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    Barb Johnson

    43. Killer Heart

    By Barb Johnson

    Dooley and Tina are fighting. Or not fighting, Dooley guesses, but discussing. That’s what Tina calls it, anyway. They have most of their discussions while their three-year-old daughter, Gracie, is at her grandmother’s across the lake. Today Dooley decides that if he shows a positive attitude and keeps his comments to a minimum, they might be able to wrap things up in the next little bit. There’s a show about the Louisiana black bear coming on in half an hour, and Dooley hopes he won’t have to miss it.

    “It’s just that you’re so impulsive, Dooley,” Tina says, shifting to the general list of his faults. She’s pacing back and forth, back and forth, like a little engine that’s powered by fussing.

    Tina keeps a record of old mistakes handy on a constant loop, one finger always hovering over the play button. During any dispute, when she’s through with what is currently troubling her, she presses that button and everything stored on the loop begins to replay. In their house, the past is never over. The good news, though, is that once Tina gets to the Great Loop of Faults, it usually means the discussion is coming to an end.

    “You never think things through,” Tina goes on. “There’s never a plan for anything.” . . . Read More.

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