I drag him to La Vie en Rose.
talk to him about it on the phone,
you can pick your Valentine.
I am purring.
We park the car,
kids at home,
our breath like steam.
I clutch his arm
and we stamp across the lot
in frigid wind.
as we approach the door
he points to a window poster,
a young and lovely
model clad in lingerie extraordinaire
and says, miserably,
can you look like her?
Christmas Day (following year)
No gift at all.
He asks me,
what went wrong?
what took me so fucking long?
For years, in our store, I was astounded by how many Valentines we sold. Cards and gifts for children and friends! I can say with certainty I never received a Valentine from any of my relatives.
For a laugh one year I sent all my girlfriends risqué cards signed, “from your secret admirer”. And I always gave my own children Valentines: chocolates and cards. I helped them write Valentines for each child in their class. When they came home from school I went through their decorated paper bags and asked them about the cards they received.
If anyone knew me, they would know this, of all days, Valentine’s is the day to tell me you love me.
When we were reconciling, years ago, Mark told me our sex life would have to improve. I was excited. I could change. Iknew it – inside I was a passionate and insatiable creature. I loved to be loved!
But our sex life didn’t transform, and Mark hung onto some ideal in his head. After all those years he didn’t even know me.
Fletcher and I meanwhile are cumming online. He types words which send me, and I type words that make him stagger. We are so hot for each other my mouse almost melts.
I want to keep this passion, this shared secret, this delight and fun. Sometimes I put my head down on my desk and laugh.
This life I am living is extraordinary: looking back into my despair, looking forward into the expanse, breathing into the agitation of the present.
Excerpt from Chatterbox, by Sandy Day