Bob Thurber

For a long time he sat and watched her and she said nothing, and that was all right by him. The less trouble the better.
He watched her smoke. He watched her pace to the window and back. He watched her cross and uncross her legs and smooth her nylons and examine her nails and puff small white smoke rings toward the high ceiling.
After a time she said, "What do you say we talk about something else."
She was smirking. "So what do you do when you're not guarding crazy women?"
He grinned. He couldn't help grinning.
She said: "I bet you get some kind of bonus for keeping your mouth shut?"
"Is that the case," she said.
"Does my husband offer you those kind of incentives," she said.
When he didn't answer, she opened a magazine and turned the page. She turned the pages too fast to be reading. Each time she turned a page she dangled her shoe on the end of her foot.
He wished he had a magazine for himself, a magazine and a cigarette. He wished he had a drink. He wished it was the end of his shift instead of the middle. He wished he owned a chair as comfortable as the one he was sunk into. He wished his wife looked like this woman, just a little, some small resemblance, so he could go home and fuck her hard and watch the changes in her face.
He wished and wished.