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December 05, 2022

The Procrastinator

By Chris Miller

If it weren't for her tits and splendid ass, I would have killed her long ago. My wife had a great body, and I would argue with anybody who said otherwise. She was like a real-life Barbie doll: curvaceous figure, long blonde hair, pretty smile, everything. The trouble was that she nagged me about stupid shit all of the time. For example, about six months ago the garage was overrun with beer cans. I promised my wife that one of these days I would take the empty beer cans out of our garage, load them into my car and haul them over to the bottle depot for a refund. She didn't believe me. Consequently, day after day she simply would not stop nagging me about the goddamned beer cans.

As you can imagine, I was an extremely busy man and, with my hectic lifestyle, I had far more important things to do than worry about recycling my beer cans. Besides, I told her that the beer cans might come in useful for some purpose one day. She could not fathom why. At least $50 worth, maybe more, of ten-cent beer cans were in cardboard cases and black garbage bags at the back of my garage. Along with the lawnmower and a bunch of garden tools taking up valuable space, parking my car in there was simply out of the question.

The only problem was, I had oodles of other chores that took precedence over the beer cans. Like most people, I had a full-time job that devoured my weekdays. I enjoyed relaxing in a hot bath after work. On days off I liked to go for long walks by the lake, and watch the NFL games on Sunday, maybe take in a little Nascar racing, Texas Hold 'em poker or pro wrestling. That's another thing -- she was always bitching at me about watching too much sports on TV. So I liked hot baths and long walks, so I liked watching sports on TV, so I liked drinking beer -- so what? Why wouldn't this woman allow me some happiness?

Someday I intended on taking our family portrait off the mantle. It was a photo taken some years ago of my wife, our daughter when she was eleven years old, and I sitting together comfortably. The wooden frame was chipped, the glass smeared with fingerprints. I wanted to rid my living room of this old photograph. Reminders of the past were of benefit to nobody, as far as I was concerned.

Very soon I was going to sift through my wife's wardrobe and throw out all of her old clothes, the ratty summer garments, the ripped blouses, the torn jeans, her white wedding dress. Sure, she liked to look her best and stay in fashion, keep up with the latest trends, but there was no point in keeping apparel that would never be worn again. All those shoes would have to go, too. After all, who the hell needed thirty pairs of shoes?

I also intended on mopping up that icky crimson blood-streak on the sidewalk that led from the front door of my house to the garage. The neighbour's Labrador retriever came by in those early days and slurped up most of it, but a noticeable trail of crimson remained, and the passersby had been eyeing me strangely as of late, and I knew it was only a matter of time before they started asking questions. People were always like that, very nosey and all. The blood had been smeared there for a while now, since the summer.

I was going to phone the police. I would inquire whether they had found my wife and daughter yet, and what was taking them so long, beg them to find her because I longed so earnestly to see her smile once more and hold her in my arms like I once did. "I miss my wife," I would tell the police, as the tears of grief dripped from my eyes. I would pretend to care.

One of these days, one of these days…

That's the problem with the world today: too much leisure time. All of the time I could have spent doing more productive things, I spent watching Monday Night Football and drinking beer on the green easy chair. The term, "one of these days" had become an all-too-easy excuse to get out of doing whatever important tasks needed done. I found myself making to-do lists, but never actually getting around to doing any of the chores on the list. I kept making new lists and adding to the existing ones. Yes, I fully admit that I was a procrastinator in the truest sense of the word. Next, I walked over to the fridge, and popped open another can of Budweiser. The first game of the World Series started tonight, Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals. Meanwhile, my wife's body and the body of my daughter were left to decay, stinking, rotting in the garage, out of sight behind the lawnmower, a bunch of garden tools and a mass of empty beer cans.

~~~

Chris Miller, born in Edmonton, Alberta (the so-called City of Champions) in 1971, began writing short stories at a young age. Then Miller gave up writing altogether, opting instead for the world of work and bars. His 20s were spent roaming from odd jobs in coal mines and liquor stores to odd dwellings across Western Canada. Attaining his journalism diploma at Grant MacEwan College, Miller secured a job with the Wainwright Review, working as editor of the fledgling newspaper. It was a job that took no effort except for the strength to show up and the patience to perform mindless operations. In 2001 he took over as editor of the Cold Lake Sun. Now he has come out of literary hibernation and began to write fiction again. Miller's eyes are brown, his shoes are old and nobody loves him.
Article © Chris Miller. All rights reserved.
Published on 2004-12-18
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