Tolstoy and G-Man
KELLY BLAMED Leo Tolstoy for her present domestic unhappiness. She had kept Anna Karenina since her college days, glancing at the large volume on occasion as the years passed and its pages yellowed. When Snowmageddon shut them in, she opened the novel and began to read of unhappy families—casually at first—but soon found herself immersed in Anna's sensual and vigorous world. The prose was so rich it infected her with visions of icy cities, gulags and lead-colored mountains. Her cells screamed for new fuel to burn. It was then that she started to drink Cabernet Severny and listen to Tchaikovsky.
She watched her husband scour through his work files as they finished their meal. A docudrama on drug cartels played at low volume on the television set, and his focus shifted from work, to film, to dinner very neatly, without losing track. He would clean the gun before bed. "I'm happy to see you reading the classics," he said. "Try The Odyssey next, or The Illiad." His dark eyes were sharp and intelligent but this didn't comfort her. She imagined his heart fortified with technology, diodes connecting chambers, arteries pumping enriched blood that blazed red like anemone. She didn’t want perfection but wanted her soul broken open. For now there were leftovers to attend to.
Mary Renzi's fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in decomP, Short, Fast, and Deadly, theNewerYork, Jersey Devil Press, One Throne Magazine, and many others. She also reads for One Throne Magazine, a beautiful literary arts journal based in Dawson City, Yukon.