Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Weird Nightmares on Normal Street

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Weird Nightmares on Normal Street

Article excerpt

IN the early days of our marriage, before we had settled on the unwritten ground rules for argument that married couples establish by trial and error, my husband and I had a major falling-out.

I don't recall what it was about, only that we were eating dinner at the time. One thing led to another, accusations and recriminations were flying back and forth across the table, and it suddenly seemed a fine and satisfying thing to fling my plate against the wall. The plate shattered, leaving bits of food stuck in globs amid the fleur de lis pattern of the wallpaper.

I had watched enough Bette Davis movies to know that the next scene calls for a door-slamming exit. On the way out I heard my husband yelling: "And don't come back!" I considered my options, which were limited. No money in my pockets, and of course, I hadn't thought to bring a purse. We had no family in the town we had picked for cheap college tuition and low rent. Our friends were social acquaintances who'd have been shocked to hear the sort of things I wanted to say that night. My husband and I were each other's friends and family, he was the only one within 300 miles that I knew well enough to rant at. That year we were living on Normal Street, which I think will always be my favorite address. As I strode purposefully up the block I realized that it had turned dark, it was cold and I hadn't bothered to grab a coat. (High drama would have been compromised by rummaging in the hall closet). If I'd had a purse it might have come in handy to bop the guy on the head who emerged from the shadows and exposed a part of his anatomy I didn't expect to see on Normal Street (or anywhere else). I turned and ran, full-tilt boogie back home, without looking back. When I reached our front yard, I ventured a backward glance and saw a man walking toward our house. …

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