In Montana I didn't miss one sunset but he never sat through one with me. In a wooden chair on a wooden deck it felt like I was adrift, it was easy to look out over the big flat dimming backyard and see it as a quiet ocean. Quiet was good. I watched the horizon houses blacken to a crisp under the sinking fire. You could watch it disappearing by degrees.

These were star quality sunsets and Montana was used to them. Not impressed anymore, which I understand, but he hadn't had any sunsets with me and I thought maybe that would be enough to make it worthwhile but it was not. I'm not feeling sorry for myself, I just know I was never crucial there in any way.

Before we went to bed he would put on a cd and he never asked what I wanted to listen to. I never spoke up. I wanted to see how many times he wouldn't ask. He always set the volume slightly too loud, and he always said There, perfect, and leaped into bed grinning like he was proving something, as if either one of us were happy.

One night he made dinner which came with a big loud fuss about how great he was for cooking for me. He was serious, he wanted extra credit. How much further did he think that would get him? I was already in his bed. Did he think I might start telling him stories, or enjoying his?

So he was making lamb something and bragging about how spicy it was going to be. I don't like spicy I said. He said Gonna burn your tongue off and laughed and scraped another wet lump of curry out of the jar. I watched him angling over the meat on the counter, dead, and knew what things had become.

That night I crawled out from under his heavy sweaty arm and snuck downstairs for raspberry pie. With my fingers. The berries crushed tartly together and the juice shone in the refrigerator light. It may have been the best pie of my life. I ate it slowly. I wanted something to savor.

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