By Laura Black
I love my husband. However, I never anticipated round-the-clock confinement with him for months on end. Nor he, with me.
Charles and I have been married for 28 years. We met on a blind date. I was a recently divorced attorney/ businesswoman with three children. He was a long-divorced insurance broker with none. I was immediately attracted to this 6’1” graying, bearded man with the teddy-bear physique. His full-faced smile drew me in; his crushing hugs, made me stay.
He is a scotch and cigar kind of guy who maintains a running conversation with our Cavachon, Einstein. “Good morning, buddy. Daddy’s going to the gym, but don’t worry, Mommy’s here.” He walks around the house with his Kindle, reads while brushing his teeth. He wears super-hero socks for a smile from our grandchildren and traded in his Audi for a minivan so that they can watch movies on the flip screen when we drive back and forth to the beach. He’s an extravagant tipper who regularly performs acts of kindness. He sent an inflatable pool to the bellman of a hotel to celebrate the purchase of the man’s first home and gave Raven tickets to a barber who had never attended a game. …
By Laura Black
Of all my marital responsibilities, taking my husband for a colonoscopy is at the bottom of the list. No pun intended. This man, who lifts 200-pound barbells and says root canals are “no big deal ” works himself into a tither at the thought of forced fasting and cleansing. So, I steadied myself for the fallout when, a couple of months ago, he said, “I scheduled a colonoscopy next month. I need you to take me.”
“Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, — it’s just routine.”
My next thought, which I kept to myself, If it’s just routine, why didn’t you check with me first, to see what worked with my schedule? …
The girl pictured in the magazine caught my attention. She was about my age, ten, and fat — fatter than me. Her stomach protruded out from the gap between the top of her stretchy, turquoise pants and the bottom of her matching paisley top. Dimples pocked her arms and legs. Her pimpled face was swollen, she had extra chins. Her hair was disheveled and she looked down, away from the camera. Above her picture it said, “Before.”
On the opposite side of the two-page spread, the same girl looked like she had emerged from a time machine. She was thin with bobbed hair and no blemishes. She wore a purple shift with a white peter-pan collar and cuffs. She stared directly into the camera with a full-faced smile. …
Whatever its size and shape, please keep me guessing.
It happened again. It was one of those cloudless, light sweater days. My husband and I savored a break from the recent run of high humidity by stopping for coffee at an outdoor café on the Eastern Shore. I inhaled the aroma of freshly ground beans and wavered between cappuccino and mocha latte when our waiter appeared. He wore tight-skinned, designer denims, a black, clingy t-shirt, and a face mask that hung below his nose.
At about 6’2” with dark curly hair, he was hot. I would not have declined a peak at his pecs. …
By Laura Black
I stood outside the bathroom door and listened for signs that my husband was in the shower. When I heard the whoosh of running water and Charles’ husky voice husky voice accompanying James Taylor singing, “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain,” I knew it was safe.
I tiptoed into the living room wrapped in a beige terrycloth bathrobe, my hair tucked into a matching turban. I found the remote control squished between grey sofa cushions.
After a couple of “just to be sure” glances toward the bathroom, I turned on the TV and took a deep breath to steady my nerves. …