5.02 / February 2010

Storage Space

listen to this story

The homeless woman was huge, loud, foul-mouthed. She cursed at the doctor as he pushed and prodded at her, called him a goddamn-no-good-son-of-a-bitch for invading all her spaces.

The doctor was toned and tan and to him, the woman was a house. He flung open doors, pulled up window shades, flicked on light switches; he ignored the way the house would flinch when the dark corners lit up.

You’d be amazed, he tells his wife at dinner. He describes how he finally lifted the woman’s enormous breast, pancaked against her swollen stomach. How he found the sandwich underneath: two pieces of moldy white bread and salami in between. How the homeless woman shut her breast over the sandwich like a curtain, slapped his hand away, said, that’s mine. I’m saving it for later, you goddamn-son-of-a-bitch.

The doctor laughs, spears his asparagus and bites off the tip. His wife watches him, thinks he is too tan, too much a man to know that all women’s bodies serve as storage. My body is a temple, she tells him. He nods approvingly, smiles as he chews. But she doesn’t mean it the way he thinks she does.

Amber Sparks's writing has been published or is forthcoming in various publications, including New York Tyrant, Unsaid, Lamination Colony, Wigleaf, and Necessary Fiction.
5.02 / February 2010