The lover’s song hoped to chronical the sad, continuing struggle to find someone who could make it all seem right. In the pictures all the men looked like thumbs, big and vacant, hats at a jaunty tilt. Rich girls with backyard fences, angels coupled with sailors and airmen. Dreams watch each other warily, not wanting to draw first. Soft luxuriant curs loll in the faded light. Girls and drivers tricked out to get liquor and better clothes. Half gallons of sweet wine, six packs of beer and jeans that rode low. Jump humped, born to suffer, made to undress in the wilderness.
He threw on the businessman’s Stetson that belonged to his grandfather, a renown liar, and sang:
“I will never treat you mean,
Never start no kind of scene
I will tell you every place and every person I’ve been
I will always be true,
Never go sneaking out on you…”
It was easier to lie when he sang. But he wouldn’t let it bother him because he knew beyond doubt that she would kill him.
Shitty to say, but there was a special joy in hearing that they’d split. That’s small I know, I’ll own that, but they had a good run, time-wise anyway. How am I supposed to feel? She ditched me to marry that dick. Not right away, of course, but within the year. Her kisses were so soft you could be fooled into thinking she had no teeth-just a tongue or two and a couple pair of lips. The first time with her, sliding along the leather back seat of Bull’s Caddy while he got loaded in Frankie’s Blue Note, is still in my top five and probably always will be. I was love sick and gob-smacked when she told me she was going to give it another try with him. That was it; she had only dated he and I and I was an interlude. I went back to fishing in the deep, wide sea and they bred two footballers; hideous little brutes that grew to look just like him. Now they’re split and there’s nothing to be done. I’m entangled like a feral shoat in a discarded bundle of bob wire: squealing and wishing for freedom but completely out of ideas for winning it. Besides, heard she preferred women now. I can see how being married to him would turn her off the sex. Probably surprised it didn’t turn her off the species. But really, she had a killer laugh, a great smile and beautiful teeth. I just never felt them. Not once.