This is a story I submitted to a contest sponsored by Ropewalk Press earlier this year. The winning short short was published as an edition of illustrated postcards. I did not win the contest, but I was one of four finalists. Maybe someday I will be published on a postcard. "Published on a Postcard" sounds like a rueful memoir, doesn't it? I would mail my postcard publication to my friends with postage stamps from the 30s and 40s.
What she knew
She practiced sadness her whole life. As a kid, she wouldn’t play in the rain because of the worms, flooded and drowned. She wrote poems about birds unable to smile. She shouldered sadness, proud and tall, the queen of her own small country.
Now her boyfriend and her new roommate explained kindly, in simple words, they wanted her to move out of the apartment they shared. They said, “We’re happy together. You understand, right?” She wasn’t surprised.
What did surprise her was the ease, the pink contented glow that carried her sailing through the end stage: packing, settling bills. Happiness ends, she knew. When their happiness runs aground, they will stand agape and outraged, crying for someone to save them. But I have my sadness, she thought, and I always will. I can eat my sad heart and I will never go hungry.