Randa Jarrar: A Sailor

A very short story by Randa Jarrar in Guernica:

ScreenHunter_170 Apr. 26 14.00She fucks a Sailor, a Turkish sailor, the summer she spends in Istanbul. When she comes home to Wisconsin, it takes her three days to come clean about it to her husband.

He says this doesn’t bother him, and she tells him that it bothers her that it doesn’t bother him. He asks if she prefers him to be the kind of man who is bothered by fleeting moments, and she tells him that yes, she prefers that he be that kind of man. He tells her he thinks she married him because he is precisely the kind of man who doesn’t dwell on fleeting moments, because he is the kind of man who does not hold a grudge. She tells him that holding a grudge and working up some anger about one’s wife fucking a sailor is not the same thing. He agrees that holding a grudge isn’t the same as working up some anger about one’s wife fucking a sailor, but, he adds, one’s wife, specifically his own, would never leave him for a sailor, and not a Turkish sailor. In fact, he says, she did not leave him for the Turkish sailor. She is here. So why should he be angry?

Now, she becomes angry, and asks him why he assumes she did not consider leaving him for the sailor. Besides, she says, she and the sailor shared a Muslim cultural identity, something she does not share with her husband. She asks him if he thought of that.

He says he had not thought of it, and that even if she had considered leaving him for the Turkish sailor, she must have decided not to.

More here.