“When the stars threw down their spears and watered heaven with their tears, did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb, make thee?”
“What? God, Theo! You scared me.” Vera hadn’t heard him over the clatter of washing dishes. The man was like a little ghost walking around the house.
“I’m sawry,” he said in that baby voice she hated. He pushed up against her. He was already hard.
“Please. I’m trying to do the dishes.” She was hoping that he would take a hint and help out.
“You can do them later,” he purred. Apparently, she would have to be more direct with him. But why did she think otherwise?
“This brewing company is messy and smelly and you and Josh don’t help by leaving your shit all over the place. Either help or get out of the kitchen! Comprenez vous?”
Theo shrank back. “But of course, ma petit tigre.” He rolled back his sleeves.
“So, what do your comic books have to do with Blake?”
“My comics? Oh. Right. That poem is in one of the Hellboy comics.”
“Do you know what it means?” They both stopped swapping dishes for a moment.
“I suppose… I figured it was that God created Hellboy. That he created devils alongside everything else.”
“Tres bon, ma petit agneau! At least, close enough. Blake wrote that poem about a tiger, kind of a musing on why God created this ferocious beast that kills God’s supposedly most precious creatures.”
She hands him a big bowl to dry. “And?”
“What’s your point? You always have a point.”
They stopped again as Vera thought. “I was just wondering if the Rapturists, crazy they may be…”
“Don’t even finish that sentence.”
“What? I’m not allowed to think now? Is that it?”
“No. You can think. I’m okay with thinking. It’s just…”
“Look. I’m not going to run off and join a cult. I was just thinking about… moving?”
“Moving what?” She could hear the increasing fear in his voice.
“I know you haven’t thought about it. You and Josh love this little world you’ve created, but I keep thinking about the rest of the world.”
“What about the rest of the world?”
“Think about it, Theo. We have enough alcohol to pay our way on a fishing boat, I’m sure of it! We could go to France! Or Monaco! Or Guadeloupe!”
“Why would you want to go to Monaco? Or Guadeloupe, for that matter? What’s even there?”
“Something! Something else! Why is everyone so sold that moving up north is the answer? We’ve walled hundreds of thousands of people in here who are afraid to step off their own front porches most days! You want to know what’s in Guadeloupe? Freedom! Freedom from our own damn fears!”
“Say you’re not crazy and you could get to Guadeloupe. Then what? We’ve set up a life here, Vera. We’ve got a steady income. We’ve got friends. We’ve even got a poutine stand down the street!”
“You think this is a joke?” Vera slams the plate she was scrubbing crashing into the others. “You know what’s a joke? You’ve got beer, a deadbeat business partner, a best friend who runs around the streets playing detective, and you can keep your damn poutine!” Having dried off her hands on a dish towel, Vera threw it in Theo’s face.
“She’ll get over it…” Theo mumbled to himself, but he couldn’t shake this feeling like he had air trapped in his lungs that he couldn’t expel. And all he was doing with his life was holding his breath.