All of a sudden, I wanted to punch him in the face.  I wanted to feel the knuckles of my right hand sting against the bone of his cheek, where it becomes his eye socket. I wanted to give that motherfucker a shiner, right before he was supposed to go talk to the director.  I don’t think it was his fault; he hadn’t said or done anything to cause it — it was just there, a burning feeling, a rising, swelling, on-fire feeling.

I wanted to watch his head snap back-and-to-the-right. I wanted to see his brow split in a snap of blood, like a sugar-pea showering hands with its inside-spray, sticky-sweet, drops of blood to patter against face and hands.

I wanted to hear him try to roar, and feel only a choked splat come up, a backfired shout, a stuttered start that putters out, the kind of thing that will only resolve as l’esprit de l’escalier, when I walk away and leave him  hunched over, fingers making a feeble cage over the ruin of his cheek, tears leaking.

Instead, straightened his tie and kissed his forehead, smoothing the cowlick of his red hair and said, “Have a good day at work, dear.”


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