Modernist

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Karen looked at Jim from across the dining room table. She seemed to gulp down glasses of wine faster than she could pour them.

The look on her face was one of utter disdain.

“So Ash invited us to dinner tomorrow.”

Jim looked across at her from his side of the table. Even though they were the only ones seated, Karen staunchly refused to sit next to Jim on her own. If he sat next to her, she wouldn’t dare say a word, but she wouldn’t sit next to him on her own accord.

Jim was too self-conscious to sit next to her, and he sat on the other side of the glass table, staring through it to see the tacky, modernist rug underneath that Karen had paid so much money for because she “had to have it.”

It was as though they were in high school all over again.

“Oh?”

“Yes. We’re going.”

“I was kind of hoping we could watch a movie tomorrow. I don’t know, maybe we could watch it together in bed? I could go get some candles-”

“We’re going to dinner, Jim. We haven’t seen these people in a long time.”

“I haven’t seen a lot of people in a long time, most of them people I’d rather see than these ones, but if I was planning on eating dinner with them and you asked to watch a movie with me I’d cancel and reschedule.”

“We can’t reschedule. Lisa’s going to the Caribbean in a few days, and after that all our schedules start conflicting.”

Jim looked back down at the rug and felt anger rise in his stomach.

“I don’t give a fuck where Lisa is going, honestly.”

“We’re going to the dinner.”

Jim sat in silence as Karen poured another glass of wine, clearly proud of herself.

He felt like a piece of furniture in her immaculately kept house, just another thing to be moved, rearranged, replaced.

“This rug is tacky.”

“I like it.”

“I think we should get it replaced. It’s so... Empty. Sterile.”

“It’s modernist! It’s supposed to look like that!”

“It looks like our sex life.”

Karen poured more wine, and finished off the bottle.

Jim continued staring at the rug.

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