Exo-helmut by Carlos Stravinsky
SUMMARY: A snapshot of family life.
"Why can't you ever hang up you're exo-helmut? You're not the only one who lives in this pod you know."
"Why can't you get off my dorsal thorax for five minutes? I come home from working all day long and what do I come home to. I love you honey. How was your day dear? Are you hungry? Can I fix you a nice plate of cadmium? No. I come home to your constant buzzing and clicking on every little thing I do. Would it hurt you just once to leave my exo-helmut on the couch for 10 minutes without bothering me about it? Great Kumbricidae!"
"Well excuse me. I must have been mistaken. I didn't realize that the Arkego revolves around you your majesty."
"That's right just blow it off. Your good at that."
"And what's that supposed to mean."
"You don't listen. It's all about you. If I want to leave my exo-helmut on the couch what's the big deal. It's not like it's toxic waste. It's my exo-helmut. You always have to have things your way don't you? Just look around at all this frou frou shit on the walls. Look at that fucking painting above the couch. A fucking harka with little baby harkas following it. It makes me want to puke it's so sweet and sickening. But do I ever say one word about it. I let it go. That's what normal entomites do. They have the ability to just let things go. But not you. You just have to have every single damn thing your way. And if some one objects it just goes in one cluster of antenae and out the other. No it doesn't even go in an antenae cluster. It just bounces off the side of your thick chitinous head."
"So that's what you think of me. After 15 years of pair bonding. I'm just some silly neska who nags you all the time and makes your life miserable. I didn't realize it was such a burden for you to put up with me. And you think you're such a bed of phyringian tubules to live with? Sitting in front of the holo-viewer all the time scratching yourself and expelling great clouds of chorine gasses. If you didn't have me to pick up after you what would you do? Live in your own disgusting filth. That's what you'd do. So excuse me for trying to make a nice nest for us."
The silence that followed their exchange was heavy like lead. Phzzt Txe Txe had a formless idea of where this was leading and didn't like it. It was too real. Words could be said that would change forever there long slow waltz of pair bonding. He was tired. So like he had done countless times before he picked up his exo-helmut and hung it up. She walked into the kitchen and he sat down in front of the holo-viewer. He picked up the remote control that sat in the same place on the end table that it had sat for the last fifteen years and turned the holo-viewer on.