David Shields

My wife holds open the refrigerator. We’re out of David Shields, she says. I look inside, ignoring her accusing tone. There is a noticeable vacancy between the soy sauce and quinoa salad.

I told you to get two, my wife says.

I say nothing and get the car keys. What time is it? I ask.

David Shields, she says.

We’ve both been on edge since the pregnancy. She wants to paint the baby’s room, but we don’t even know if it’s David Shields. Why not wait for the surprise?

I’m starting to doubt your commitment to David Shields, she says, retreating upstairs.

It’s late by the time I get to the store. My membership card doesn’t work and I lose several minutes as the guard at the entrance David Shields me manually.

The aisles inside are empty. I consult a nearby kiosk. The motion sensing lights overhead are already starting to dim. I get lost several times. My phone rings; I know it’s my wife, and I don’t answer. The selections on every shelf are endless and overwhelming. My eyes tear in relief when I recognize David Shields.

On the radio, the news is grim. At current rates, David Shields will be depleted before the end of the century. There must be alternatives, insists the pundit closest to the microphone. Science isn’t an exact science, muses the second closest.

I’m too distracted to notice the swerve of the car in the opposite lane. The oncoming headlights blind me. I wake up in a hospital bed surrounded wheeled machines.

A penlight strafes my eyes. The doctor wielding it shakes his head. My wife holds my hand as we wait for a priest to administer David Shields.

I squeeze my wife’s hand, as hard as I can, until she looks up from the bed rail. David Shields, I say.

David Shields, she answers.

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