Liquor makes me think straight. Makes me cherish my thoughts. One at a time. And then ignore them. And forget them. All of them at once. Over and over again. No residue. It’s perfect. Think, cherish, ignore, forget, sip, repeat.
I look into my glass; the barrel of my boozy gun, ready to shoot. The drink is half empty. Foam gone. Superpowers gone. Or changed. Replaced. Whatever.
I wasn’t aware. It came slowly and then all at once. I hadn’t noticed. So I thought. But it’s been there, right in front of my eyes all along. I had noticed.
“We’re fading…” I mutter to myself, “I’ve noticed that at home, you know. That’s where I first noticed it. Long ago. I realize that now.”
Ryan takes a sip.
“You know, when she sees right through you. I mean, doesn’t notice you anymore. Only your bullshit. That’s the only thing she notices.”
Ryan looks up.
“I’ve tried,” I say. “I have actually tried to go unnoticed. Be unnoticeable, you know.”
Ryan straightens his back.
“But she notices every time. Tracks me down and finds me. She sees me hiding in my dark spots. Tucked away in the shadows. In all the places. All my places. There’s no cover, no disguise. No hiding away. No going unnoticed.”
“Supernatural senses.” Ryan says, “Wives have supernatural senses, buddy. That’s what it’s called. You don’t know this. I don’t know this. None of the guys knows this. No one tells you this. Until you find out.”
My brain tries to follow. It’s slow. The booze. That’s a downside. A downside to booze I mean. There aren’t many. This is one. Let’s continue.
He continues, “they don’t notice us like they used to. The world doesn’t, I mean. No one does. When we’re gray. When we start to fade. Not seen anymore. Unnoticed. But our wives,” he presses his lips together, a disobedient puff of breath escapes….pfffff…. “You can’t hide. We fade from them. From their sight, from their admiration, from their praise. From their soul. But they will always see you. They see through you, but they see you. They see all your bullshit.”
“What’s this? Supernatural Senses?” I ask. He seems to know. Maybe he doesn’t. We’ve had a few. A few too many, maybe. Drinks I mean. Maybe too many. Maybe not. Who’s to judge. Right here, I mean. Right now. Who’s here to judge. My thoughts get a life of their own. Sometimes they do. This one seems to. Anyhow, my question, that’s what I ask him.
“I’ll read it to you,” he says. He grabs his phone from next to his drink, from next to his mask, from next to his worn-out self. He starts to read, “the users' sense of sight, taste, hearing, touch, and smell are glaringly, obviously and unnaturally more acute than other beings in the universe. They can see kilometers away with immense resolution, track things too fast for the natural eye, hear through dense walls perfectly, listen to sweat drop from someone's face in another room, smell anything over vast distances up to and including individual molecules and atoms, taste the smallest details to the extent of distinguishing at a molecular level, and feel the slightest vibration in the air, ground, and water.”
He looks up from the screen, looks at me, and asks, “sound familiar?”
“Christ!” I moan.
“Women have all the tricks,” he laughs, “we don’t have any.”
I let my thoughts catch up.