Morgan's thumb is fanning through a pack of off-white envelopes, slowly, studying the "M" in each upper left-hand corner, then fanning faster, watching the "M's" dance in a jerky animation. They are Gillian's letters, Michael's "M's." Morgan sits alone in Gillian's bedroom. Most cabinets jut open—due to Gillian's sloppiness, not to Morgan's curiosity; the content of her letters is inviolable (Morgan will not read a single word). Still, he has found them—bound with a scarlet ribbon, no less—in a gaping dresser drawer under Gillian's lingerie. He holds the stack to his ear as if it could speak... utter suggestive phrases... sexy endearments... sweat-soaked superlatives. Suddenly, he lets the letters drop.

He looks around. The room (their room since Morgan moved in eight years earlier) has taken on a plethora of clutter. Gillian, like a myna bird, gathers things: odd bits of colorful this and that, fabrics, textures, images, memorabilia. Morgan's eye takes inventory... finally coming to rest on Gillian's pillow.

Never should they have lived together as a couple. Gillian talked him into it. He had just returned from Europe, having recently been published (modestly). She had joined a theatre company, signed for the season. Grand. "Stay with me," she had offered. "I'll act; you'll write; we'll make a fabulous duo!" It had sounded so idyllic. In practice, it was. For a while. Until daily life became a tad routine; they got used to one another... then unappreciative... then indifferent... then mutually inured; which, perhaps, was natural... except a worm had infiltrated. It fed on their complacency—though was not inner-bred; it got in beforehand, during one of  Morgan's many absences. Unless the worm had been there from the start. Did all relationships harbor worms of a sort that lay dormant, awaiting certain conditions to gnaw and despoil?

Morgan sniffs the pillowcase; its odor is hers... his... alternately... residual dreams of both no longer coalesced... 

Flinching, as the phones rings, Morgan picks up the receiver.


"Did you find them?"

He glances at the letters.


"Well hurry, will you? They just announced half-hour."

"On my way."

He hangs up. The Tampons Gillian forgot and asked him to fetch lie on the night stand—not, as she instructed, in her bottom dresser drawer. Freudian slip? Morgan saw them after finding the letters—which he now replaces, re-inters in their shallow underwear grave.

Honoring her request, he hastens to the theatre.



Ben is wiping...

Back to Table of Contents