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Silkworm Ink

January 10, 2014

Come. My family will be very happy to see you. They think that I’ve been alone too long. They’re old fashioned and believe unmarried is the same as being alone. Alone. Ha!  What do they know?  Bragging?  No. I wasn’t bragging. I didn’t mean it that way. Why should I brag?  Believe me—my single days were nothing to brag about.
 I can hear them say it now. “Good riddance to the other one. If you must know, we really never cared for her.”  You’re different. Yes, completely. I’ve told you before. You’re nothing alike. No. I don’t think that they will compare . . . well, you’re right, of course some comparisons are inevitable, but they will be in your favor. Watch. They are going to love you. What’s not to love?  Three years. We were together for three years. That’s all.  She was always . . . well, she was a neat, clean freak—always polishing, picking up, and washing dishes wherever we went. No. No. I don’t mean for a second that you’re not neat. She was phobic, yeah, phobic, and you are normal. It’s totally different—they are going to take to you. My parents and aunts and uncles are getting on in years so if they call you by my first wife’s name think nothing of it. You’ll walk out?  Don’t be silly. After all, she was in the family for over twenty years. 
The last one?  No. I don’t want to . . . Her name’s not important. No. That’s not important either. Who cares?  Size six, if you must know. Okay, sometimes a four. You asked. But get this, she wore a size nine shoe. Can you believe . . .  oh. . . really . . . well, uh, you’re taller, much taller. They always said she was too thin. You. You they’re going to love. I can hear my aunts now. “Finally he brings a woman with some meat on her bones.”  No, no, no, no, no, no, no. It’s not like that at all. I don’t think that you’re an ounce overweight. You are sooo perfect, it’s incredible. I’m the luckiest man in the world. They’ll think so too. They said that she was anemic and they talked about her eating like a bird. 
It was always one thing after another . . . No. Don’t say that. You they’re going to love. Her—they hated her nails. They had to be perfect and she was always doing something to them. Perfect nails. Eye liner too. Same thing. You’re different. They’re going to love you. Why?  I don’t know. Maybe because you’re not a threat. Kidding. I’m only kidding. What?  No. No. You wear just the right amount of make-up. You don’t understand—I like your looks. I love your looks. They are going to like your looks. It was the last one whose looks they didn’t like. It was her looks. Stop, already. This isn’t an audition—it’s a family picnic. 
Why are you tying that scarf around your neck?  Your neck is not fat and wrinkled. Put the scarf back around your waist. You are a woman, meeting other women who are twenty and thirty years your senior. Relax. What about my uncles?  They won’t say a word. Because it’s not their style. Okay. They will nudge me and wink. They’re old guys but they are still guys. They’ll think you are hot stuff. No, not because of the size of your ass, because you are hot stuff and men in my family know hot stuff when they see hot stuff. That’s why. 
It’s too late. No. I will not turn around. Your legs look great in shorts. Them?  They think cellulite is a diet drink. Please, act your age. I didn’t mean anything. I was just saying. I like your age. It’s my age I’m not too crazy about. Yes. I’m getting out of the car because we’ve been sitting in my parent’s driveway for five minutes. Yes. They have been watching us the whole time. C’mon. You’re already composed. Sit here any longer and you’ll decompose. What?  All of sudden I’m no longer amusing?   Okay, I’ll tell you what. If you get out of the car right now you can wear the scarf around your neck.

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