by Rose Gowen

It goes. It goes like…something. Like a stream: merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily. Of course there are snags, eddies, submerged boulders—but still, it goes on; every morning I wake up married. So married that I don’t even remind myself, anymore, “Oh yes, that’s right: I’m married.” I just am. Because we love each other, and he asked, and I said yes. And then there was the planning and the license and the invitations; the dress and the flowers and the cake; the china and the towels. My ring sits comfortably (so I don’t feel it) on my finger now. Life is but a dream.

Which is why—when I sat down on the train next to a (handsome) man, and noticed that one of his shoes had come untied, and the laces curled on the floor like worms in the rain, and noticed that his right nostril flared slightly (towards me?), a gentle rhythmic pulse (breathing me in?), and noticed that he was reading Madame Bovary, and I felt an almost irresistible urge thrill through me to put a hand on his shoulder, to make him look at me, and put my other hand in his hair, and draw his face up to mine, and kiss him, really kiss him—I moved over one seat, and put my umbrella between us.

Rose Gowen lives in Brooklyn and does temp work in Manhattan. Her writing has appeared in Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and Gargoyle: Arts and Letters on the Web.