Author Topic: It's Flattering (Creative Nonfiction)  (Read 141 times)

Offline Kowboy

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It's Flattering (Creative Nonfiction)
« on: June 11, 2019, 02:44:08 PM »
It’s flattering when someone is attracted to your girlfriend. How they go about conveying that attraction can be tricky. Sometimes it’s just a lingering glance, sometimes it’s an outright “I want to have sex with you.” Yesterday, for my girlfriend Corinne, it was the latter.

After my 37-year marriage ended, Corinne became my girlfriend about four months ago. We flew from Florida to Texas to attend an Indianapolis 500 party hosted by some Indiana expatriates. We arrived early enough to make a long weekend of it. We had dinner last night with Corinne’s friends, Karen and Ed. Ed is 70, trying to retire, and used to work with Corinne’s late husband. He had the hots for her even then. He and Karen were high school sweethearts and have probably been married more than fifty years.

We arrived at their home early enough to have a glass of wine or two before driving to dinner.
Knowing Ed’s attraction, Corinne gave me specific instructions to not leave her alone with him and to stay physically between them.  We finished our wine, and Karen, Ed, and Corinne got into their SUV while I moved our rental car out of the way in the driveway. I parked the car and was somewhat surprised to see Karen driving, Corinne and Ed in the back seat, leaving the front passenger seat for me. How did this happen? What am I supposed to do, order Ed out of the back seat and into the front? I figured Corinne was a big girl, she got herself into this mess so she can get herself out. I joked to Karen that I didn’t know if we could trust those two in the back seat. Everyone laughed.

Karen parked the car at the restaurant and she and I got out unhurriedly. We lagged a bit on the walk in, but Corinne and Ed remained in the back seat. The hostess showed us to our table and promised to seat the rest of our group when they arrived. Karen slid into the booth and I slid in next to her. By damn if you’re gonna sit next to my girlfriend Dawg, I’m sittin’ next to your wife. If those two want to sit together in the car, they can sit together in the booth, too. Karen and I made small talk until our wayward twosome sat across from us about five minutes later.

Corinne’s fun new short hair is a mess, and her lipstick is smeared. With Karen and Ed’s faces buried in their menus, Corinne looks over the top of hers, catches my eyes, and mouths out “I gave Ed a blowjob.” I was angry and humiliated, but got an immediate erection.

Okay, I made that up, but what a great twist this story would have taken huh? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. She looked fine. Corinne made some excuse about not being able to find our table.

Dinner was delicious and uneventful, but I got an earful when Corinne and I got back in our rental car. “Ed ran his hands up my leg in the back seat. He said he wants to taste me.” When Ed found out I’d be leaving Houston tomorrow morning for a friend’s funeral in Tennessee and returning that evening, he thought he’d hit the jackpot. He promised to call Corinne. She is fretting over what to do. Not answer her phone? Answer and tell him to cool it? Somehow, I don’t think either of those is gonna work very well. He’s been crushing on her for decades and that shit doesn’t go away with verbal admonitions, believe me.

I’m in love with Corinne, but I’m taking Ed’s side somewhat. I have to; I’ve been Ed and remain so unapologetically. I still have crushes on girls from junior high and high school although I’ve never been quite as forward as Ed with any. Okay, I have to take that back a bit. About 30 years ago, my ex-wife, Lynn Anne, and I were at a party with lots of heavy drinking. I became smitten with a married school teacher and was determined that I was going to kiss her before I left. As things wound down, we made our way to the upstairs bedroom where our coats were stored. It was now or never. I kissed her and she kissed me back. “Aha! I caught you!” I heard Lynn Anne say. Then she laughed. And I laughed and the school teacher laughed as we picked up our coats. Amazingly, I never heard another word about it. I did not make up that story.

On my way to lunch with Corrine and another couple, I was driving slowly in a mall parking lot the other day. An attractive middle-aged woman was walking toward me. As she turned between her car and the adjacent one, I stopped my truck, removed my sunglasses, and with the window rolled down said “You look good.” She was a little startled, but quickly recovered. “Why thank you” she said.

This is not as easy to do as you may think. The circumstances have to be just right. A sunny day and lots of people around. You have to walk the delicate line between giving her a compliment that she’ll mention to her girlfriends without having her describe the creep she ran into in the mall parking lot. The trick is the word “good”. Hang onto the “oo” in “good” for a millisecond. Just enough to convey your meaning while keeping plausible deniability. Tone is everything. Practice.

The airport coffee shop didn’t have decaf this morning, so I had a small cup of regular. I got this story started, then got on my plane. Big mistake; like hanging on to my marriage for so long. I battle claustrophobia; I should be taking Valium before I fly, not caffeine. I have to sit in aisle seats, and I opened the window before my seatmate arrived. I’m hoping she’ll leave it open; it helps me cope to see the outside.

Just as I’ve buried my face in my magazine to distract myself, the air conditioning stopped. The flight attendant announced that someone dropped his hat in the air conditioner, maintenance is on their way, but we’ll be on this plane for an hour with no air. She suggested we close all the windows to preserve the air conditioning we have left, and my seatmate complies.  I’ll never make it. I think of the guy that pulled the emergency door, activated the chute to get off the plane, was fined thirty thousand dollars and banned from flying. I’ve got your thirty large, I can take an Uber the rest of my life, but I’m getting out of this shrinking can. Just before I hit the lever, the flight attendant announced that fortunately there is another plane waiting at a different gate. The air conditioning in the jetway was exquisite.

As I paced in the waiting area of our new plane, I called Corinne. Like a mother’s cooing to calm a distressed infant, her voice is instantly soothing. I will not let my irrational fears keep me from my buddy’s funeral. They can wrap me in duct tape, but I’m going if it kills me.

Ed, I feel your pain brother. Before my divorce I remember thinking that I just wasn’t miserable enough to end it which was a huge mistake and one thing my ex and I agree upon. Ed, you are miserable enough, I promise. Disregard those who are telling you “It’s cheaper to keep her.” Yeah, it probably is, but money isn’t everything. I’d live under a bridge with Corinne before I’d go back to my marriage. You’ve only got so much time left, less than I do. If you dump her, your wife will probably lose the 100 pounds she needs to drop. My ex is a size four now and so is Corinne. I take the weight off of ‘em coming or going; you will too. Ironically, her sex drive will probably return when she’s thinner. You may have to sacrifice your marriage to save her life; you’ll certainly save yours.

Offline Dustin91

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Re: It's Flattering (Creative Nonfiction)
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2019, 11:56:12 PM »
Hi Kowboy,

I'm not sure what we're meant to make of this. It seems like a rather callow attempt at a nuanced, salacious interaction between four adults. The narrator seems very shallow, but to an uninteresting degree. The writing is okay if self-indulgent. I really hope this isn't really nonfiction.

Dustin

Offline Kowboy

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Re: It's Flattering (Creative Nonfiction)
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 01:30:41 PM »
Dustin:

"The narrator seems very shallow..." How so please?

It's nonfiction.

Offline Dustin91

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Re: It's Flattering (Creative Nonfiction)
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 11:22:55 PM »
There were a few things that made the narrator feel shallow to me as a reader.

1. The rather blithe way he spoke about his ex-wife and failed marriage. She and the 37-year marriage are given little to no consideration, as if the two parties involved didn't shape each other's entire lives.
2. Kissing a married school teacher, while being married himself, understandably comes across as shallow, no?
3. The comment to the attractive middle-aged woman in the parking lot (while on his way to have lunch with his new girlfriend) also came across as shallow. I was left feeling the woman likely feigned appreciation, as women are too often impelled to do in that situation, to avoid a confrontation.
4. The last paragraph is merely icing on the shallow cake. The narrator's justification for Ed dumping his high school sweetheart and wife of over fifty years is stunningly shallow and superficial.

Just one opinion, Kowboy. Use or lose.

Dustin