The Story Garden 5.0
My Thumb is Made of Tin
What I like about Tiger Woods," I said, noticing to my horror that it sounds an awful lot like "Woodsh", "What I like about him is he doesn't wear those shirts with the motherfucking ALLIGATORS over the tit."
Kev is having a hard time with me tonight. He likes to get me a little drunk because he thinks I'm sexier...well, he says "sexier", but really he just means "more likely to suck his cock." But it's hard to tell with me, and I know it. Two drinks and I'm still too buttoned up, three and I'm likely to say things like "Motherfucking ALLIGATOR" in the bar of his private club.
Me, I get off on torturing him, pure and simple. He thinks it's the danger I like, but he's the only one in danger -- bringing me here, where people he knows might see us together, might wonder where his wife is tonight.
Of course Kev has a wife. All the Kev's of this world have a wife. It's better that way, really, since I never ever plan on being the wife again as long as I live, myself. So I'd rather spend my time with a man who has already filled that particular quota in his life. But I like to keep him wildly off balance, always more than a little afraid that the whole thing is going to crash down around his ears and his wife will throw him out on his ass and there will be an enormous scandal and we will take what little of his money he can save from the jaws of carnivorous divorce lawyers and run away to Spain and get this, run with the goddamn bulls.
Fat fucking chance. I don't want his wife to find out any more than he does, believe me. The bulls. Jesus Christ.
But that "Woodsh", that made me think "Watch it, sister, you're maybe as drunk as you need to be right now." I sat up a little straighter in the booth and crossed my legs quick. Just about broke his wrist.
"Jesus Nance..." He snatched his hand back like he'd burned it on the stove.
"Okay, okay. Sorry sweetie."
"What's the wild hair about Tiger Woods all of a sudden?" He's holding his hand in front of his face like he's been crippled or something, only when he thinks I'm not looking he closes his lips around two fingers. Yeah, he's not that pissed.
"I said sorry. How about we talk about something else?"
"How about we get out of here, I'll show you my driver?"
I fake a giggle, and I'm really embarrassed that I do. "Master of the single entendre."
He throws an arm up over the back of the seat and leans in, confidentially. He waits for me to look him right in the eye, then asks, "Ever heard of a titanium shaft?"
Kev is like that. Kind of contradictory and shit. He's loaded, and he's kind of old. He dresses real conservative, these gorgeous suits and silk ties. He knows a lot about wine, and he always orders really expensive, really beautiful bottles, even if we're just at lunch or something. He's just as likely to want to go to a real play as a movie and twice, I'm not kidding, he took me to museums. But then nine times out of ten he's feeling around under my sweater, right there at the symphony or something, whispering his pretty explicit ideas of a party in my ear. And whenever he gets me alone he fucks like a felon on work release.
Then all of a sudden Kev spins away from me like, and I look across the table just as this other guy starts sliding into our booth. Kev is smooth, I'll give him that, he's up and half standing before I even begin to figure it out, and the arm he had behind me has flung over my head and is reaching across in one movement: "Ben! Son of a bitch, how are you pal?"
Ben shakes hands with Kev, but he's looking at me. "Well hello, Kevin. Haven't seen you in here in forever. Been keeping busy?"
Kev is still half standing, his ass hovering over the seat beside me. I think he wants to maneuver out of here, maybe scoop this guy Ben along and out of the booth, but I'm in the way and I don't feel like moving. Finally he gives up and plops down next to me with just tiny little sigh. "Ben, this..."
But I'm on it. "I'm Nancy," I say, and shake Ben's hand across the table. I hold onto it while I smile up at him, pretending to think. "Ben. Ben. I don't know that Kev has mentioned....wait, are you the Ben he went to school with?"
"Uh, no..." Ben says, confused.
Kev says, "I work with Ben. At the fund."
"The fund." Every time Kev says that, I swear I get wet. I just picture this vault, this office made entirely of money, money desk, money chair, money filing cabinet, money coffee table. It's not true, of course. I've seen Kev's office. Okay, I've fucked him on his desk -- one of those completely predictable fantasies, I show up with big sunglasses and my hair in a bun, and his secretary ushers me in, and when he helps me out of my coat, low and behold, I'm stark naked. Ta-da! Quelle imagination, right? Anyway, it's just a normal office, kind of conservative, lots of dark wood furniture. But all he has to do is say "the fund" and I'm GONE on a fantasy of my own.
Kev is looking close to panicked, and I admit I really dig it. There's such power here. I could say ANYTHING. "Ben, do you know Kev's wife? I've never met her, but do you think she'd mind that I'm fucking him? You know, a LOT?"
But of course I don't. I DO let the moment sit there, let everyone feel awkward except me. Kev is desperately trying to think of something to say; he's licked his lips twice already and, honest to God, he's twisting his wedding ring! Smooth, Kev, real smooth.
"Do you and Kev GOLF together?" I ask, and Kev takes a pretty big gulp of his drink.
"Yep, whenever we can," Ben says, still looking puzzled. "I don't get out as much as I'd like anymore. The kids, you know, it's soccer or hockey every weekend.... I'm sorry, uh, Nancy? Who...? How is it that you know Kevin, did you say?"
"Oh! No, I'm sorry, how silly. I'm a friend of his son! We're at Swarthmore together! We're both down for the weekend. In fact, Kev and I are just on our way to meet him."
Kev and Ben both look relieved at the same time. Ben sits back against the booth and smiles, but Kev starts pushing my purse against my thigh, shoving me out of the booth. "Right! In fact, we're going to be late! Great to see you Ben."
I don't want to go, but if I don't get to my feet I'm going to end up on my ass in the aisle. So I stand up and I lean over to shake Ben's hand again, and just for fun I make sure he gets an eyefull. "It was so great to meet you Ben," I gush. "I sure hope I get to see you again."
Ben tries hard not to, poor lamb, but he's staring down my blouse. "Yeah," he says, "Yeah, that'd be...nice."
"I know what!" I say, straightening up and clapping my hands in mock delight. "Todd and I are coming down again next weekend. Maybe all four of us could go golfing! What do you say?"
Now the look on Ben's face is more than confused. He jumps up too, like he's got to hurry up and go pee or something. "Sure, sure," he says, already turning away. "Well, nice to meet you," and he hustles off through the door to the dining room.
"Fucking fuck," says Kev.
"Oh, relax sweetie," I giggle, and push my butt against his crotch while he's helping me on with my coat.
"Fuck. You had to... fuck." He grabs my elbow and practically rockets me through the bar door onto the street. It's really cold after the seat we had in the bar, right by the fireplace, and Kev didn't even give me time to button up my coat.
"What the FUCK is the matter with you?" I ask, ripping my arm away and turning to face him. This is something else I like to do, I pretend to be madder than I am. Because, well, the make-up sex is pretty hot. I turn away like I'm not even going to speak to him and start up the street, buttoning my coat as I go. Kev comes along behind me like I knew he would, but instead of apologizing in that wheedly voice that I know means a passionate tumble, he grabs my elbow again and whips me around to face him. His face is really close to mine and he's scowling so hard his eyebrows are practically touching.
"My thumb is made of TIN!" He snarls it so hard a fleck of spit hits my nose. I can't make sense of it and I wonder if I'm drunker than I knew I was, or if the garbage truck grinding by might have messed up my hearing him.
"My son. His name is TIM."
--Mary Corinne Powers