Thanks as usual to Mikothebaby for her tireless efforts and consumate skill in editing this story. As most of you know with my terrible punctuation and addiction to commas, without her you would have a lot of trouble trying to read this.
There comes a time in every marriage when the bloom is off of the rose. Not that the love is gone or that you hate each other, but things are just not new anymore. It can be the best time in the relationship for some couples and the worst for others. This can be a make or break point for marriages because you have to seriously look at things and decide whether or not you want to continue to stay married to that person. The term, "It's cheaper to keep her," had to be coined by a guy who had reached that point.
It comes roughly about the same time when you look at the girl you fell in love with and married, only to realize that she's somehow been replaced with her mother, whom you hate. That svelte, feminine body has been upgraded and accessorized until you no longer recognize or even want it.
At the same time, personalities, both yours and hers, have evolved to the point where the thing you dreamed about when you met has come true. You are both truly totally honest with each other. First off, we need to understand that humans, though we talk about it all the time and respect it, are simply not cut out for real honesty. We simply can't handle it. When you love someone, you almost have to lie to them and do it regularly.
We lie in a thousand different ways, verbally being only one of them. But once we reach that certain age where we've become fully evolved, where we become the ultimate version of ourselves, we simply no longer give a shit.
We become so comfortable with who and what we are that we simply don't feel it's worth the effort to pretend any more. That's when the lying stops and the rubber meets the road.
So you've got a beer belly ... Let it all hang out. You're lazy ... Buy yourself a new couch. Your eyesight sucks ... Ditch the contacts and buy a bigger fucking TV. You have no need to hide any of your imperfections from the little woman anymore because you're married to her and you've been together for so long that you have to put up with each other's shit anyway.
Don't worry guys, they do it too. For women this is the time to throw away the pushup bras and stop wearing high heels. They've realized that all of sexy underwear is just plain uncomfortable and all you're going to do is take it off of them to get what you want anyway. So they buy a hundred pairs of granny panties and dare you to say a fucking word about it.
Oh Boy let the good times fucking roll...
So anyway, I'm 54. Due to some great investments early on and a downturn in the auto industry, I'm retired. Because of my brilliance as an engineer and some patents I developed for my company, they can no longer afford to pay my salary and the way my retirement package was accruing trailing zeros, it became clear to some of the bean counters that the smarter thing for the company to do would be to offer me a buy-out.
It was a win/win situation. The company gives me a one-time payment in the upper single digit millions so I no longer have to work for the rest of my fucking life. Boo ya! On the other hand they get to license my patents and they get to clear the cost of my exorbitant mid six figures salary from their books and also to hire a fresh new crop of engineers to breathe some much needed life into the company. It was a good deal for everyone concerned for the first year or so before the inevitable boredom set in on my end.
My wife loved the idea at first. We now had both the time and the money to do all of those things we never had the time or the money to do before. We started out by downsizing our home and moving into a sparking and modern brand new condo. With our only offspring out on her own, we no longer needed a large house.
That took us through the first six months. Then we started traveling the globe. That ate up another six months until we got the idea that no matter where you go, it's only another place that the people who live there are fucking tired of.
We settled into the new condo and familiarity began to breed what it usually does. I started to notice new things about my wife, Linda, that thirty years of marriage had failed to teach me. I mean I still loved her, I just didn't like her. I think it was because we were simply spending too much time together.
A day is twenty four hours long. The average person spends eight to ten of those hours at work. The average person also spends about eight of those hours asleep. You also have travel time to and from destinations. With different hobbies and activities added in it takes a big ass chunk out of your day.
I suddenly realized that except for when we were on vacations, Linda and I only spent a few hours a day together. Now all of a sudden I was trapped with her twenty four hours a day, seven days a week until one of us died. I was also suddenly faced with the fact that we had nothing in common except our daughter and that Linda was either, to quote the Temptations, a ball of confusion or an utter fucking moron.
First off, let me begin by saying that I did not marry Linda because I thought that she was brilliant. I married her because she was a willing and good fuck, hotter than hell, and had a pleasing personality. Like most engineers, I had multiple reasons for the decision as you can see. I also considered that time might take one or maybe even two of those admirable qualities away from her, but even if any one of those was left she'd still be worth spending time with.
Unh unh, I was wrong. As far as the sex goes, over time she became more willing to use it against me. You know the story. If she wanted something and I didn't, she used sex to get her way. That worked for the first few years until suddenly I developed the ability to say no to her. Then she started saying no to me until she got her way. Sometime after the first ten years, it just became easier to go without than to put up with her shit. So now it was a case where it was once in a while if we both wanted it type of thing.
As far as her being hot; I blew it there too. Linda was surprisingly beautiful when we met. She had big firm boobs, a tiny waist and a nice sized butt. There are lots of fifty year old women out there who work at it and are still incredibly hot. There are also lots of fifty year old women out there who don't work at it and are blessed with good genetics and stay very hot. Lastly, there are lots of fifty year old women out there for whom their sexual appeal has nothing to do with their looks. They have a flirtatious nature or other skills that just make you want them anyway.
Sadly, Linda fits into none of those cases. Over the years she just let herself go, so ... her body and her looks went.
When she was twenty five, my Linda's measurements were 40 26 38 and I'm very proud to say that she has the exact same measurements today. The problem isn't the numbers though it's the order. Her boobs are still pretty big but they're a very saggy 38 now. Her gut has ballooned out to a staggering 40 inches and it was like her ass just deflated down to only 26 inches.
Linda still thinks she looks the same now though and you can't tell her any different. Part of our problem was that we're just different. I am in no way perfect. I over analyze everything, I'm a slave to my schedule and I'm sure that over the years, several of my pursuits and hobbies have taken precedence over my marriage, but hey, I try and I've never cheated on her. I've always been an average looking guy, so I had to work harder. I've exercised for most of my life so now in my later years, I'm still fit and trim from daily workouts and runs.
Linda, on the other hand, got her looks through her genetics. Her body was a gift from God so she didn't ever think she had to do anything to keep it up. That was one of our problems when we traveled. I always needed to visit the gym in every hotel we stayed in because anyone will tell you it's easier to stay up than to get up. Linda always thought that I shouldn't work out at all while we were on vacation. She hated my need to run in the morning or throw a few weights around. She said it made her feel like we were on a schedule instead of truly free to just relax.
On the other hand, I hated the fact that we couldn't do anything because of Linda's inability to walk for more than a block or two over flat ground and her constant need to eat. Every new activity I posed was met with comments like, "We can't do that. It takes too much energy." Or she'd say, "We can't do that. That's for kids."
The last thing for me to discover about the love of my life was that her personality had degraded along with her body. Over the years she'd become an expert on everything and a hypocrite at the same time. On one hand she'd tell me that a woman can do anything a man can. She'd also tell me that since neither of us worked anymore, not that she ever had; we needed to split the household chores between us.
I'm not a chauvinist, I was all for it. I would get up early and do my work-out while Linda slept then I'd start tackling all of my household duties. I'd do exactly half of what was on the list and leave the rest for her. She would conveniently get out of most of her share of the chores by saying that certain things were just not for women to do.
One of those of course was taking out the garbage. I don't know why women who all swear that they can do anything any man can do find it so difficult to pick up a bag of household garbage and carry it to the can and drop it. It can't be the weight of it because the average trash bag weighs less than twenty pounds and is mostly full of paper or wrappers and discarded food. But Linda insisted that no woman should ever have to take out the garbage. She was sure there was a rule prohibiting it somewhere.
Anyway, it was garbage out of everything else that ended my marriage. It seems to be such a stupid thing for two people who loved each other to draw a line in the sand over, but it was taking out the trash that ended us.
Linda came in one Saturday morning and told me to take out the trash that she'd just finished filling up the cans with. I, of course, had just started watching one of my favorite track meets on TV.
Being an avid runner, I liked watching the athletes who were the best in the world at the sport I loved. Linda, who, of course, couldn't run a block if a pit bull was chasing her didn't understand it.
"Stan, I need you to take out the garbage, right now," she said. It wasn't just the fact that she'd told me, not asked me to do it. It was her tone of voice and her complete lack of respect for what I was doing.
"No," I said.
"It'll be a long time before you get any sex out of me if you don't," she sneered.
"It's been a long time since I've gotten any sex out you already," I said. "I'll survive." She got really angry for some reason and just stalked out. Since there were only the two of us in the house, we really didn't create a ton of mess so the bag wasn't even very full. The next thing I knew she was glaring at me as she stalked by me with the bag.
She was back within five minutes still glaring at me, but that was how it started. Things got very cold between us for about a week and then suddenly she made up with me. I don't know why or how. It was seemingly, at least to me, spontaneous. It was as if we'd never been angry. I hadn't been anyway. She'd been the one who was pissed off. Maybe she'd just decided that it was stupid and to just let it go.
I did start to feel guilty about it after we made up but since things were going well between us I didn't want to push it. The funny thing was that when I tried to take out the garbage she wouldn't let me anymore. She'd just fly off the handle and grab the bags out of my hands.
"I see what's going on," I said. "You're still pissed at me."
"No Stanley," she said, kissing me on the forehead. "I'm not angry at you."
"I've got it," I said. "You just don't want me to take out the garbage because you still don't want to have sex with me."
"Stanley, we can have sex whenever you want," she said. "Tonight probably isn't very good unless you let me take a shower first though."
I couldn't figure it out. It wasn't like Linda to just give up on something. Over the next few days my guilt motivated me more than anything else did. With Valentine's Day coming up I decided to splurge and buy Linda the diamond bracelet she'd been leering over and staring at in the jewelry ads. I even went better and upped the carats. I spent almost three thousand dollars on a bracelet that I was sure she'd love. I also planned a night out at our favorite restaurant. I arranged for flowers and the whole nine yards this would be a Valentine's Day to remember.
I didn't wait until the last minute either. We still had over a week before Valentine's Day arrived. I was feeling pretty good about myself then. I was actually proud that for once I hadn't slipped out on Valentine's Day morning and bought her the first cheapest thing I could find. And for once I wouldn't tell her that we'd had so many Valentine's days together that if she didn't know I loved her by now there was something wrong with her.
The thing was, I guess I'd started re-thinking everything. Sure her looks hadn't gotten any better. But her attitude had definitely improved. And like I said before, the love was still there, but Linda being nicer and just letting some of our arguments go gave me a reason to like her again.
One of the things I'd noticed was that over the past few weeks we started to produce a lot more garbage. It used to be that we only really had to take out the trash once or twice a week. Now it was at least three or four times a week. The other thing that was odd was that Linda seemed to be gone a lot longer than it took just to walk out behind the building and drop a bag into the large dumpsters back there.
When it was time to take out the garbage the day before Valentine's Day, I decided to do it for her. She made a huge stink about it. I had to listen to the whole women can do anything a man can do speech so I decided to just let it go. I turned on the television and started looking for something to watch. Linda grabbed the trash bags and headed out the door. I cracked the door open and watched as she turned the corner at the end of the hall.
I quickly ducked down the stairway at the other end of the hall and headed out to the back myself. I hoped that I didn't miss her since it was kind of dark out there. Actually I was quicker than she was and got there before she made the trip. Those daily runs had me in great shape.
I saw our building manger, Dino, out there doing something to that dirty ass BMW of his. The car was over ten years old and in terrible shape but he acted like it was something special. My 2010 Mustang GT looked and ran far better than his car ever did. Linda acted like his car was something special too. I think that it was mostly because she hated my Mustang.
I wondered what the hell Dino was doing back there but I wasn't concentrating on him. I wanted to find out what the hell was so special about the garbage.
Linda walked straight past the dumpster and over to Dino. He was a big fat slob of a guy. He leaned down and immediately just unzipped his pants. Linda got down on her knees in the filth of the alley and started sucking his dick like it was an ice cream cone. After a few minutes he pushed her away. Linda opened her jacket and wasn't wearing anything under it. She sat down on the hood of his car and spread her legs. Her skirt was up around her waist. Dino didn't waste any time. He got between her legs and rubbed his dick against her pussy a couple of times and then sunk in to the hilt. He thrust himself into her roughly a few times and then they settled into a rhythm. I was too shocked to move or to say anything. I can still remember every detail like they were burned into my brain.
I remember seeing him thrusting slowly but firmly in and out of her. Her legs wrapped themselves around his waist and even her hands gripped his flabby ass pulling him into her harder. Her sagging deflated breasts lolled off to both sides of her rib cage and moved with every thrust. Their colossal bellies both shook every time they came together.
Dino grunted every time he thrust into her and he was wheezing like he was about to have a heart attack. Linda was the one moaning and urging him on.
"Oh yeah, baby," she crooned. "This is your pussy. It's all yours. Take it," she yelled.
It seemed like forever but it was actually only about three minutes before Dino stiffened and roared. Then he just pulled up his pants and walked away like nothing had ever happened.
I waited for Linda to go back into the building and then quickly ran back up the stairs. I was too shocked to even think about what I'd just seen.
Linda came into the condo only seconds after I'd settled back in front of the TV. As she passed by me she was normal. She wasn't overly cheerful. She wasn't defensive or anything like that. If I hadn't seen what I'd just seen, I never would have suspected a thing. I guess what they say is true. Women are much better at being sneaky than men are.
In fact, she was so much better at it than I was, that she almost caught me. She brought me a Dos Equis from the fridge and then looked at me.
"What's wrong Stan?" she asked. I didn't take my eyes off of the TV. I didn't even look at her.
"Nothing?" I said, trying to force my voice to sound normal.
"Then why are your cheeks wet. Have you been crying?" she asked.
"Oh that," I said. "The fucking Jamaicans beat us in the relay AGAIN. I was so excited that I accidently flicked one of my fingers in my eye. I'm sure they're doping but no one can prove it yet."
She looked at me very closely. "I think I'm going to take the Mustang out for a drive," I said.
"At night?" she asked.
"Why not at night?" I asked.
"Well, I was planning on taking a long soothing bath first but I was hoping we could..." she said.
"We could what?" I asked.
"You know..." she said smiling. "It's been a long time, Honey."
"Sorry," I said. "I'm not in the mood." And I wasn't. The only reason she wanted to fuck me was because she was feeling guilty about what she'd just done. I didn't think I'd ever touch her again. I grabbed my favorite comfortable old leather jacket and headed for the door. She just stood there with her mouth open. As I opened the door she called me.
"Stan, do you want me to come with you?" she asked.
"Why?" I asked. "You don't even like my car."
I closed the door then both physically and metaphorically. In a physical sense closing the door sealed our condo and prevented others from stealing or doing harm to its occupants and contents. Metaphorically speaking I sealed my broken heart and decided that Linda would do no further harm to it or my well being.
As I walked towards the garage, I noticed Dahlia Martin. She was a really beautiful young woman who lived in one of the units. She was tall and thin with long flowing hair that just begs for attention. I smiled at her and waved. She returned my wave kind of half heartedly. Dahlia was usually very friendly, so it got my attention. I walked over to her to ask her what was wrong.
"My stupid car won't start," she pouted.
Normally Dahlia worked from her condo. She did some kind of internet thing so if she was leaving it must have been really important.
"Well, call your date and have him pick you up," I said. "You're definitely worth it."
"You are the sweetest man ever, Mr. Laurel," she smiled. Dahlia obviously couldn't stay angry for more than two minutes. "But this is for work. I have to go all the way down town for a meeting to discuss changes in the rules and sign off on my yearly tax and insurance forms."
"Well I'll take you then," I said. "I'm just going out for a drive to clear my head so it's no problem. When you get done, if you can't get a ride from a co-worker just call me and I'll pick you up too."
"But that's too much trouble," she said.
"Honey, the thing about being old and retired is that since you never have anything to do, having ANYTHING to do is exciting," I said.
"Thank you so much," she said. "Without you, I'd be in a lot of trouble."
"Don't mention it," I said. She took my arm as we walked over to my car. As I started the big v8 the car shook with the engine's vibration as if it was waking up from a long sleep. Within seconds I'd backed out of my stall and left the building.
Once we got on the freeway, it took me only 10 minutes to drive downtown. I followed her directions once we got there and put a way point in my GPS.
"There," I said.
"Why'd you do that?" she asked.
"In case you need me to pick you up. I'll be able to find this spot from wherever I am. I have no idea where I'm going," I said.
"I'm sure I'll be able to find a ride so I won't have to trouble you, Mr. Laurel," she said.
"Dahlia, I'm an old man, humor me. Give me your phone," I told her. She smiled and handed me her phone. I punched my number into it and called my iPhone. Then I handed her phone back to her.
"If you need me, you'll be able to call me now," I said. "And it's really no trouble." She got out of the car and I drove off heading back for the freeway.
I loved to just drive. I tended to stay on the freeway as opposed to the streets because I didn't have to stop for traffic lights or pedestrians. I also like to drive fast. Usually it's just me, me car and my stereo, with no distractions to come between us. I took advantage of Arizona's perfect February temperatures and let the warm night breezes blow directly into my car. In exchange, I let the loud ass music from my stereo permeate the silence of the evening as we drove. It was all about numbers.
A man in his 50's driving a car designed to look the way they did 40 years ago, grieved for the ending of his plus 30 year marriage while listening to songs that were over 20 years old with the volume cranked up to 10.
Tonight my album of choice was the Cult's Sonic Temple. Listening to American Horse helped me to both focus my rage and to steel my heart against what was to come. It isn't easy to get past the hurt that finding out that someone you've loved, laughed, argued and fought with for over thirty years had betrayed you.
It really isn't easy but it's not impossible either. I guess what made it possible was the fact that, like I've said before, I love her but I really don't like her. Maybe we really had grown apart over the years and this was just her way of dealing with it. She went to him for things that she either didn't want from me anymore or that she thought I wasn't capable of giving her.
I just couldn't figure out what those things were though. I was in far better shape than Dino even though he was younger. I had far more financial resources and more available time. The only thing I could think of was maybe he was just more willing to put up with her mood swings and bullshit. But even that was hard to believe because when he was done fucking her, he just walked off. He got the wham and the bam, but didn't even offer her the "Thank you ma'am."
Maybe she loved him or vice versa. I couldn't even see that though because they didn't kiss. Not once, she just walked up and started sucking his dick. This obviously wasn't the first time they'd done this. Their movements were too practiced. They'd done this before and probably quite often. Then it hit me. This was why she was taking the fucking garbage out so often now.
She really thought she had me fooled, didn't she. I shook my head and laughed. I'd come to that realization just as Ian Astbury started singing the song's chorus. In my mind I substituted "She's" for "He's" in the lyrics and sang along with Ian and Billy.
"She's gone crazy, completely crazy. Trying to tame the American Horse."
The she I sang about was, of course, Linda. My wife of all these years had flipped her lid if she thought I'd put up with all of this. And, of course, if she thought that being nice to me after weeks of treating me like shit over something as stupid as taking out the fucking trash could somehow control me, then she was definitely crazy. I, like the American horse in the song, could not be tamed or controlled. I'd really started listening to the song because I guess I'd always seen the American Horse as a metaphor for my Mustangs. It was strange though the way the song now reflected my feelings about my dying marriage. And dying it was. There was no way I intended to spend the rest of my life with a woman who neither loved nor respected me. Both she and Dino would get what they deserved.
I took the next freeway exit and got back on in the opposite direction. I was heading for home with a new fire in my mind and a new dose of steel in my backbone just as Fire Woman came on in my stereo. My foot took off, plunging downwards on the gas pedal and the more I pushed it down, the bigger my smile got. In my mind, I started figuring out all of the moves I'd make over the next few days. Each new idea heightened my pleasure, and then an electric shock went through my body. I slowed the car down quickly and pulled off onto the side of the road.
Shit, I thought I'd been having a heart attack but it was only my phone. My stereo was so loud I hadn't heard the ringing, I'd only felt the vibrations.
"Hello," I said.
"Mr. Laurel," sniffled Dahlia. "I'm sorry to bother you. But I really do need that ride," she said.
"I'll be right there, Honey," I said. "Just wait for me by the front door where I dropped you off." I got back on the freeway and roared towards her location with all thoughts of my own misery and revenge gone.
Once again I roared into the night but this time I had a destination in mind. All thoughts about my own pain were banished at least for a while. Dahlia had sounded awful over the phone. That wasn't like her. She was one of the most cheerful people I knew. I wonder what could have happened to upset her.
As soon as I got off of the freeway I started the GPS and quickly followed its spoken directions. Within minutes I was back at the building I'd dropped Dahlia off at. She ran over to the car and got in as if she'd just escaped some kind of nightmare.
"Home?" I asked.
"Yes please," she said in a very tiny voice.
We drove in silence, both lost in our thoughts. About five miles away from home her hand shot out and held mine. I didn't say anything. I was glad to give her some kind of comfort. As I drove into the garage, she let out a sigh of relief for the first time since she'd gotten back into the car.
"Thank you so much," she said.
"Dahlia, it was nothing," I said.
I watched her walk away. She seemed very different. The confident, beautiful young woman I'd seen only a few hours ago had somehow become a very frightened young girl.
"Dahlia," I called after her. She turned to look at me.
"If you need someone to talk to, I'm always available," I said. She nodded her head and headed for her condo.
I gave leaving again serious thought, but decided that more than anything else, I needed sleep. Tomorrow wouldn't be the busy day I'd envisioned. It wouldn't be filled with doing things with Linda, but it would be busy none the less.
I went to my condo and opened the door. Linda was watching TV. She smiled at me as I came in. I walked past her and just went to bed. I couldn't figure out why she was smiling at me so much. It came to me a few minutes later. She wasn't smiling at me, she was laughing at me. She was doing that because she didn't think I knew. Now, I understood why she'd been so fucking nice to me lately. It was all one big fucking joke to her. She'd ordered me to take out the garbage and I'd refused so she tried her favorite little game. She pulled out her "No sex for Stanley," card and I'd called her bluff. I guess It was my way of showing her that her sex as a weapon game couldn't control me anymore. She had to find some way to win so she decided to just do it behind my back.
On the surface, she was being nice, but on the inside she was probably thinking that I'd beg her to take out the garbage before she was done. Meanwhile, she was giving what she should have been giving me to someone else as another form of punishment.
Yep it was one big fucking joke, but we'd see who was laughing when the punch line came.
That night when Linda came to bed she kept moving closer and closer to me in bed and finally rubbing her legs against me. I pretended I was so deeply asleep that it didn't wake me.
"Poor Stanley," she said. "You must really be tired. You'll never know what you missed. I love you Stanley."
Yeah, I do, I thought. I missed a chance at pity sex from a woman I no longer care about. And if this is your idea of love, fucking me after you been with some grease ball, I'll stick with people who hate me. They treat me with more respect.
I woke up the next morning and put my running clothes on. It was generally a little chilly in the mornings so I opted for running tights and a sweat shirt. Just as I was tying up my laces, Linda woke up.
"Stanley, you're awake," she said.
"Yeah," I quipped. "I do that every morning though I'm sure you wish I wouldn't."
"What are you talking about Stanley?" she asked. "I've loved you for over thirty years. Do you want me to make breakfast?"
"Nope, I'm going out to run," I said.
"Why don't you run on your treadmill?" she asked.
"Because it's going to be a nice day," I said.
"Stanley, we live in Arizona. Except for the middle of the summer when the heat is ungodly, they're all nice days. Isn't there something you want to say or do?"
"Yeah," I said. "See you when I get back." As I walked towards the door, she looked shocked. Suddenly some of the pieces started to make sense. Maybe Linda was laughing at me because she didn't think I knew what a whore she was, but there was something else too. Linda somehow knew about the bracelet that I'd bought her. Then I realized it, one of her big mouthed best friends worked at the jewelry store, so Linda probably knew about it before I'd brought the fucking thing home.
She might even know about the dinner too, because I'd talked to the jewelry store owner about my plans. Well, fuck her. She wasn't getting shit out of me. No wonder she had been so busy trying to give me some of her dried up old pussy. Now it made sense.
Well, Linda made sense, I thought as I ran but the whole Valentine's Day thing didn't. Men were expected to go out and spend ridiculous amounts of money on candy, flowers and jewelry, just to get the same thing we got most nights anyway. What was the point? To show someone that we loved them? Why not just say it? So does this mean that women don't love us? Or is it just that they're so terribly fucking insecure that we have to have a special day to prove it.
I wondered if there was a Valentine's Day card for people you didn't love anymore. Maybe I should make them. I could probably get rich.
As I ran around the park, I saw lots of other people out enjoying the sunshine too. There were walkers, skaters, bike riders and other runners. There were different classifications of each. Some were just meandering through the park more intent on enjoying the sunshine than anything else, but a few in each activity group were out for a serious workout.
It was fun just watching the people go by and imagining things about them. There were some really nice looking women out here, but most of them were far too young for me. I just wasn't the sugar daddy type. But in a way, I guess that was one of the things I'd need to start giving serious thought to. When I was done with Linda, what would I do? Shit, I was only in my fifties. Although I'm no spring chicken, I'm still young enough to get married again. But after wasting most of my life on Linda, I just wasn't sure that was even something I should think about.
I did a quick easy five miles, enjoying both the sunshine and pleasantly cool early morning breezes, but also I enjoyed people watching. I decided that from now on unless the weather was bad or I was nursing an injury, I'd run outside. There was no use trying to stay with or spend time with a woman who was cheating on me.
As I walked back towards my condo, I went over again all of the things I needed to do. I needed to see my lawyer about the divorce. I also needed to do some financial things. And lastly, I needed to start looking for another condo or a small house. I was going to either sell the one we were currently living in or just leave it for Linda.
When I walked back in the door Linda was cooking up a storm. She was acting more like it was Christmas than Valentine's Day.
"Are you ready to eat, Honey?" she asked. She'd put on a sheer robe with some incredible lingerie under it. There was a camisole like top that must've had a built in girdle because it squeezed her waist in. She still looked fat, but not as fat. It also pushed her sagging boobs up but that only served to make the stretch marks at the top of them more pronounced. She'd put on make-up and done her hair too.
"I'm going to take a shower and then go out for a while," I said. "Jimmy McDonald is retiring this week. I'm going to take him to lunch along with some of the guys at the plant."
"But Stanley, don't you remember what today is?" she asked.
"Yeah," I said. "It's Wednesday."
"Stanley today is Valentine's Day," she said smiling.
"Oh yeah," I said. "Happy Valentine's Day, but to tell you the truth, it kind of slipped my mind."
She looked at me crazily and then started smiling. "Stanley, do you think I should wear something special later on? I mean did you have plans to go out or something?"
"Nope," I said. "But if you want to go out you can."
"Stanley, I was talking about us going out together," she said. "You know like maybe to a restaurant or a show or something."
"Oh, that's an idea," I said. "But I think that maybe we'll have to wait until the weekend. All the good places are probably booked up by now because it's Valentine's Day." I went into the bathroom to shower and left her standing there with her mouth open.
After I got out of the shower, I dressed and got ready to leave. My lawyer, Ollie, was an old friend. I was sure that he'd see me without an appointment.
I could hear Linda talking on the phone in the other room. "Arlene, he's playing some kind of stupid game. I wish I could just tell him that I already know about the bracelet and the dinner. He's really enjoying himself this time. Yeah, I guess those little things are what spice things up when you've been together as long as we have. So I'll let him have his fun. Ooh, gotta go he's out of shower."
I waited for a few minutes and then loudly picked up my keys and opened the bedroom door.
I walked into Oliver's office less than twenty minutes later. His secretary, an attractive brunette looked up when I walked in.
"Mr. Hardy doesn't have any morning appointments that I know of," she said. "Let me tell him you're here."
She got up and walked into Ollie's office leaving me to sit there and contemplate how youth was wasted on the young.
She ushered me into Ollie's office and asked me if I'd like any type of refreshment. I just smiled and told her I was fine.
I found Oliver inside his large office playing with one of those putting trainers.
"It's not going to help, you idiot," I said. "You can barely drive the ball 80 yards on a good day. Improving your putting isn't the problem. You need to work out and get some strength back into those arms."
"Shut the hell up Stanley," he smirked. "Just because you don't have a job, doesn't mean you can come over here and harass hard working people while they're doing theirs."
"Oh please, excuse me," I said sarcastically. "I didn't know I was in the office of Oliver Hardy professional golfer. I thought this was my crooked lawyer's office."
"So what do you need this crooked lawyer to do sir?" he asked, with exaggerated formality. He hadn't taken his eye off of his golf ball since I entered. He'd lined his shot up and lifted his club.
"Just arrange my divorce," I said, just as he swung the club. His shock at what I'd just said caused him to swing much harder than he'd intended. The ball rocketed across the floor, bounced off of the ramp built into his putting green and flew across the room. It bounced off of and cracked the LCD computer monitor on his desk.
"What?" he said. Oliver had been the best man at my wedding. He'd been to my house so often that it was almost as if he lived there too. He was my daughter's godfather and the executor of my will.
"God damn it, Stanley," he said. "Quit joking around. You owe me a new monitor. I almost had a heart attack."
"I'm not joking, Ollie," I said.
"But why, Stan?" he asked. He looked almost as bad as if it had been him who was going through it. "All marriages go through their ups and downs. You just have to make it through a rough patch. It'll get better. Anything beats the alternative, Stan."
"Oh," I said. "I thought watching her fuck the guy who does the maintenance for the condo complex out in the alley by the trash was as bad as it could get. So go ahead, tell me what's worse."
"Shit!" he said. "You have to get rid of that whore. I didn't know. Who knows what kind of disease she could give you. And I'm not talking about STDs; there are all kinds of scary bacteria around garbage. Shit. Whatever you do, don't have sex with her."
"So tell me Ollie, how do I get this started?" I asked.
"It's already done," he said. "You hired me. I'll start drawing up papers. We'll outline a settlement that's fair to both of you. Then we have her served and she gets a lawyer and we all sit down and work something out. Most of these things never go to court."
"What do you mean fair to both of us?" I asked. "I've heard bad things about divorces."
"Well, shit Stan, you guys have been married for what, thirty years?" he asked. "You'll probably have to split everything 50/50, no matter who did what." I looked at him like he was crazy.
"Fuck that," I said. "I thought you were supposed to be the crooked lawyer. I could get that kind of shit from the internet. Stop thinking about this like BOTH of us are your friends. We need to come up with a way where that bitch doesn't get a quarter."
"Stanley," he said, looking at me.
"Oh alright," I said. "She can have a quarter, but no more."