Johnny America


The Shape of Things


“Hel­lo, wife,” he told her as he drew up her yel­low or­gan­za skirt like a curtain.

“Wife?” she said ac­cus­ing­ly, then, “Hel­lo, ex-hus­band.” She swal­lowed an­oth­er mouth­ful of champagne.

They were be­hind the fig trees on the side ve­ran­da, hid­ing from the New Year’s revelers.

He’d tugged her panties half way down her thighs when the web of vi­o­let lace snared his in­cisor and he stopped to un­tan­gle himself.

“What’s the holdup, hus­band one?” she said, stroking his gray­ing hair. He was al­ways clum­sy with com­pli­cat­ed ma­neu­vers, she re­mem­bered, but his hair was still thick like a teenager’s.

He bit him­self free and held Geor­gia’s waist­band with his hands so she could step out of her underwear.

“Look at these,” he said, trac­ing the pur­ple bruis­es on her thighs with his in­dex fin­ger. “This one looks like the Virgin.”

“Come off it, Franklin,” she charged, grab­bing for his belt.

“I’m not kid­ding,” he told her — and he was­n’t, “the me­dia should see it.”

They ca­vort­ed in si­lence, then lin­gered there be­hind the fig tree, where Franklin had asked her to mar­ry him.

Geor­gia ex­cused her­self when she heard her hus­band call, “five min­utes ’till, every­one fresh­en ‘yer glasses.”

Franklin thought about try­ing to win her back, again, then clutched the bot­tle and am­bled to the back yard. His new wife was daz­zled by shiny things, he rea­soned, so she’d prob­a­bly be wait­ing for the fire­works to start.

Filed under Fiction on January 2nd, 2006

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Reader Comments

spillane wrote:

i dont even make a sound when i come around, but damn i think i like that last one, perfect.

Jum wrote:

Dag near sublime..that John­ny done done it agin..

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