Duper's Delight

According to a body language expert on The Big Idea, a relationship is over
when one of the parties shoots a look of contempt at the other.
I turn to the TV—I was folding clothes—but it's too late.
I miss the visual cue the expert calls "a micro-expression." I'm curious
if it's a facial tick, a certain way the eyes flick or squint.
But she's already onto the next topic: always turn
your belly button towards the interviewer if you want to get a job.
Doesn't that mean you're turning your genitals towards the interviewer, too?
The host Donny Deutsch is nodding, his long arms open,
his palms toward the camera, which means he's receptive.
And I wonder about my husband's contempt, my own flinches,
what we say to each other with our faces. I call him
to come and hang up his shirts. When I point to the TV,
he tells me our twitches are nothing
but impatience, recounting examples of the stress
we've both been under as of late. My husband smiles—duper's delight,
the kind of grin the expert says indicates a liar
who takes a secret pleasure in his fabrication.
My husband looks away, another sign of a deception,
but he insists that his downward cast is cultural,
that Asians don't like to stare. He complains he can't win,
especially if I keep scrutinizing him with my giant American
magnifying glass. His bellybutton is at a 45-degree angle
from mine. I'm dizzy again, a condition for which I've diagnosed myself
on emedicinehealth.com. My husband is sick of my whining,
says it's only the heat from the dryer, but I know it could also be
my sinuses, anxiety, maybe symptoms of a stroke.
This morning an arrow of light fluttered in the corner
of my right eye. The image shone like an exit sign. All my blinking
and rubbing couldn't send it away. I can't tell you
exactly when the glowing projectile disappeared,
but I can tell you when my husband did,
exactly six days later, on September 10th.
How It Will End
Denise Duhamel

How It Will End

Denise Duhamel

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