Outside of our home, a white truck with yellow trim salts the road so our cars don’t slide into a ditch or each other. From the kitchen window my wife and I see it slowly approaching. I’ve poured us coffee and she’s scraping butter onto her toast. She sets down the plate and sighs—there’s snow in the forecast for the rest of the week—and catches me watching my hand, which is holding a spoon, which is shaking despite my efforts to stop it.
“This is a big one,” I say.
This isn’t new, the shaking. I nod out the window towards the truck, tell my wife it’s the salt, meaning that it’s the lithium that’s making my hand shake. She smiles. It has become a joke between us, these small things like the shaking. I don’t know if my wife thinks they’re funny or she just knows that for me, they have to be funny. The truck passes us by and with it the joke. Our cars are safe for another day. I hold the spoon in the coffee and the shaking stirs it for me.
Ross McMeekin’s debut novel, The Hummingbirds, came out from Skyhorse in early 2018. His short fiction has appeared in places like Virginia Quarterly Review, Post Road, Redivider, and Tin House’s Flash Fiction Fridays. He edits the literary journal Spartan.