Pinned to my Jacket, a Note from Sonja

by John Lowry

  Jonnie: This is to inform you that things are not working out for us.  I, too, am in a total state of shock.  What went wrong?  Well, this may seem petty, but I am not afraid of being petty because we all know that attention to detail is a sign of intelligence; therefore, do you realize - or do you even care? -  that during the whole duration of our marriage, you never sang, hummed or even whistled, Autumn Leaves?  If you remember, it was Our Song before we got married.  You sang, hummed and whistled every god damned song ever written but you could never get around to Autumn Leaves.  This caused me indescribable pain.  And, since I am venting: another thing.  Boy, did you ever brood!  Thinking, thinking - always thinking.  About what?  All you talked about was baseball and what’s-for-dinner?  I’d say, what are you thinking, Jonnie and you, you would just smile.  It took me years to discover, NOTHING!  The man is thinking about nothing!  I’m married to a computer.  There’s a little light on but it’s not running.  Jonnie, don’t be hurt!  There were good things in our marriage.  For instance, your shoes.  I loved your shoes!  Polished, always new or new looking, never needing heels, that nice leather smell. How did you do that?  I never saw you touch them. You worked like a thief in the night, didn’t you?  Sometimes, I used to hold your shoes and I had a funny feeling.  Like it was you in a different form.  What else was good?  The way you opened mail.  I loved the snapping sound you made when you slipped the paper out.  It all seems so cool and important, like a diplomat reading a declaration of war instead of the gas bill.  I tried it so many times but I could never get it right.  And one more thing.  When I got out of the car to open the garage door and looked back at you, sitting behind the wheel in your suede jacket, your cool sunglasses and that blond hair!  Oh, the fantasies I had!  You were a pilot!  A race car driver!  One of these expert drivers you see on TV, spinning cars around, screeching the tires, what-not.  Did you ever notice how many times we made love in the garage on top of the bags of Lawn Grow?  Jonnie, I’m sorry we didn’t have babies.  I know I said the money and my job, blah, blah.  But you want to know the real reason?  It was too weird.  I didn’t want to look down and see something coming out of me like some kind of alien.  This made me feel so bad, I secretly went to a psychiatrist, Mrs. Hiller-Troup.  In effect, she said I was a mess.  I had the sexual life of a fourteen year old.  You know what I said?  So, isn’t it better than having the sexual life of a sixty-five year old (which she was)?  Thank you.  End of therapy.  Well, I hope all this clarifies why I am leaving you.  I’m going far, far away, someplace like India or Nepal.  I’m going to be a monk and spend the rest of my life thinking about why this world is so weird. Maybe I will write a book that will be made into a movie.  Wouldn’t that be cool?  Even though I don’t understand you I still love you in my way.  You wife, Sonja.  P.S.  I don’t want a divorce.

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John Lowry has been published in The Apple Valley Review , in Posse Review, and in Istanbul Literary Review .