The Woman's Face Was Pained Similarly
Elizabeth Ellen

for Gary

The woman left the man alone a week. The woman's thigh was irritated from the brush of the man's cheek. At night the woman soaked in a warm bath, applied ointment.
This was the sixth night in a row the woman had watched the same movie. The woman in the movie had a pained expression on her face. The woman's face was pained similarly. The woman in the movie spent two hours searching for her dog and then left her anyway.
On the seventh night, the woman put the movie in but did not hit play. An image of the actress appeared on the screen and music from the film started and then stopped and then started again. The woman's thigh was no longer irritated and no ointment was needed. The woman stared at the actress's face and listened to the music. The woman did not call the man. The woman lit a cigarette, used the back of her hand to brush the inside of her thigh. She would not look for the man either.