Any innocent pleasure is a real good: there are not so many of them.
Somehow, my wife wasn’t happy about me leaving last night. Right after we put the baby to bed she told me she wanted to go to bed herself. I told her that in that case, Saul had texted me and wanted to hang out and that I was going to go see him. She demanded to see the text to make sure I wasn’t going to see a girl, I showed her freely.
“You don’t want to stay and spend time with me?” She asked, it was the standard response, it only came if I said I was going to do something.
“Sure, what do you want to do?”
“Nothing, I’m just going to go to bed.”
“Ooookay. If you want to do something, let’s do something.”
“It’s Ok, I don’t want to spend time with you. I just want to watch a show and go to bed.”
This is the typical dance. She didn’t want to spend time with me, but she also didn’t want me to do anything besides spend time with her. Much like our sex life, she didn’t want to have sex with me, but she certainly didn’t want me to have sex with anyone else either. I told her I’d be back before too late.
“Heeeeyyy buddy,” Saul called from upstairs as I shut the door, it was always unlocked when he was home by himself.
He was in his usual shorts and t-shirt, sitting in the recliner of his Mom’s cozy living room, the large window overlooked the lights of the sleepy town. I could tell he’d been seeing girls again, he’d lost weight, no doubt from a heavy workout regimen, and trimmed his thick beard.
Seeing Saul since he moved back to town has been nice. Like old times. I found a couple of old friends stashed in the bottom of my humidor at home, two Dominican coffee-black maduros of a certain label that Saul and I used to smoke as our standbys since high school, these particular sticks had to be over 6, 7 years old now. I had brought the cigars with me, the distinctive aroma of their silky white smoke, full of black pepper, cedar, and freshly roasted coffee; with each puff the years turned backwards through the ethereal haze. Saul felt it too. Many an afternoon after school we’d spent smoking cigars, tinkering around his garage working on cars, watching Top Gear, or sitting on his deck, talking of crazy plans and ideas and dreams. I know, we were strange kids. Here we were again, sitting, smoking cigars, drinking tea, watching Grand Tour, making fun of Jeremy Clarkson, and shooting the shit; warmth and gaiety filled the room.
“It’s been good, see here,” Saul turned his phone to me, showing a photo of a pretty southeast Asian woman. “She’s mid twenties, married, just visiting town for today, she came by this afternoon, I still hurt, God, love hookup apps.”
He clutched his crotch and laid back. I was a bit surprised, first, he supposedly had a girlfriend (she lived over an hour away, but still), and second he hadn’t fooled around with a married woman in years and said he never would again (Saul had fallen for that one, and it didn’t end well when she went back to her husband). Third, how had he found her and I hadn’t? I had been on Tinder, CL, and OKC all day, lucky bastard, that’s ok, I wasn’t really motivated for casual sex right now anyways. I wanted to ask him what app he used, but I didn’t dare. I wanted to tell him about my own illicit relations, but it would just be locker room bravado at this point, and wouldn’t be right. I had wanted to confide in him about Sierra’s blackmail, about how it all had started and ended, but the time was passed, I didn’t need a shoulder to cry on any longer, I just needed a little more time.
“What about your girl in _____?” I asked instead.
“She’s in college, always partying, I figure we have kinda an open relationship.”
If I needed anyone to confide in, it would be Saul, I strongly suspected he’d cheated on his last girlfriend (that definitely was not an open relationship), and he’d made it clear that he didn’t mind being the other guy for married women. Besides the fact that I trusted him like a brother, except when he was drunk. But, I let it lie, the evening was too enjoyable to spoil it with serious conversation, though Saul would probably pat me hard on the back and congratulate me on hitting twenty year old pussy, after telling me I should stop because he loves my wife and son like his own.
The conversation went from women, to cars, to injecting cream with hash oil, to physics. Apparently Saul’s been drinking with a guy who works at CERN with the Large Hadron Collider, he has a vacation home out here. We talked about his research, the Higgs boson (god particle), anti-matter, etc. It is fun to talk about physics from the bird’s eye view, but I barely managed to get through it in college. Calculus saved me. Funny that neither Saul nor I have a degree between us but we always end up talking about this kind of stuff. Armchair scientists, that’s what reading too much Ars Technica will turn ya into.
“Is that my Ziggy Stardust?” I asked, seeing a corner of the album cover poking out from under one of his mom’s garden magazines.
“Yeah, I think so, found it in the garage. Either way, you should take it, I don’t listen to CD’s anymore, everything is on the computer for me.”
I picked it up, covered in dust inside and out, but the disc was immaculate. Funny, I’d posted a track from this album yesterday. I popped it in on the drive home, the familiar snare and kick rhythm began, and then David’s feeble voice,
“Pushing through the market square, so many mothers sighing, news had just come over, we had five years left to cry in…”
What the hell, how about another Bowie for today: