Iguana

The man tapped the tank. He said, “I think this iguana is my wife.”

His friends exchanged glances.

He tapped the glass. “Hey. Babe. Sweetums. It’s okay. I’ll get you out of there.”

The iguana lounged on a branch. Eyes rotating dizzyingly in its head.

His friends spoke quietly amongst themselves. “Is he joking around?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Ever since she left he’s been on a fast decline.”

The man’s cadence bounced off of the thin glass. “Look at me, baby. It’s okay if you’re an iguana. We can fix you.”

His friend put an arm around him. “Oka-a-a-y,” he announced. “How’s about we get going, huh?”

The man stuttered. “But, but, b-b-but. We can’t just leave her.” He pointed at the the tank, the iguana on the branch. His hand trembled, violently.

“Hey!” his friend shouted. “Enough. That ain’t your wife.”

“I, I, I. I know it is.” The man’s hand shook. He pointed. Could not stop pointing to the lizard. “That’s her. She left, and that’s he-e-e-r.”

“Yeah, she left! But, she’s coming back!”

The man weeped as he was pulled from the pet store. “She is back!” he shrieked.

His friend yanked at his arms, forcing him through the doorway. “Your wife is in the Amazon! She hasn’t returned yet!”

The man threw himself onto the sidewalk. Beat his fists on the ground. Tears puddled under his face.

Again, his friends traded looks. Of perplexity and embarrassment.

“My wife!” the man cried. “My wife is in there!”

“Come on,” said his friend, gently. “Come on.” He tugged at the man’s shirt. “Let’s get you a drink.”

*

On the outskirts of the Amazon River Basin. High in a tree, balanced on a branch. A woman rested. Waited. Hungry. Her eyes dashed. Darted. Back and forth.

A woman on a branch. With only the thoughts of an iguana.

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