Steve Sibra




Waiting For the Paint To Dry

The paint on the wall; it never seems to dry.  Yesterday my brat child ran her fingers through the wet film on the surface of the sheetrock then wiped it on the carpet.   I was mad but she just cussed me and then ran outside and disappeared.  She has not come back.

What can you say to people when they ask how things are going?  “Oh, okay I guess . . . except the house is painted nine different colors and none of them will dry.  And, oh yeah, my daughter has become a little monster.”

My wife Alice would probably disagree.  If she were here.  Which she is not, as far as I know.

The thing is, the house talks.  I’m serious.  More accurately, I guess you would say it writes.  The house draws smiles in its own wet paint and then it writes on its own walls.  It erases it before I can even say anything in response.  Nobody else sees it.  It makes the writing go away.  And the stuff it says; well, it’s less than polite, I will tell you that.

It’s ruined my daughter.  The house with its chatty wet paint is like an uncooperative babysitter, evil and cunning, setting a horrible example.  It’s one step ahead of you and you can’t fire it like you could a regular sitter.  I guess you could set fire to it.  Maybe that is an option.

I hired a guy, name of Sherman, to repaint the whole place.  Inside and out.  I found him on Craigslist.  He looked it over, he seemed to think he could do the job.

Didn’t work out.

Sherman was in the laundry room getting ready to go after the wall with a paint roller.  I walked by on my way out to the front yard and noticed a gigantic smile in the paint on the laundry room wall.  It didn’t register right away but the smile was actually more of a drooling mouth with big teeth.  From the front yard I heard a scream; when I got back inside Sherman was gone.  The mouth on the wall was now grinning and licking its lips.

God damned house.  What will I do when the body starts to stink?  Lucky for me that people disappear off Craigslist all the time.

When Alexis comes back – she is so petulant sometimes; but when she comes back maybe I am going to have to move.  It will be a tough decision.  This is a great neighborhood – other than, you know, man-eating house with perpetual wet paint.

And I’m not sure how to market it.  How much do I tell the realtor?  What if the house doesn’t want me to move?  It could eat the realtor or any prospective buyers.  This has become a real problem.

Of course my wife Alice might have something to say about it.

She’s the one who painted this place these goofy colors.  She’s the one who looked me right in the eye, then stepped into the wall of the kitchen; walked right through the paint.

We were having a fight.  I should have sensed that she was up to something.  We always used to fight about how to discipline Alexis.  How to raise our child.  I might have known it would come to something like this.

Alice was the type who always had to win an argument.  No matter what it took.  She always had to be right.

She always had to have the last word; even if it was unspoken.






Steve Sibra is a is a Montana farm boy relocated to the big city.  He has been published in the USA, Canada and Europe.  Steve’s poetry chapbook is titled The Turtle Is Not A Metaphor and his work is linked from the facebook page “Steve Sibra – Author of Poems and Stories.”

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