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It was an overcast Monday fall morning when I realized my wife was in league with the mites…

She had laughed dismissively early on at my suspicions that I was being consumed by the mites that resided in the infinitesimal nooks and crannies of our family bed. They feasted on my skin, concentrating their ravenous efforts on portions of my left thigh, a section of my rib cage and the hollows behind the knees. I awoke night after night sweating, clawing at my body. I found that untrimmed fingernails were a valuable weapon in my war against my parasitic enemies. But it was only a temporary measure.

I thought my wife’s early consternation reasonable. We are, after all, sensible citizens of the 21st Century. But lately, I’ve realized how naïve I have been. I found my wife’s determined reluctance to join in my struggle odd. When she caught me one night during a reconnaissance mission, mummied in Saran Wrap and clutching a magnifying glass, she berated me. When I demanded her to swear an allegiance to me and condemn the mites as her sworn enemy she refused. She insisted the mites were in my mind. Ha! How, I asked myself, do you explain the wounds?

She forced my efforts underground. The mites redoubled their activity. The itching became intolerable. I surreptitiously listened through the closed bedroom door and heard her whispering, whispering to the mites. Plotting with them. When I confronted her, she acted surprised. Yes, surprised. When I insisted she wear my pajamas to bed and I her nighty to prove to me that she was innocent she began to cry. She told me she was going to “leave.” She said she couldn’t take it “anymore.” She left the next morning. Evidence, I thought, of a conspiracy.

I haven’t seen my wife in many years. Nor have I seen the mites. However, unfortunately, they continue to feed. I have never forgiven her betrayal, and to this day am unsure of her motives. But whenever I see the leaves turn, feel a nip in the air, inhale the hearthy fragrance of Autumn, my thoughts turn to that overcast Monday fall morning when I realized my wife was in league with the mites…

Date Written: October 20, 2004
Author: scoop
Average Vote: 4.5

10/26/2004 qualcomm (4): 5 for the splendid idea and handling of insane pov, -1 for new yorker/mcsweeney style.
10/26/2004 Will Disney (4): I like the punctuation on 'naive'. I like the concept. I'm not convinced the paragraph is necessary.
10/26/2004 TheBuyer (5):
10/26/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum (4): I was really hoping that, in the end, it would seem pretty clear that the narrator was reliable, and the wife was, indeed, in league with the mites.
10/26/2004 Streifenbeuteldachs (5): I slurped it up like it was Joyce. And I liked how the ending wasn't hokey or over the top. You could have ended with "They found her body 8 years later," but instead you took the high road.
10/26/2004 TheBuyer: This Joyce...she a brick-house, or what?
10/26/2004 anonymous: Jimson: That stupid cunt is in league with the mites. The narrator is totally reliable. He has wounds.
10/26/2004 Dylan Danko (4): Author, is it possible you simply have bad circulation?
10/26/2004 qualcomm: or hives. they might be hives. i thought my hives were body lice bites at first. have you tried bathing in a 115-degree bath of boric acid?
10/26/2004 Mr. Pony (4): My cat is in league with the bees, but this is a better story.
10/26/2004 Jon Matza (5): This short illuminates how at the first sign of trouble our wives conveniently forget about their marital vows and betray us.
10/26/2004 Moe-Ron (5): Dude, author. There are no mites! I should deduct one star for the insistance that there are mites....4.5 stars.
10/27/2004 Alfred P. Whitaker (5): One good turn deserves another. I believe the expression is: "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." You have done a fine piece of work here, Scoop. You are clearly a person of high moral fiber.
10/27/2004 Litcube (5):
11/3/2004 Litcube: I read this again. This is awesome.
03/5/2011 Marvin_Bernstein (4):