Thanks to the Hip and Knee doctor for editing assistance.
Okay! Okay! I know that it is the oldest, most contrived situation imaginable, but it did happen. I wish that I could tell you in some sophisticated or unusual way that I discovered that my wife was cheating on me, but I can't. It happened like an old cliché from a bad story.
I work for an auto parts manufacturer. I make brakes. Somebody has to do it and I am one of the lucky ones. From four to midnight everyday, five days a week, for eight hours, I operate one of the most archaic machines you have ever seen. I get to wear eye protectors, earplugs, steel-toed shoes and a denim apron. I meet my quota ever day, and if I am lucky, I get a bonus at the end of the year.
I have a nice little three-bedroom home, a pretty wife, and two sons, both in grade school. After twelve years of marriage things were looking good, until today.
We have five stations that put the shoes together. They all run off of compressed air. In eight years we have had no problems with the equipment. Today, halfway through the shift, the compressed air system froze up. The air used to operate all our machines has to be perfectly dry. It is filtered and dehydrated by automatic equipment that never fails: well almost never. Tonight the dehydrator system failed to vent the collected moisture. I am not a scientist, so all I know is that when moisture and high-pressure air get together there is freezing, and everything comes to a complete halt.
Rather than have us sit around, they just sent the whole crew home, without pay of course. I guess you could say my whole life was ruined by high humidity.
When I opened the bedroom door, all I saw was a large, hairy, back, bouncing up and down on my wife, Marcie. Of course I instinctively turned on the overhead light when I realized Marcie wasn't sleeping.
"God damn it, Danny. What the hell are you doing home?"
I was expecting her to be scared, apologetic and ashamed, but all I got was a pissed off bitch.
"What the hell is going on?"
"Oh don't be such a jerk. You know perfectly well what is going on. I am sorry you had to see it, but if you had come home when you were supposed to it never would have happened."
"He never would have been here, or I never would have seen him?"
The hairy back had turned over and was now glaring at me with a smirk on his face. Marcie pulled the covers up in a half-assed attempt at modesty.
My big mistake was grabbing the guy. When he came off the bed, he was a lot bigger than when he was lying down. For my foolish enthusiasm, I was rewarded with two very, very hard blows to the ribs. I never got to lay a punch on him and I was on the floor, trying like hell to catch my breath. I am not sure, but I think I got a smash to the side of the head about that time, which put me out.
Somehow or other, I found myself in the hospital emergency room, getting my ribs bandaged by some sort of medical technician. Marcie was sitting on the chair beside the examination table with a disgusted look on her face. The technician finished and left the room.
"Marcie, who the hell was that guy and what was he doing in our house?"
"His name is Tony. He is a friend of mine and I invited him to the house."
"You were screwing him. You were screwing him in our bed. Our kids were just down the hall sleeping."
"Yes, I know. If you hadn't made such a commotion, they never would have woken up. I had to get my sister to watch them so I could bring you down here."
"What the hell was he doing there?"
"How many times are you going to ask the same question? We were having sex. We were fornicating. Is that so difficult to understand?"
"Is this a regular thing or was this the only time?"
"Tony and I have been getting together for about six months now. We were trying to keep it a secret from you. We don't normally come to the house though, but I couldn't get a sitter."
"Is it over now?"
"No it is not over. Danny, you are a good father and a good husband, but Tony is great in bed. I don't see any reason for us to end it just because it is out in the open. I promise you that we will not get together at the house any more. It is not fair to you or the kids."
"I am sorry Marcie. That is not acceptable. It stops now."
"Danny, if you try to stop my relationship with Tony in any way, I can guarantee that you will regret it. You just got the shit beat out of you and Tony didn't even raise a sweat. I can assure you that it will happen again. If you do or say anything, everybody we know will find out that your wife is screwing another man and you are too much of a wimp to stop it. All our friends and neighbors will find out first. I will see to it that your family knows all about what a pathetic loser you are. The guys that you work with will start to call you a cuckold. Think twice Danny. Your life will be hell. I bet even your sons will be embarrassed by you."
"Don't you care what anybody thinks of you? You would make yourself look like a slut just to put me down?"
"I will if I have to, but I am betting that you won't take that chance. Tony thinks you are a wimp and I think he is right. You are going to have to learn to live with it Danny-Boy."
"Who the hell is this guy anyhow? Where does he work?"
"He doesn't work, Danny. He owns Continental Classics, the luxury car emporium on Lancaster Pike. You know, the place you always wanted to go into but never did."
"Danny, he is richer than you are, he is smarter than you are, and he is better in bed than you are. It also appears, that he is stronger and better with his fists than you are."
"Why don't you just marry him, if he is so damn great?"
"That's why I keep you around darling. Tony doesn't like kids, and I have no intention of giving mine up so I can be with him. You get to play househusband and daddy, while Tony gets all the loving. Why is that so hard for you to understand?"
"I am supposed to like this arrangement?"
"You have no choice. You either live with it or the whole world will find out what a loser you are. By the way, I am moving all your things into the guest room. I don't think it is necessary for us to share the bed any more, since the cat is out of the bag."
I watched as Marcie got up to leave. I was sort of glad to see her go. "Just curious darling, but who took care of the kids when you were out with Tony?"
"Karen usually watched them, but once in a while I dropped them off at your parents house. Oh, by the way, Karen is the one who introduced me to Tony."
I made a mental note to thank Karen as Marcie left the room.
They released me the next morning. Marcie wasn't there. I had a choice of calling someone or taking a taxi: the taxi won.
The kids were in school and Marcie was not at home. All of my clothing and personal items were piled on the guest bed. I am sure that Todd and Terry would have questions about the arrangements. I was going to let Marcie explain it. It took less than an hour to get my new living quarters in order. All sorts of ideas were running through my head in the meantime. There was no way in hell this was going to play out as Marcie planned it.
The first thing I did was go to the basement and dig out my old phone recorder. It would only work on the landline phone, but I had no other option. Marcie used her cell phone for almost all her calls. It only took twenty minutes to hook it up and hide it behind some old paint cans. It was a first step.
I was feeling like shit, but I was good enough to go back to work. They gave me a few pains pills, but I wasn't nuts about taking them and then operating machinery. I grabbed a couple of heavy duty Tylenols instead. One thing Marcie had grossly miscalculated was my relationship with the guys who I worked with.
I told them everything that happened the previous evening. They all had ideas: some good and some bad. It felt good to know that friends would be there for you when you needed them. We had an eight hour shift ready to start and each of us was going to spend it thinking up ways to make things right.
We broke for supper in the middle of the shift.
"Okay. Did anybody come up with an idea?"
Glenn was the first to speak up. "I don't have an idea, but I do have a cousin who works for the son-of-a-bitch. He does all the detailing of the vehicles. From what I understand, he hates Demarco. If you need any information about the business, the buildings, or the work shifts, he can help you."
"That will definitely be a help Glenn. Anybody else?"
"Danny, I got two shotguns and two pistols. You are welcome to any of them. None of them are registered, so there is no worry there."
Thanks Barry, but that's sounds a little bit more drastic than I was hoping for."
"Well hell, you don't even want to here my idea then."
There was a little laughter at Freddy's remark.
"Tell us Freddy. Come on tell us."
"I thought we could tie him to a tree with his legs spread out and build a bonfire, Indian style between his legs."
Everybody loved Freddy's idea, but it got voted down unanimously. Kyle was the only one that hadn't offered anything, so we all just looked at him while we ate our lunches.
"What? Don't look at me like that. Yeah, I got an idea, but it is sort of flaky."
"Spill it Kyle."
"I remember reading somewhere about a prison in Arizona that dressed all of the pedophiles and child molesters in pink jump suits. It was supposed to be humiliating. I know this Tony guy isn't a child molester, but something like that would embarrassed the hell out of him."
.... There is more of this story ...