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It's Not About the Snail

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Words by Mil Silver      Art by Kell Padget

“Uh, Merdee, can we talk for a second?”

“What is it Mil? Can’t you see I’m busy?”

“Well, er, you’ve been folding clothes now for an hour. It wasn’t that big of a load.”

“What would you ever know about how much laundry I do? Make it quick.” Meredith Silver flopped down in the worn barrel chair she’d inherited from her mother and folder her arms across her chest.


“Well, Mil stammered,” clearly uncomfortable. “It’s just, I read this article a friend posted on Facebook and, well, he really isn’t a friend, I guess. I’m not even sure who he is…”

“But what, Mil? Merrideth said, clearly impatient. Spit it out. I haven’t got all day.”

“Uh, this article, whoever posted it, was about communication between men and women, I think…”

“Don’t tell me this was something from,” Merideth interrupted. “That website is pure B.S.”

“No, no. I’m sure it was a reputable site,” Mil said a bit more defensively than intended. “Anyway, it said when men have a problem, or when something’s bothering them, they just go to the gym, pump a few weights and forget about it. But when women have a problem, they tend to bottle it up and let it ferment until it just fizzes out and explodes all over.”


Merideth perked up a bit, a slight smile curling at the corner of her mouth. “The article said that?” she queried.


“Well, maybe not those words exactly.” Mil plunged ahead before his wife could say anything else. “But that’s how I pictured it, you know, from my own experience. That’s all. I’ve noticed lately that you seem a bit uptight, like something’s bothering you. The article said I should listen with a sympathetic ear and let you unburden your soul.”


Merideth sat quietly for a moment, uncertain as to where this exchange was going. The silence was more than Mil could take.


“It’s about the snail, isn’t it? He blurted out. Ever since I brought Slimers home, there’s been tension between us. I mean, I’m willing to move his terrarium from the kitchen into the living room, if that’s what it takes. And I promise I won’t leave the lid off again.”


Merideth sat up straighter in the chair. “No, Mil,” she said gently. “I’m fine with you having a giant snail for a pet, if that’s what you want. It’s not about the snail.”


“Whew,” Mil said, heaving out a sigh of relief. “I’m glad we were able to work this out so fast. Now I won’t be late getting to the gym.”

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