Driving back was always the worst part for George. Laura always cried, and it wore on his nerves. That day, coming back from Portland, the rain was oppressive, gray, and suffocating in the summer heat. Trapped in the car with his sobbing wife, George struggled to find NPR’s Global News report interesting.
Peter and Sarah were in the back, playing on their game systems as was the usual. Laura was staring out the window with her finger in the middle of a book she had already confessed to him made her feel stupid. By the look of things, she hadn’t made it more than twenty pages into it. Not that he wanted to read it, anyway–it looked like something she’d heard about on The Daily Show.
There was definitely something unseemly about his wife’s infatuation with Jon Stewart. Buying books she never read was bad enough, but she’d taken three separate vacations to New York just to go to his show (a show which, if he had to be honest, George found more than a little tedious).
The Global News was over, and he hadn’t retained a single thing. Marketplace came on. Why did he always have to try and listen to things he didn’t really like? After all this time, who did he think he was kidding?
“Did you put that hold on the new Dan Brown?” he asked her.
“Ugh,” she replied. “You really want to read that?”
He shrugged. “I liked Angels and Demons.”
“You have terrible taste.”
“Says the woman who never makes it more than thirty pages into anything,” he said. “Fine, though. Forget it. I’ll just buy it from the bookstore.”
She shook her head and defiantly reopened the book she’d been fingering for the whole ride. She lasted about four minutes.
She leaned her head back, closed her eyes, and sighed. “God,” she said, “do you ever wish you had a better brain?”
“All the time,” he said.