.:Seeds:. Corner – Ice Berg

Frank Bonello’s piece “The Angel of the Butterfly” 2011 Oil-on Canvas, 30×40

by Camille J. Severino

They sat together at the punk rock bar. Delilah’s it was called. It was their monthly ska on the first Sunday of the month. Nick liked ska. He used to like it more with her.

Nick stared at the bottles that aligned the back wall. This bar had so many bottles it would take years to taste each one. Nick thought to himself realizing he may have just found his new life calling.

Derrick Morgan sang, “Don’t call me daddy” from the juke.
“Why don’t we leave here?” Andrea asked him. He almost forgot that she was there. He can’t wait until the day he forgets her all together.

“And go where?” Nick said without looking at her. He hadn’t looked at her in days.

“Anywhere. Anywhere but here.”

They sat at the punk rock bar not speaking for longer than she could remember. Toots and the Maytal’s called out “Hey Yeah!” from the Bose system.

“You can go anywhere you like Andrea.” He told her staring down his glass of bourbon.

“Is this all you’re gonna do Nick? Is this how you’re gonna handle this?” Andrea’s voice raised a few octaves, which was always his cue that she was growing angry. It’s funny the things one is conditioned to when spending a few decades with another person.

“Three days of closing this place isn’t going to solve it?” she said getting bossy.

“How do you suppose we solve it?” He asked.

“We go home and we talk about it.”

“We’ve talked about it and talked about it and talked about it. It doesn’t change what you did.” This time Andrea looked away from him.

“You want another?” the bartender asked Nick who nodded but wouldn’t let go of his empty glass.

“I haven’t written since I found out. I have deadlines.” Nick said to Andrea with almost as much anger as he had when he first found out.

“And somehow that’s my fault too?” she used that tone that reminded him of her mother. Fuck how he hated her mother.

Wait a minute. He hated her mother. How did he not see this before?

For the first time since Andrea’s drunken girlfriend told him what she felt he needed to know, Nick looked at his wife. Andrea said it was his fault. He didn’t make her feel beautiful anymore. But when was the last time she made him feel beautiful? When was the last time she appreciated anything?

“Have you heard of Hemingway’s iceberg theory?” Nick asked his wife.

“What?” She gazed into his eyes. She had forgotten how she loved to be in his eyes. Andrea always felt safe and loved in Nick’s eyes. He was a fool when it came to her and everyone knew it. But this time there was a look she had never seen. And inside these new eyes she no longer felt warm.

“Hemingway’s iceberg theory of story telling?” He smiled for the first time in days.

“You see, the theory goes that you see only the top of the ice berg from above the water but underneath there is a whole lot you don’t see. That’s how a story should be told. Only give the reader the tip: kind of a device to wet their whistle. But still, it’s all the stuff underneath that you don’t see that truly makes up the bulk of the iceberg, or story.”

“What does this have to do with anything?” she grew impatient and looked away from him. “What in the world does this have to do with us?”

“That’s it. Right there.”

“What’s it? Right where? Seriously Nick, I don’t understand what the Hell you are talking about.”

“You’re impatience with me. You’re little fits when you don’t get your way. Your selfishness, all of these qualities were evident when we first got together. Even the fact that your mother is so sneaky when it comes to your dad; these are all the tip of your iceberg. These were the things I should’ve paid attention to. It should’ve been my clue. Because then maybe I would’ve known what a whore you were before I married you!”

“Keep your voice down!” Andrea yelled past clenched lips at the husband she was losing. He sat as still as a mirrored lake while she frantically looked about. The contortions of her facial expressions indicated that the realization of what she had done and what she was going to lose over it spilt over her head like a bucket of maple syrup.

Nick stood up and threw some money on the bar. “I should’ve realized there was so much more underneath you that I didn’t see. And to be honest Andrea, I think I have seen enough.” Nick put his empty glass on the bar and walked out.

She sat alone at the punk rock bar. The Skatalites were just starting to sing about a Monkey Man as Andrea counted the bottles along the back of the bar. She salted her husband’s bourbon while she considered how long it would take to taste each one.