Althea came over, and I got her to come inside, talked her into stepping over the trash and coming into the bedroom with me. I wanted to get things back the way they were, back to normal all over again.

“Baby, I’ve got a problem, and you know what it is.”

So I put my hand on her arm, kissed her cheek, then her lips, fiddled with her blouse…

So we made love, kind of. I did all kinds of things, touched lots of different places, trying to get her going. Nothing worked. So I skipped to the main event, got her to take my little stressed-out organ in her hands. I nearly had to detach it and put it there. But she eventually grabbed it pretty hard and walked it from side to side. Hey, I’m not complaining – don’t get me wrong. It felt good. But it wasn’t the same Althea. She didn’t touch it with that warm, buttery touch, didn’t start those electric shivers like she used to. Her aim was off. She was pitching high and outside. Too much pace and no variety.

Nonetheless, we did it. Hell, it doesn’t take any kind of skill, it requires no mental competence whatsoever – to do it. Althea, still bummed out, not smiling like hell. Me, wired and wound too tight. We could still get undressed and fuck. Anybody can do that.

And it doesn’t take any great skill to get married either. We did that too, the next day, in another state. She called home collect and told her parents, asked them to send some money for a honeymoon. They wouldn’t do it, but they did come and get us. We appreciated the ride, thought they would make us get unmarried immediately, march right back to that rabbi and retract our vows – but they didn’t. If they were disturbed about all of this, the disturbance had settled in, found its final resting place. They were very quiet, friendly to a point.

My new father-in-law shook my hand, said, “I’m pleased to know you.” Mrs. Althea Senior shook my hand also, couldn’t help but to give me a little bit of a smile, said, “yes, congratulations are in order.” I suppose they had resigned themselves to it; there’s no telling what had been going on inside that house over the past few weeks.

Shit, when we got back to Templetown, they even came up to the apartment, called a cleaning service, and got to work. Fixed the place up nice and bright for Althea and me. It’s like they had expected the inevitable, had surrendered to the mania, and now they – she was their daughter, after all – they wanted to keep on doing what they could, keep on keeping on.

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