What It Will Be Like

Natanya Ann Pulley

He is the type to wonder what life would be like if they had a camping trailer and she is the type to ask no one aloud if masturbating burns as many calories as sex does. They are both the type to talk about it later, but not at the time they thought of it. They don’t see each other much. But they keep notes of themselves to exchange.

They are the type to not have any life-threatening problems such as disease or homelessness. They will be depressed at times about their debt situation and sometimes relatives seem to ask too much of them without providing enough interest in or support for them. Then again they are the type to enjoy their independence from family and when either family attempts to get to know them, they will feel interrogated and annoyed. They seem to be their own problem in that respect.

They don’t really fight. They miscommunicate at times. Mostly because he doesn’t inform her of his plans until the last minute and because she has emotional needs that conflict. She doesn’t always say what she means, but he knows that and he likes that about her. He is patient. As is she.

They are the type that will go places and things will happen and they will build little realities around those places, which they think is what it means to be alive. It will make the times they do not go places in danger of becoming stale. But they aren’t the type to not live during their un-vacation. They are the type that enjoy one another and live through things.

One day something will happen, which will seem like something they haven’t done or seen or thought of before. It might be something to celebrate or perhaps something to mourn. They will handle it. They will talk to some people, look for resources. They will curse and pray and in the moments they forget about this thing that happened, they will feel a little guilty at first—as if they aren’t thankful enough or perhaps, if it is a bad thing, that they aren’t taking it seriously enough.

But the thing will pass. It might still come up daily, in small moments. Behind a word or image. It might feel like it is lurking, but soon it will feel as if it just caught on to something and is trailing behind. Like a seatbelt stuck in the door of a car. Not anything as comical or concerning as a gas hose pulled free from the pump, trailing along the asphalt road. Instead, this thing they lived through will wilt and fall off. They’ll bring it up when talking about the last year or years and how things have changed. But soon the change will be the normal every day life and the word “change” will mean something new, again. And despite the moment they smiled and clasped hands when it was a good thing or the moment they mourned separately—she sobbing in secluded nooks of the house or in an empty aisle at a store and he avoiding avoiding avoiding—despite the moments when they thought there was an end, happy or sad, when they thought it was an end of a chapter or perhaps an end to one story … despite this, there will be no end for many many years to come.

And that end they will have to endure separately without a chance to talk or joke or cry or avoid or point to it again. In fact, only one of them will be bothered to do such things.

About the Work

Natanya Ann Pulley

Natanya Ann Pulley is half-Navajo born to Kiiyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan). Her maternal grandfather is Tachiinii (Red Running Into Water Clan). She is currently working on her PhD in Fiction Writing at the University of Utah and is co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Good Medicine: A Collection of Native American Humor (Red Horse Press 2013). A writer of primarily fiction and non-fiction with outbreaks in poetry, Natanya’s publications include Western Humanities Review, The Florida Review, Drunken Boat, and McSweeney’s Open Letters Column (among others). Her poetry will be included in the anthology Women Write Resistance (Blue Light Press 2013).

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