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Thirty-three

There’s nothing like spring for wooing. It’s the time of year for it. A picnic in the park. Blankets in the grass. A stomach full of pizza. A good cigar. Feeling a little warmth from a sun that was doing its damn best, under the circumstances. Lying on your back. Feeling the grass, the bumps in the earth. A good woman in your arms. One of her legs slid between the two of yours. Kissing. Birds. Bees. Flowers. Pollen. That grassy smell. A couple of lawn mowers in the distance. Nobody else around.

And who could that woman be?

Althea, my love.

Do you want me to keep going, or would you rather just turn on the radio? Throw in a CD? Big Hits from the Seventies.

So, you get those anxiety levels down, tune those moods just right, like you would a violin, and this is what is possible.

So I said, “Althea, you’re all I’ve got. All, all, all I’ve got, and everything I need. You’ve got to marry me.”

She laughed again.

“I told you,” she said. “That’s my therapist’s decision.”

“But that’s too ridiculous. No therapists make decisions like that for their clients.”

“Mine does.”

“I’ve been in more therapy than your therapist,” I said. “You’re misunderstanding this guy.”

“No I’m not,” she said. “That’s his style. And why not? That’s what all the beating around the bush comes down to anyway.”

“That’s absurd.”

Her head rested on my chest, my chin moving across her hair.

“It isn’t. He will decide this for me. And I might as well let him. Otherwise I’ll just change my mind back and forth.”

“I’ll go with you and we can talk about it together.”

“Not a chance. This is all mine. He’s the first one I’ve ever found who is decisive.”

“You mean the others explored things with you, let you make your own decisions.”

“Exactly,” she said. “That’s nerve wracking.”

She pressed against me with her hip, clinched my leg between hers.

“That’s therapy! That’s what they’re supposed to do! That’s how you grow!

“I don’t like it that way,” she said. “I can’t handle the stress. I want somebody to take a stand. Tell it like it is.” She patted me on the stomach. “Don’t worry,” she said. “I’ll ask him on Wednesday.”

“How can he decide this if he’s never met me?”

“I’ve told him all about you.”

“So you’ll say, should I get married?”

“Again.”

“Okay, should I get married again. And he’ll say yes or no.”

“That’s right.”

“And then that will be the final decision, and you’ll tell me.”

“I’ll have the answer Wednesday afternoon.”

“Is he married?”

“Yes.”

“Children?”

“Two.”

“Then he’ll probably be all for it.”

“You never know.”

“Tell him I’ve agreed to have myself fixed, so we won’t have any doubly manic depressive children.”

“I’ll tell him. But I don’t think that will matter. He loves manic depressives. If we had children, he would love them.”

“Tell him,” I said.

“God, if we had children they would be so talented. With my singing, and your…your…talent…your moods. Can you imagine? They would be little performers, I know.”

She lifted herself, moved a few inches, and settled on my other side. I closed my eyes, got some sun on my eyelids.

“They would be too suicidal.”

“But before they got suicidal, they would be great talents.”

“What good is talent if– hey, aren’t your children talented?”

“Hush.”

“Tell the therapist what I said.”

“I will.”

“You do love me,” I said.

“Yes.”

She pulled herself up, made herself available for more kissing. We rubbed each other a little. The sun was warm, but the breeze was still a little cool. We wore sweaters.

“You’ll tell him that.”

“Sure I will. I don’t know if that will make any difference, but I’ll tell him.”

She rolled over on her back, pulled my legs apart, and slid down between them, leaned back on me and squinted up at the sky. All of this shimmying around against my prick, of course, kept it hard – but nothing could be done about that at the moment. Back in my younger, non-medicated days, this would have resulted in terrible problems for me. Now, though, I knew it was but a passing fancy, something to be appreciated and enjoyed. So I lay there, languid, soothed by the warmth of her body between my legs, knowing that she was dumb like a fox, all this crazy talk while she kept my mind in a receptive mode.

“Talk to him,” I said.

Damn. The suspense.

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