The Inside Voice

“Kalmia, Kalmia, Kalmia!” Jamie shouted at her husband.

“OK…” he said, frowning.

“It’s a mountain laurel,” she explained.

“How am I supposed to know that?” Bob said.

“I told you at least three times.”

“No you didn’t.”

Maybe it was two, she thought. It was definitely more than one. You’re a Dodo Head, Bob, she thought.

“I did,” she said, mumbling into her potted plant.

“You cooking dinner after this?”

“Yep.” She lost herself in the smell of the soil, the sizing of the hole, and the critters in the dirt. She watered in the plant and watched the liquid soak into the ground.

Why didn’t her words soak into his head? She knew about his 12 gauge shotgun. K-A-L-M-I-A. It’s only six letters for fuck’s sake. The next time he talked about that damn gun, she was going to whap him on the head with one of her garden catalogs.

She’d put together lasagna earlier and pulled it out of the fridge and put it in the oven. She went upstairs to shower.

“You making dinner?” he called from the living room.

“Yes.” I said I would, didn’t I? In the shower, she thought of ways she was going to tell him to pay attention. She’d slap him in the face the next time he said, “How was I supposed to know?”

Maybe not. That was a bit more than he deserved. How about, “I’m fucking tired of being ignored!”

She took the lasagna out of the oven and called him to dinner.

“How’s the Kalmia doing?”

“It has a good root system, it should do well in that spot.”

“Likes the shade?”


“I need some supplies for my shotgun,” he said between mouthfuls of lasagna.

“Oh? I saw that Bass Pro has a sale on ammo.”

“I missed that. Want to go after dinner?”

“Sure.” She’d hit him with the catalog next time.

K = kalmia

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