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January 15, 2014

(originally published in PARTING GIFTS)

     In the parking lot of the racquetball club, the man I had just met in the tournament said, "My wife is very beautiful--you'll meet her--you'll see." He spoke as a man who could not believe his own good fortune. "She is very tall--as tall as I am, and she has beautiful legs. They are very long with incredible calves. She has dark nipples. I love dark nipples. I especially love dark nipples seen through a nurse's uniform. If only I could get her to wear a nurse's uniform. She will do anything for me except wear a nurse's uniform. I don't understand her. Do you want to meet her? Come for dinner. She will make chicken and it will be terrible. She is a terrible cook, but she will insist on cooking for company. I usually do the cooking. I'm a terrific cook. What would you like? It doesn't matter. She will grill chicken and it will be too rare inside and charred on the outside. That's how she cooks chicken. It is the only thing she cooks, and she still can't get it right. She is so beautiful you won't notice the chicken."

     "I'll come for dinner. When?" I ask, concentrating on dark nipples and long beautiful legs and not on raw chicken.

     "Tonight," he says. "Now. Come now. It's already four-thirty. Follow me home."

     "Is this enough notice for your wife? Why don't you call her first?" I ask.

     "After eight years of marriage I know my wife," he says. "It's plenty of time. She doesn't need notice. I'll show you. Just to make you comfortable, I'll call and tell her I'm bringing a new friend home for dinner. OK?" He heads towards the pay phone in the parking lot.

     "Sure," I call after him.

     "Listen," he says when he returns. "Tonight is not good. My wife says she is not feeling beautiful tonight."

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