Thursday, May 5, 2016


My husband once saw Sissy Spacek in the airport and didn’t bother to tell me for three weeks. SISSY SPACEK! The actress who played Stephen King’s “Carey” in the year that I graduated from high school, SISSY ‘Flipping’ SPACEK, that’s who.

He didn’t tell me that he’d seen the famous Miss Spacek in the airport because it never occurred to me that I should ask him straight up, “Hey! Did you happen to see Sissy Spacek at the airport at any time in the last three weeks?”

My bad.

I’ve often accused my husband of talking to me like I’m charging him by the word, even when he’s not here to defend himself because he’s on the other side of the globe, traveling through airports for work.

His taciturn, engineer’s silence makes me jittery with paranoia. I can’t imagine all the people he might be seeing in airports that he’s not telling me about. Could be . . . absolutely . . . anyone.

I also can’t imagine all the day-to-day secrets he’s keeping from me because he’s met his daily word quota.

Like when I was pretty sure he’d taken my old and favorite vacuum and thrown it away but hadn’t told me.

We have two vacuums, one made by that charming European man and one made in China by people pretending to speak English. The Dyson (vacuum #1) is a five star wonder of better mousetrap building. The Craptastic vacuum (#2) shoots junk out the back of it onto my bare feet. The Dyson is old. The Craptastic vacuum might as well be old.

Monday, I wandered the house looking for vacuum #1—the good one. Couldn’t find it. I felt annoyance start to claw softly at the back of my skull.

After a second circuit of the house—still no vacuum. I began to fume and my conspiracy theory second personality began to mutter. “Who has my vacuum?”

I searched through closets and behind doors—nothing. “That husband . . . the one who never talks to me . . . threw it away. I feel it,” I said to no one at all. 

Around the house, I stomped. “I need my Dyson. Why would he throw my favorite vacuum away and NOT TELL ME.” No one answered. “I bet. I just bet, that my favorite vacuum died and he threw it away and never bothered to tell me the stinking bad news. I know it.” I put my head back and howled. Picking up speed I howled again and started to trot around the house like a zoo animal pacing its cage. 

“Sherwood, why don’t you talk to me?” I raked my clawed fingers through my hair, looking wildly for the vacuum.

And remembered.

The Dyson was in the barn. I’d left it there. The horse had taken a dump on the carpet my daughter uses to teach her little preschoolers ballet class. Ugh! Now I’d have to walk to the barn and drag the beast back to the house. 

The phone rang. It was my husband, calling from California. I said, “Did you see William Shattner or Diana Gabaldon or Heather Locklear or that chick from Deep Space Nine?”

He ignored my question. Weird. What's he hiding?

And isn’t it weird how vacuums are one of those strange items in the house that tend to blend into the scenery and become invisible in plain sight? But that’s a discussion for another day.

Linda (Suck Up) Zern

1 comment:

Jacqueline Barattiero said...

I'm no Sissy Spacek, but I did see Sherwood on the people mover at the San Francisco airport on Monday. He probably won't mention it...not that seeing Paul and I is really worth mentioning...But I thought it was pretty cool running into him:)
❤ You

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