The night Janet saw the
UFO was the night she threw Frank out of her life. She had just finished
dumping all his stuff—clothes, records, comic book collection—into several
black plastic garbage bags and placing them on the lawn in a neat row. Let him
come home to that, the miserable excuse for a man. She’d had a hell of a day— a
visit to Planned Parenthood with her mom. Frank was too busy to or too
squeamish to be present, the hypocrite. His idea of fatherhood didn’t extend
any further than the end of his penis, the prick.
The plastic bags looked like aliens lined up on the lawn in front of the
trailer. Their shiny black skins reflected the moonlight. Just four bags. That
was all it took to get him out of her life. Four bags and four plastic tubs of
comic books. Frank’s precious comic book collection. The only thing he really
How could she have ever expected anything more from a big baby like Frank?
Already the trailer seemed more open, with more room to breathe, more space both
physically and emotionally. Goodbye and good riddance. Janet breathed the first
breaths of un-oppressed air in two years and she liked the way it felt.
Comic books. What a metaphor for her life. Her life read like a tawdry magazine
filled with every cliché in the book. Frank cared more for his comics than
anything else. He’d spend hours with them. “They’re going to take care of us in
our old age,” he would say as though that justified the time he spent. How
could someone be so anal about one thing and a complete slob about another?
He’d leave the rooms a filthy mess but his precious collection was the
example of organization, every book lovingly covered in plastic, labeled,
cataloged and filed away for posterity. And where was the prick now? At some
stupid comic convention.
He lived in a fantasy world, a comic book world of super heroes and impossible
villains. Impossible things, that’s what Frank believed in. That’s why they
could never get along because, deep down, she was a practical girl who liked
practical things, real things, like a regular paycheck and regular meals.
Silly, regular stuff like that. That’s why she was the one with the stupid job
while Frank read the want ads and comic books.
When every last bit of Frank’s stuff was outside, it began to rain. Janet went
in and fixed herself a seven and seven and sat down at the tiny table in the
tiny kitchen. She looked out of the window. She could see Frank’s stuff outside
in the moonlight lined up like an invading army of dumpy alien ninjas and
laughed to herself. Frank would appreciate that image.
She was having her second drink when she saw it. At first she thought it was
the moon, it was so bright and round and otherworldly, but the shape was wrong
and it was moving horizontally across the sky very slowly, behaving in a most
un-moonlike way. The object hovered over the trailer park for a while then
darted away as if spooked by something. A UFO, Janet thought to herself almost
giddy with the novelty of it. Frank would be jealous that he wasn’t here to see
it. I saw a UFO, she thought, just before the tears came.
2012-02-23 21:38:21 Nice start -- where's the rest?
Seriously, we have little more here than a big expository narrative about Frank. The UFO sighting is like an afterthought. No dialog, no conflict resolution. It needs to go somewhere. 2012-02-22 11:46:07 micheledutcher - bottomdweller: I liked the everyday ordinariness of the main part of the story: the sense of loss at breaking up. It was as if seeing a UFO couldn't even break up the sadness of the event. Well written for sure. 2012-02-22 06:30:37 Poignant and well-written. 2012-02-20 07:01:48 It felt like I was starting a story that suddenly stopped. No real exposition, climax, or resolution. I did enjoy what I read.