He sat on his usual bench in the small neighborhood park and smoked his cigarette. On nice days like today there were usually several others in the park having their lunch or smoking or both. Some times in company with small children or infants. Today for some reason the park was empty. It was beginning to turn cool. It had been nice and sunny earlier. This time of year you couldn't depend on the weather. It might be sunny one day and chilly the next or both in the same day. The leaves were beginning to turn on the park's few trees. It wouldn't be long before he would have to wear a jacket when he came to the park or at least a heavy sweater. Autumn was here.
He lived a block from the park in the corner house but Emily didn't allow smoking in the house. Not even in his den where he had offered to put in an exhaust fan but no, there would be no smoking in the house and that was final. She had really turned into a Grinch as she had gotten older.
He should have known that there would be a price to pay for someone who was ten years younger than he and had been such a good piece of ass. When they first started dating they had screwed constantly. She had done things that he had only dreamed of. He had been whipped. No question. After twenty-five years of marriage he was back to only dreaming about it. It reminded him of a joke he had heard at Harry's Bar. One guy asked his friend, "What do a blow job and eggs Benedict have in common?"
"I have no idea," replied his friend with a chuckle.
"They are two things you don't get at home."
Hearing a sound he turned to see an attractive woman in her late forties sit down at the other end of the bench. He nodded and she smiled. She had a lovely smile he thought. Nice even very white teeth. Perhaps she had had them whitened. In any event her smile showed off to advantage. She removed a brown paper bag from her large purse. She placed it on the bench beside her and took out a thermos. She unscrewed the top and removed the cap. When she did the odor of beef stew waffed in his direction and he was immediately transplanted to his mother's kitchen. He could see her cooking beef stew for lunch. They would have had roast beef the night before and as she always did his mother was making beef stew with the leftovers. It was one of his favorite dishes.
He would sit in the kitchen talking with his mother just to smell the stew cooking. Sometimes Barbara would be there with them. Barbara was Barbara Ragsdale. She lived two houses down from them. Her father had been transferred by his company from Ohio about eight months before. Barbara was twelve and he had been eleven when she moved there. There were no girls in the neighborhood over the age of six and only one boy, George Harris, who was ten but who always seemed to be sick.
He had been glad when Barbara moved there because it gave him someone other than George to play with even if she was a girl. He remembered that she couldn't play baseball worth a damn but she was a good climber and she was strong. And even better she had boobs. Not much but boobs nonetheless. And she knew lots of things that she taught him for which he was eternally grateful.