Florida by Lauren Groff:
My husband had to leave. He’d just fired one handyman, and the other was on his own Caribbean adventure, eating buffet foods to the sound of cruise-ship calypso. Let’s pack, my husband said, but my rebelliousness at the time was like a sticky fog rolling through my body and never burning off, there was no sun inside, and so I said that the boys and I would stay. He looked at me as if I were crazy and asked how we’d manage with no car. I asked if he thought he’d married an incompetent woman, which cut to the bone, because the source of our problem was that, in fact, he had. For years at a time I was good only at the things that interested me, and since all that interested me was my books and my children, the rest of life had sort of inched away. And while it’s true that my children were endlessly fascinating, two petri dishes growing human cultures, being a mother never had been, and all that seemed assigned by default of gender I would not do because it felt insulting. I would not buy clothes, I would not make dinner, I would not keep schedules, I would not make playdates, never ever. Motherhood meant, for me, that I would take the boys on monthlong adventures to Europe, teach them to blast off rockets, to swim for glory. I taught them how to read, but they could make their own lunches. I would hug them as long as they wanted to be hugged, but that was just being human. My husband had to be the one to make up for the depths of my lack. It is exhausting, living in debt that increases every day but that you have no intention of repaying.