I don’t want too many distractions from you, my love.


“I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Marry me.”

“Todd, I love you but you know I can’t…”


“Alright, I’ll marry you, but only if you never bring up little Tabitha. Never ask about her, never utter her name. It’s too painful.”

“I couldn’t do that. I don’t know how you could ask it. She was my daughter too. Nor will I stop mentioning Chuck, our third ‘almost,’ aborted between the two miscarriages, the only one I secretly named.”


“Okay. Won’t mention them. Under one condition. We start trying for another. We can’t just give up!”

“Never. I told you I’m through. I can’t bear the hurt!”


“Fine, but only because I love you, and I know if I do this for you, you’ll get your old job back with McSimmons. It’d be the only way we could afford a child.”

“Absolutely not. Under no circumstances. My job ushering at the symphony may not make us rich, but it’s honest work and I hear such wonderful music! Plus I told Randy it’d be a cold day in hell before I sold insurance again.”


“Well, alright. I do miss those guys. But we’re too far away since we moved to the farm. If I must work in the city we’ll have to move back. I’m not commuting two hours each way.”

“Off the table. I grew up in this house, I love this house. Nothing could drag me back to that cramped, dirty town.”


“I could maybe live in Cobble Hill. I like that neighborhood and it’s not like your ex-wife owns it.”

“Too close to Stephanie. You know she’s crazy. I don’t want to see her again. Why not the Bronx, Flushing, or…”


“Okay. You’re right. I’d probably never run into her. Brooklyn’s gotten so pricey though, and I know they’ll make me start at the bottom, so it’ll have to be small. A one bedroom. And probably more Carroll Gardens than Cobble Hill, near Red Hook, under the BQE.”

“Gross. I want a two bedroom on Smith near Atlantic. Especially since it’s documented there’s a higher cancer rate in those living near highways. With you having beaten it once, you’re the last person who should want to live so close to the source. Plus we couldn’t fit half my sewing machines in a one bedroom.”


“You got it. But just to start. I’ll downsize my collection. Of course, in the city the kids will have to compete, even for preschool. But I guess we’ll get better at navigating the red tape with each baby.”

“Each baby? I was thinking one.”


“Fine, but let’s agree, fewer than six. I don’t want too many distractions from you, my love.”


Noah F. Grossman has published work in McSweeny’s and InDigest. He lives in Brooklyn,
where he sculpts and tweets. You can see more of his work here.


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