P.J. Monroe's Published Writing

Thursday, April 11, 2013



            “Fuezle!” I cried out, in the half-frantic, half-asleep way of someone just awoken.  I had been awoken by my husband.  He was trying to be quiet.  Trying to be quiet is a pretty sure way to wake someone up.  I don’t know why.

            “It’s alright; I took care of it,” my husband assured me.

            “What?” I asked.  I had been sneezing all day and I couldn’t take it anymore and finally took an antihistamine.  One little pink pill and I was knocked out for hours.  My husband came home from work and saw me sleeping off the medicine.  He tried to be quiet and, consequently, woke me up from a very deep sleep.  I didn’t actually know any of this at the time, as my head was still wrapped around the little pink pill, leading me to ask my question.

            “Hey, you’re not sneezing,” my husband remarked.  No, no I wasn’t.  Which meant that I had taken an antihistamine.  Which meant I had been sleeping.  Which meant my husband had woken me up when he got home.  Suddenly, it all made so much sense.  I shook some more of the sleep out of my head and looked at my husband.

            “Was I saying something?”

            Look, nobody every said I was bright, even in my best moments.  And this was not one of my best moments.

            “You asked about Fuezle.  I said I took care of it.”

            “Oh, that’s good!  Oh, I’m so excited!  Aren’t you excited, Kitty?” I asked the bundle of fur on my legs.  The cat apparently had not been awoken by my husband coming in and she apparently was not all that excited. 


            I waited days for Fuezle.  I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I was so excited.  I couldn’t focus on my work.  I could barely sleep or eat.  I just bounced around the house, making ready for Fuezle.  My husband was just as excited, but he’s much more mellow than I.  He went to work everyday.  I would kiss him good-bye and then flutter around the house, a butterfly on its little butterfly errands.  The day would pass slowly, until finally I would hear the front door open.

            “Fuezle?” I would scream to my husband from whatever part of the house I was in.

            “Not today, Dear,” he would say.

            I would be disappointed and mope all evening, while my husband would tell me I couldn’t let all my emotions get wrapped up in this one thing.

            “It’s not a thing! Fuezle!”

            “Yes, Fuezle,” he would say, calmly. 

            But his act wasn’t working on me.  He was trying to keep busy, trying to distract himself from the anticipation of Fuezle.  He would go to work early, work hard and late, then he would come home and putter from project to project, never finishing any of them.  He started to build a cat post with a little bed on the top for Kitty to use.  He started to organize the front closet.  He started to put in a new kitchen sink.  As for me, I spent my days waiting and cleaning up the messes of his half finished projects.  I spent my evenings pacing and pouting.  I spent my nights dreaming of Fuezle.


            Finally, a couple of weeks after my husband had woken me from a sound sleep, I heard the front door open.  Even before I could call out what was now my traditional greeting, my husband yelled, “FUEZLE!”

            I came running, the cat at my heels.  The two of us lined up in front of my husband, who was holding a rather large box.  I smiled so hard my teeth hurt.  The three of us went to the dining room table.  My husband went to get scissors, while the cat and I waited.  Kitty kept nuzzling the box, marking her territory.

            “My box.  My Fuezle.  Mine.”

            When my husband returned, he cut open the box and pulled out the packing peanuts.  There it was.  It seemed like we had waited forever and now, there it was.  Right in the box.  Fuezle.  The cat nuzzled some more while my husband and I exchanged gazes.  Then the three of us stared into the box.  And all was good.  Because of Fuezle.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Air Conditioning



It was summer in Chicago,

Ninety-five degrees and almost the same percent of humidity;

And then the air conditioning went out


And then the air conditioning went out;

I really can’t establish that fact enough;

The Air Conditioning Went Out!

So, all the windows were open and the ceiling fans turned on;

Ceiling fans give me a headache

because I can see them out of the corner of my eye,

twirling and twirling and twirling and making me motion sick;

I shed most of my clothes while he went to the utility room;

I was putting ice cubes into all the animals’ water bowls,

when he came back, wet up to his ankles;

“I think something is wrong with the air conditioner,”

I would have smiled at all of the silliness of the scene,

if it wasn’t for the fact that it was getting hotter by the second


Now, the cat didn’t mind because cats like to be hot;


But bunny rabbits do not like it,

which might explain why I have two bunnies and only one cat;

I understand bunnies better;

I found a shady spot in the cross breeze and I sat there,

wetting down the bunnies’ ears with cool water;

While he and the cat rushed about, calling repair men,

who always said, “tomorrow,”

my charges and I fell into a sweat soaked sleep right there on the hallway floor


A loud noise woke me up and I left my furry friends to go to the window;

A deep green sky;

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight, Red sky in the morning…

Wait, that doesn’t apply here;

Green skies are for thunderstorms;

Lightning flashed and thunder clapped

and it was deliciously dark with cool, dare I say almost cold, winds;

I got my air conditioning