Over the summer, I strung these little vignettes into the semblance of a story and submitted them to an editor. After some time, she replied that there was not enough tension, that there needed to be more drama, like unsatisfying sex or a violent disagreement or the return of an ex-lover.
She also told me that women do not, I repeat, do not make dirty jokes.
Bah. I make dirty jokes all the time. Lover says that’s how he gauges my mood, by the number of sexual innuendo I include in any given conversation.
The number. As in, there is always a number, and the number is rarely zero.
And I like these little stories, all true accounts of our very own, although I could wish for more sex and more adventures and another trip to San Francisco. But that’s life, and we are not multi-billionaires with our own private dungeon and endless time to spend spanking each other.
There’s this thing called a life, a regular life, and this is how it goes…
Scuffing through the early fall sunshine, they debated where to go for Sunday brunch.
“You are never ready on time,” she said, apropos of nothing, to the tall man who had, in fact, been ready on time.
Today, that is.
“That is becoming a thing, a thing you’ve latched onto. It’s not true,” he protested mildly, slowing his stride just enough to match hers. She was full of prickly pride about being tall, or rather taller than average, but there was still a solid seven inches or more stretching between them.
She tucked her arm in his, happily oblivious.
“You are not fast. And it has happened enough times to qualify as Often. Therefore, it is a fact,” she pronounced grandly, and he laughed while she joined in. “It’s pure logic!” she grinned, while he filed that Cheshire smile away for later.
She was getting entirely too sassy, lately, something he would need to attend to and soon.
“Where shall we go?” he asked as they turned down K Street, meandering past The Porch restaurant.
“I don’t know; I’m not ready to stop walking yet,” she replied. So they continued, chatting about politics and password security and finally food, again.
“Kupro’s is close by,” he suggested, mentally assessing what might be available in Sacramento during the late afternoon. The brunch window had passed by now, and many restaurants closed until dinner.
“I love that building, I wish it were my own personal library,” she answered. Under the changing leaves they walked towards the two-story Victorian that had been converted into a bar/eatery.
Once there, they stood in the foyer browsing the beer list scrawled in chalk on the wall. The bar was not crowded but a group of three thirty-somethings was very loud, cheering, “Shots! Shots! Shots!”
After a while the bartender noticed them and waved them grandly to any table and advised them to take a menu. They elected to sit upstairs, away from the slurring fraternity din, and found themselves besieged by men with tiny, budding man-buns, hipsters in retro Converse and new-old Radiohead tee shirts. None of the women wore make up, their too bronze tanning bed complexions desperately trying to catch up to the latest “natural” trend.
“Ugh,” she whispered, scooting closer to him.
“Hmm?” he asked, looking over the menu.
“Nothing,” she murmured. He hardly ever noticed the people, whereas she always did.
“What looks good?” he asked, noting that she had shoved her menu to the far side of the small table.
“Water,” she remarked sourly. “We will die of old age before we eat.” Twenty minutes had clicked by without sign of a server.
“We can go somewhere else,” he suggested agreeably, setting his menu aside as well.
“Let’s, then,” and they descended into the din below where the bartender leaned on her elbows on the clean wooden counter while the lone server could be seen bustling somewhere in the back.
They kicked up more yellow leaves as the light waned, dusk coming sooner even though it was only four-something.
“What about Magpie?” she asked, just as he said,
“What about Karma Brew? They might have chocolate cake.”
That decided the matter entirely.
The elderly proprietor greeted them at the open door; they sat at the bar and reminisced about the last time.
“Wasn’t it around Christmas?” she asked, and it was.They mutually agreed they should return more often, as the owner tinkered with a new sign to hang on the wall.
Pink Floyd played mellowly in the background as they sipped Rasputin on nitro and nibbled at a cheese and olive sampler, followed by warm pastrami sandwiches on thick sourdough slices.
Slowly the light leached out of the sky, throwing long grey shadows like a door mat at the open door leading back into the city.
“It’s time to go,” he sighed regretfully.
“I know,” she agreed, also sighing. “I just hate to say goodbye to our weekend together.”
“So do I,” he said, and they gathered themselves and slipped out into the twilight, back to their responsibilities and reality and separate homes.
But there was always next weekend to look forward to…