I see him crawling out of the house each day at seven. I wake up early to watch him. I then go back to sleep, until I hear her calling me for breakfast. Expensive suit, black or blue in winter, beige or light brown, linen but perfectly ironed in the summer. I have never seen the color of his eyes. His aviator sunglasses always cover them, even before he closes the door behind him.
She says he’s a doctor or a lawyer, but I know he’s James Bond. He hasn’t introduced himself to me – why would he? – but I’ve overheard him talking on the phone, arranging the details of a mission. He sounded angry, yet determined and composed, a proper grown-up, she says, unlike me she means. He walks like he’s bound to save the world. A secret agent on a mission.
At night he comes home a wreck. His sunglasses still covering the color of his eyes. He seems exhausted, yet fulfilled. Another safe return. He then puts on his best mask and a new suit and goes out again. He drinks a lot, for he cannot stand himself sober. He’s usually accompanied by a blonde, tall, thin woman. A different blonde each night. She holds on to him in anticipation. They go in and she leaves at two in the morning after they exchange bodily fluids and one or two kisses at the most. Those people never share more than the absolute necessary. That’s part of the deal if you’re James Bond.
She says he’s seen him on the news. He has his own show, she says. That’s even better than a doctor or a lawyer. She doesn’t say that, yet I can tell she thinks so. A foreword to commercials, I say. She has that perplexed gaze again, like she doesn’t understand. She urges me to stop talking nonsense. I’m too poor to judge, she tells me.
The man has super powers; he’s rich and tall and handsome. I think I’m smart, yet if I was, I’d be more like him, she says. My only super power is I act nonsense and speak nonsense. Basically I’m all nonsense because I’m not him. They say your other half should make you a better person. She thinks she’s trying to, yet I don’t respond. I spend my time hating James Bond, while she spends hers fantasizing about him. That’s a settlement agreeable enough, if you ask me. Physically, she’ll stay with me, yet half of her is gone for good. The dream will be more real if she keeps it in her mind forever. She’s intoxicated with the dream like he’s intoxicated with alcohol. Like I’m intoxicated with the whole of her, even the part of her which is not here.
James Bond lives down our street. And he has stolen half my wife.
Mileva Anastasiadou is a neurologist. Her work can be found in many journals, such as the Molotov Cocktail, Jellyfish Review, Asymmetry fiction, the Sunlight Press, Ghost Parachute, Gone Lawn, Ellipsis Zine, Queen Mob’s Tea House and others. https://www.facebook.com/milevaanastasiadou/ twitter: @happymil_.