WEBSITE INSECURITY QUESTIONS
What was your first pet’s favorite color?
How many pets have you neglected since then?
This is about your father, isn’t it?
How often do you think about sex?
What did you drink on your first date with Janet?
Who was she there with?
Did you really think he was her cousin?
When you drive from I-78 to your house, what exit do you take?
What little winding road do you always miss right after that?
How old were you before you learned to drive with a stick shift?
This is about your mother, isn’t it?
What do you always quarrel with Janet about?
How many times has she said in the past year that she’ll leave you?
What’s your favorite Netflix show?
What was your favorite show five years ago?
Which show does Janet prefer?
Who’s told you repeatedly, “Will you ever grow up?”
What food do you most dislike?
Why does Janet cook it at least twice a week?
When did you hire a maid?
So what’s her name?
How could you not even know her name?
Oh, so you could do a better cleaning job?
Where do you think Janet is right now?
Who really goes grocery shopping that often?
How often do you feel inadequate?
Why are you blaming that on your father?
When you can’t sleep at night and stare out the window at the neighbor’s lawn, glowing green-black in the moonlight, then reach out for Janet, her limbs at rest, mouth parted in a perfect bow, where do you think you went wrong?
What joke do you tell that’s made you unpopular at the office?
Which delicatessen do you go to for your favorite sandwich?
Who’s still willing to have lunch with you?
What is the point of your existence?
What would/will life be like without Janet?
Is that pathetic or what?
Where is Janet right now?
Is that just what she told you?
Did she accompany it with one of those false smiles?
Do these security questions make you feel insecure?
What do you suppose Janet’s security questions are?
David Galef has published extremely short fiction in the collections Laugh Track and My Date with Neanderthal Woman (Dzanc Short Story Collection Prize), extremely long fiction in the novels Flesh, Turning Japanese, and How to Cope with Suburban Stress (Kirkus Best Books of 2006), and a lot in between. His latest is Brevity: A Flash Fiction Handbook from Columbia University Press. Day job: professor of English and creative writing program director at Montclair State University. He is also the new editor-in-chief at Vestal Review. Website www.davidgalef.com. Twitter handle @dgalef.
Read more from Cleaver Magazine’s Issue #33.