Rug by Susan Tepper

You ask him to mail a simple postcard and he drops it in a puddle. When he brings it back to you it’s soggy like an old cracker dipped in salt water. Always this way with him. He doesn’t want to act responsibly. He doesn’t want to be your man. If you had one ounce of guts you’d pull up stakes and leave. You’d empty the kitchen of your Mom’s bone china she collected with A&P coupons over the years, the stainless steel silverware passed down by your aunt Rose, the linen tablecloth from a yard sale.

The rest, technically, belongs to him. The couch and the two brown chairs, the coffee table, the lamps, the bed and dresser. The rug was left at the curb by someone who had no need of a rug anymore. You both carried it into the truck so technically it should be cut down the middle with a box cutter.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Rug by Susan Tepper

  1. Thanks for the gift of prose Susan. Guys don’t really like rugs anyway.

  2. The rug thing reminded me of King Solomon and the baby. The story feels like there’s more to it.

  3. So much said about a relationship, and a life, in two paragraphs. A gem of a story! Is this a prose poem, Susan?

  4. Thanks everyone who commented on this one. Is it a prose poem…hm. I don’t know if it is but thanks for bringing that idea to light Stella.

  5. Kim Hutchinson

    Liked the postcard as the bearer of unspoken messages. Very nice.

  6. guy

    I think about how she could have easily mailed the postcard herself, waited until a sunny day, or simply put in the box and pulled the flag up and i understand why the rug is still intact. It’s nice how the postcard explains everything. Very clever.

  7. Amazing insight into a relationship using things, details, physicality. Oh, so very nicely done, Susan!

  8. Love that final sentence.

  9. Al McDermid

    I love the histrionics followed by the matter-of-factness of the last sentence. If she had any guts . . . A excellent piece.

  10. God, sounds familiar, some people are just hopeless … amusing and also sad

  11. Fabulous little story. The last line – perfetto. Peace…

  12. Oh my, this one struck deep. Thanks.

  13. Thanks everyone who responded, I am grateful for the comments and your insights into the story.
    cheers!

  14. Pingback: Week #28 – the postcard | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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