Perceptions: A Magazine of the Arts

Perceptions MagazineJUNE 2014 ISSUE

What I Wish Hadn’t Happened…
By Tammy Delatorre

I wish we hadn’t moved to a new apartment closer to your job. A fresh start, you said.

I wish I hadn’t come into the kitchen one morning and found you staring out the window at the neighbor girl walking around her bedroom topless. I looked, too, just a peek. She had big pale breasts, cotton-candy pink areolas. You stood at the kitchen counter, eating your Grape Nuts as if watching an intriguing morning talk show.

I wish I hadn’t joked: “Look all you want; that’s all you’re going to get.”

A couple weeks later, I wish you hadn’t told me you saw her at the market because then I realized you weren’t just looking at her breasts. I wish she hadn’t started keeping her blinds closed because I suspected you had said something to her.

I wish I hadn’t tried to forget all about it because two days later a cop came looking for you. I wish I hadn’t acted like I didn’t know what it was about, wish the time hadn’t come for you to lawyer up, go down to the station and answer questions.

I wish you hadn’t called from the parking lot and told me the girl had filed a peeping-tom complaint.

On the phone, I wish I hadn’t defended you saying, “It was her fault—parading around for people to see.”

I wish your response hadn’t been “Yeah, she was just asking for trouble.”

I wish my girlfriend hadn’t pointed out: “You know they don’t take you in just for ogling.”

Now, I wish I didn’t have to keep our shades drawn, and when you come home, I wish you wouldn’t complain, “It’s too damn dark in here.” And when a large U-haul appeared outside the girl’s building, I wish it hadn’t been her, but me, moving on.

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Perceptions Magazine is edited, designed and published by students at Mt. Hood Community College since 1969. On Facebook at To purchase, contact Megan Jones via her email, megamind9 at gmail dot com.