Literature 6-24-2008

miniStories: “My First Wife” by John Jodzio

"My First Wife" by John Jodzio is a miniStories winner selected by novelist David Oppegaard


My First Wife

         It was our anniversary and we celebrated with a cupcake and a single candle. I’d found some walkie-talkies in the dumpster and you ran outside to see if they worked. I sat at the kitchen table and listened as you told me that you thought you heard “truckers in between the static of us.”

         The next year, I brought you a rock polisher I’d found at a garage sale. I know, I know, not very romantic. Still, you once had told me that you adored polished agates like the ones you saw in the bins at the curiosity shoppes. You told me that you liked the idea of holding a piece of rough earth in your hand and then hours later seeing it buffed it to a high shine.

          I remember that you read the instructions for the rock polisher to me out loud. It was hot and we were sitting on that shit brown couch of ours that we’d found on the curb and huffed the 14 blocks home. As you read, your voice was full and confident, like you were announcing a fire sale on tires or carpet. Be prepared for the constant sound of rolling rocks, you announced. Be prepared for the constant noise.

          I laughed it off — how loud could it really be, I said, how loud?

          Only when we started it up did we know. It was incredible, that sound. It was like there was an airplane passing right over the top of us, swallowing up everything we said. I kept telling you to switch it off, but you could not understand me. Everything that came out of my mouth sounded wrong and hissing.

About the author: John Jodzio is a past winner of the Loft Mentor Series and a recipient of a Jerome Foundation SASE Grant. His writing has appeared in the Rake Magazine, Florida Review, and Opium and in a number of web literary journals, including McSweeney’s and Pindeldyboz. He’s won a Minnesota Magazine fiction prize and the Opium 500-Word Memoir competition. He was recently awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant to finish a collection of short stories titled If You Lived Here, You’d Already Be Home. He lives in Minneapolis.

John Jodzio

John Jodzio is a winner of the Loft-McKnight Fellowship.  His stories have appeared in a variety of places including This American Life, McSweeney’s, and One Story. He’s the author of the short story collections, “If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home” (Replacement Press) and “Get In If You Want To Live” (Paper Darts Press).  He lives in Minneapolis.  Find out more at …   read more