorite so far is "I spilled my corn flakes."


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Tara, I'm honored to be featured once again. I'll be stopping by for a pimping and a cross linking! Thanks so much!


tarajeyaram profile image

tarajeyaram 4 years ago from Wonderland

Justin - this one is so well written. I love the way you give life to your characters. I have put this hub as one of My Favorite Hubs of the Week: Jan 15.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

sannel, thank yo. I actually wrote the first draft of this in class as an exercise ind dialogue. I expanded it here. Thank you for your appreciation!

Tara, thank you. I appreciate the pimping!

stessily, thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and the title. I take pride in my titles!


stessily 4 years ago

PDX: This sentence quietly and unassumingly conveys the essence of this tale: Carl "was looking up at the ceiling with a funny grin on his face."

Love the title and the story!


tarajeyaram profile image

tarajeyaram 4 years ago from Wonderland

Very nice story. Nice view of into husband-wife relationship. I liked how you wrote about Carl and Jane. Voted up and pimping so others can read it. Thank you again for your hubs.


SanneL profile image

SanneL 4 years ago from Sweden

You have created a meaningful dialogue using unspoken internalizations. Furthermore, I can hear the pauses between the sentences. That's good! Only very talented writers can do that.

Voted up and pushed all the right buttons. Hmm. . .let me see, where is the impressive button?


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

homesteadbound, I'm so pleased you enjoyed this, and I enjoyed very much the back story you provided!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

So they have been married for a while ... they have found the place where they can be themselves that only those who have been married a long time know. Yes, sometimes it is boring, and sometimes it does lead to one or both being taken for granted, but there is an ease and a comfort also - and a knowing ... knowing so intimately someone's likes, wants, needs and desires long before they are expressed. It is obvious by the way he approached it that Carl knew how Jane felt before he even shared his little surprise. Great story all around!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Carlon, that makes me happy. I just went through a very frustrating term at school where my professor didn't like my poetry and most of my classmates didn't "get it" so it's nice to come here and have people enjoy and understand my writing. It's always nice to see you!

Till, I'm glad you enjoyed this. The importance of having a comfortable couch cannot be overestimated!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Ouch, couch sleeping! But, whatever happens to Carl and Jane? You really draw everyone in and then walk away leaving us looking for more. Well done my friend. Of course, voted up. I wish there was a 'more' button!


Carlon Michelle profile image

Carlon Michelle 4 years ago from USA

You're such a talented writer. I think you know that. I'm always excited when I see your face in my Hubs list because I know I will be impressed. Smile!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

thank you, phd. I'm glad you were touched by this!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

PDX- What a great vignette...you packed so much into such a short space. Fiction was never my forte, but I appreciate other writers who can pull if off. I am quite impressed, and in a funny way, touched by your story.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you, Cyndi. I'm glad you enjoyed this. I try to write from real life experience and situations. Thanks for reading and commenting!


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 5 years ago from Georgia

You made Carl and Jane real. There interaction so typical of what goes on in long term marriages that people put on automatic pilot and don't really tend, as if they are operating on different planes while they share the same space. Enjoyed it.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

always, thank you for your comment. It makes me sad when people get married and then let themselves go. It quite often leads to resentment and infidelity. Thanks for your write and your comment.

Dim, I love your interpretation. Thanks so much for commenting!

Sue, thanks for the votes. teamwork is very important, especially in relationships.

Thanks for the reads, comments and votes!


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi PDX

I see the breakdown of a marriage as Carl and Jane are not working as a team.

Voted up and awesome.

Enjoy your day.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

Great story----- Made me smile when wifey jumps up in bed as though she hasn´t really been álive´for a very long time.

Well done


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This story reminds me of a couple i knew. Two totally different people who had nothing in common. She let herself go, he looked elsewhere and found a true soulmate. Jane was a selfish woman who didn't deserve Carl...My opinion..


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Rosemay, thank you for reading and commenting. I've been very interested in people's different interpretations to this short story. It's fun as a writer to know what was in your head, but to see how people interpret what was in your head!


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Love this story so true to life. I would react the same as Jane, but then she doesn't seem to care much about anything. Maybe Carl should buy her a new nighty just to make it up to her


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Stars, thanks you for your comment. Always nice to see you!

Tammy, wow. Thanks. I pride myself on brevity in my work!

Malin, I don't know. I haven't thought that far ahead :-)

Amy, I'm not sure dr Phil does think, unless you offer him a consultants fee or something.

Ivona, that's one way to look at it.Thanks for reading!

Uban, zeal? Thanks! I love zeal!

Gypsy, I now pillow talk can be good ;-) It can also be not so good.

Sunnie, I haven't thought about a part two or not. i wrote this piece as part of a dialogue exercise for class. Who knows. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Jen, that is the strategy I employ!

Thank u all for reading and commenting!


jenubouka 5 years ago

This is funny and true, it always seems that the time to bring up issues is the pillow in hopes the other is half asleep to nod okay, letting you off the hook.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Wow this says so much in so little words about relationships..Jane needs to get a new nightgown, get those curlers out of her hair, and Carl should have asked before letting a man stay with them..Communication in all areas is lacking..BUT..you wrote a very good story and sure real to life..Part 2??? Great Job as always

Thank you PDX..

Sunnie


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Oh yeah, know all about those pillow talks. This was a great read. You have to admit though that there can be very pleasant pillow talks as well. In this case I'm on Jane's side but do feel sorry for Carl wanting so badly to help.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

A short story told with so much zeal and warmth. Excellent!


Ivona Poyntz profile image

Ivona Poyntz 5 years ago from UK

A vivid insight into a 'domestic': mena are from mars and women are from venus, eh?


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

So well written, I anticipated and "saw" Jane's reactions clearly. Makes me wonder who or where you learned these perfectly described responses to a civil, but hostile discussion from? Unfortunately, I relate to Jane's feelings, even though Carl comes off looking far better. I wonder why Jane become so disenchanted? Your story is excellent, as my interest and curiosity is piqued about this couple. I wonder what Dr. Phil would think?


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Does Carl get the Sofa, Before or After Les, comes to stay...Couldn't Resist asking...Ha, Ha, KaraokeGuy. Seriously, good short story told as only you can.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina

I love it.. it is an artform inside itself to be able to capture so much by saying so little.


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Very nice piece of life, and expressed so well. Carl deserves the sofa . He should have discussed the situation with Jane, and plans should have been decided together, if any at all. Jane was within her rights. God Bless You Dear Heart.

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