Monday, July 1, 2013

Story: Lust in the Morning

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Lust in the Morning

from the book: Life Will Get You in the End:
Short stories by David Satterlee

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Life Will Get You in the End:
Short Stories by David Satterlee

The tensions between happily married couples can boil over. Sometimes, you just have to ask, "Did I really say that out loud?" 

Lust in the Morning

A Fergus Johnson story of gender relations

It was a lazy, quiet Saturday morning. Fergus and Dorothy were sitting together on the living room couch. Dappled sunlight streamed through the large front window, promising a bright, crisp day full of vigor and potential… perhaps after lunch. He was reading the daily newspaper and she was thoroughly inspecting a small collection of pre-Christmas glossy color catalogs featuring top-of-the-line, premium merchandise.

Fergus, having just spent a few moments admiring the models in a lingerie ad on page 17, looked over fondly at Dorothy. He loved her so much. She was a good wife, a good mother, a good friend… and a good cook. He closed his eyes and indulged in
a slow, wistful sigh. Life was good and he was content. No, I really mean it, fully content. 

His mind, still lingering on, and warmed by, the afterglow of the ad, wandered back to his early years together with Dorothy. She had looked so stunning in that bustier after their wedding, and they had had so much fun getting her out of it. 

In their first years of youthful enthusiasm, they had decided to put a quarter in a fish bowl every time they were intimate. They were saving for a dream vacation. They had worked with such enthusiasm to save for that vacation. But, they stopped saving quarters when they had to empty the bowl to help pay for a new transmission in the family car.

Their intimacies gradually become less urgent and more comforting and accommodating. As often happens, the stresses of pursuing two careers and nurturing three tireless, and relentlessly maturing children had sapped their reserves. Their intimacies had also gradually become less frequent.

Fergus looked back at the advertisement. He had long ago promised Dorothy to not collect or use magazines featuring such youthful and firm models. The task of keeping his promise had required determined strength of character, and he knew few other men with such fidelity. Nonetheless, it meant a great deal to the women he loved. He would not risk the offense and remorse that such indulgence would inevitably produce.

It was at about this time that Dorothy put down her last catalog. She closed her eyes and indulged in a slow, wistful sigh. Looking fondly at Fergus, she said, “I know I’ll never buy any of that stuff; I just like to look at the pictures and wish that I had it.”

Fergus, later pleading momentary insanity, snapped: “But I thought you just liked to read the articles.”