Wednesday, January 12, 2011


She was cheating on him but he was completely in the dark. Her strategy was genius, accuse him of cheating on a regular basis – one day she found a blond hair on his Men’s Warehouse jacket and made him account for it. It turned real CSI, she wouldn’t let it go. She taped the blond hair to the refrigerator and drew red arrows pointing to it with her lipstick from Duane Reade, he owed her an explanation. He racked his brain to account for the thin blond strand – he prayed that it would deteriorate under the cellophane tape, but it was there every time he went to take a sip out of the two liter bottle of Mountain Dew. Was it someone from the job, a woman at the bodega? She made him jump through hoops, sniffing at his collar every time he came through the door. Going through his phone, his emails, tracking every move he made. He didn’t know why she didn’t trust him. He had only slept with one other woman, and that was at the very beginning before they talked about being monogamous. They didn’t use that word, she said “I don’t want you fucking those whores anymore,” he took it as a sign of affection. She didn’t exactly have a way with words, but her proclamation made him feel special, loved, “no more whores” was her, “I love you”. They had gone from the No More Whores stage to moving in to his small house, he already had a ring on layaway at Sears he looked forward to the day he made the final payment, he would get down on one knee, then a nice wedding at The Grand Prospect Hall, her mother had a CD that would be maturing, she’d pulled him aside one Sunday after church to tell him she had 8 grand to kick in for the reception.

But that day seemed very far away. Rarely a day went by when he wouldn’t find the pants he left on the floor with the pockets turned inside out. But it was all part of a strategy, she was the one having the affair. She was an RN at the local hospital, a cop came in one night with a kid who’s finger had been shot off, it was her high school sweetheart, and it was back on like no time had passed. He had a wife, and four kids, and two black labs – he didn’t want to rock the boat, but he had a libido for Godsakes and his wife only fucked him on birthdays and New Years Eve – a man has his needs. With all the stress on the job, the cockroach crack heads, the gang bangers, his hard assed Lew gunning for him, even the fucking hipsters rubbed him the wrong way, talking down to him like he was an idiot or something. The affair was so easy, he didn’t look out of place strolling into the ER, they could slip into an empty room or a supply closet where they could fuck, or he could get a world class BJ, it was working for him. She treated him like a man, for fucksakes, she didn’t get all over him about getting to every fucking soccer game, or ask him where he was every second of the day or night. And she didn’t mind having sex, she actually loved it, needed it, why else would she be texting him every twenty minutes or so. He had to wipe that grin off his face.

She would get home for work and immediately jump into the shower to get the smell of her cop off of her. She had to cover her bases. She would start right in, he had peeled the yellowing tape of the refrigerator, and Windexed off the accusatory red lipstick arrows which she immediately escalated into a fight. He’d made another payment down at Sears that afternoon, but it was all for nothing, he couldn’t seem to win. He didn’t dare reach over and touch her at night, she’d shove him away so hard sometimes he'd found marks in the morning on his chest.

He tried everything in his power to please her, he would cook his special spaghetti with three kinds of meat, use the fabric softener when he did the laundry, nothing seemed to help. One day he was washing and waxing her Ford, he liked to keep it nice for her, he had started to clean the inside, too, carefully removing all the fast food wrappers from the back window that the wind had blown back there, then fishing around under the driver's seat with his head pressed against the ridged upholstery that smelled of cigarettes and tacos, it was her perfume. One day, he found an envelope down there, it was a Valentine, not the cheap kind you got at the drugstore, but a Hallmark card that cost $3.75. It was four days after Valentine’s day, had she forgotten it was there? He’d bought her a dozen roses from the side of the road, and picked up a white teddy bear holding a red satin heart, she had said she hadn’t had time to reciprocate, it had been a full moon that week and the ER had been bursting at the seams. He wondered if she had forgotten, the card was very romantic, and she had signed it in magic marker, and made a smooch mark with her lipstick, the same red stain she had used to draw the blaming arrows on the fridge.

He gathered all his courage, she angered so easily, as he walked into the kitchen, she slapped shut her flip phone and said, “what’s up” like she didn't even care. He walked towards her with the peach colored envelope – the cat had her tongue. Maybe he ruined the surprise, she snatched the envelope from him, and disappeared from the room, he followed her into the bedroom, she had locked herself in there and was speaking in hushed tones, no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t crack the code. He wasn’t fucking whores, or any of the nice girls that would smile at him at Friday’s where he would go on all those nights she had to work OT. He had a few more months to pay off the solitaire, maybe he would throw in the necklace to match. She was a stunner, the only woman for him, he couldn’t bare the thought of losing her, he would do whatever it took. She came out of the bathroom saying, “spray the f'n bathroom after you take an f'n crap.” It was her way of saying, “I love you,” he thought as he gathered the towels from the hamper to put in the next load of wash.


  1. GEEEEZ have I ever been here? Oh was the stunner 17 year old gal I was with when I was 20...she thought back handing me after insulting her was more than legal and necessary...her perch was higher than mine...I thought my friends were loyal...they weren't...I thought she was loyal...HA! She asked me once if I liked being fu#&ed in the ass...kind of the "what's up?" in your Blog...I said what popped into my head..."*u^k you b!tch" - I still have my balls - I don't F*ck around." But the truth of it was I was still hittin' that shit even after I met my future wife...BUT that was before we said we were going to be "exclusive"...Even after that my ex girlfriend would call once a month and my wife would get a little jealous and over compensate trying to "recapture" my attention...I liked it! But it wasn't necessary...but when her ex's would call and "check" up on her...and that didn't work for me for some reason...

    so it goes.

    Loved it C

    Made me "think" hard...


  2. Ah, PaulE... such a fascinating theme, the secrets we keep, the lies we tell each other and ourselves...justification, payback, projecting, hypocrisy and self-fulfilling prophecies... This tale is so dark I find it difficult to read...taking you down memory lane, for better or for worse...we can only try to do better next time....

  3. Nice 'n' sordid... thanks, O.