The Cedarville Review 2021

It’s okay to be married to a gamophobic, at least for a while. Just don’t try to uproot your life with one is all I can say. To most, gamophobia presents itself in singles living in NYC getting groped at bars and thrill seeking to feel young and commitment free, but it manifests itself in my wife as the inability to let anything in. We got married, as I am a living testament to today. My fears of her gamophobia were appeased when she said yes to my asking her to marry me. But the longer I live, the more I realize how long that five-second pause between “marry me” and “yes” really was. To medical doctors, gamophobia isn’t diagnosable. It remains an anomaly people ignore. Usually those who suffer from it suffer through their marriages with the comforting fact that at least they aren’t alone, destined to die as “old maids.” I remember in October 2020 talking with her as she chopped the ends of brussel sprouts tossing the leafy, green head in the pan already shimmering with oil and the reject pieces into the trash, sometimes chopping off too much of the bottom, wasting the goodness of the leafy green, but I never corrected her. She liked to get all the brown spots off. Sometimes the speckles surrounding the top of brussels were not so easily removed as peeling back the layers of the brussel sprout. She had to cut them off too—sometimes leaving the sprouts cubed in odd ways with sharp pointy edges where the knife removed the usable pieces tainted slightly with black speckles of age. Her eyes go white when I talk of moving back home. Like sheets of paper floating through the wind after a street vendor trips and drops his newspapers. Everything stops and he doesn’t even run after the valuable assets and income he lost. He just watches them float away. RUNNING INTO PAPER WALLS JULIA SCHULTZ