Saturday, June 9, 2018

Giddy--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Thursday, May 16

     “Hope the boys did all the heavy lifting,” I emailed Dick. “The desk and table are beautiful. Thanks for the great deal. Your furniture will always remind me of a lovely day spent barely answering phones with a talented master gardener. Hope you grow to love Montana as much as Jan. Peace and happiness.”

     “Enjoy, and remember to keep your head down, eyes open, and move through the swing. Your friend, The Montanan.”

     I dropped my dogs at my mother’s before meeting Golf Guy. I was giddy, wired, and feeling weird. My phone rang.
     “Hey,” Golf Guy said. “I got done coaching a little early and I’m at the restaurant. I thought I’d call in case you were killing time and could come.”
     “It will take me 15, 20 minutes.”
     I looked at my mom.
     “Just be careful,” she said.
     “I feel like I’m sixteen leaving the house I grew up in to go on a date.”
     My mom and I laughed.
     I drove off playing Arctic Monkeys loud to annihilate my thoughts and deaden my nerves. I pulled into the parking lot and walked to the hostess stand.
     “I’m meeting someone,” I began telling the hostess then saw Golf Guy in the bar. I walked to Golf Guy's table, peeled off my leather jacket, and hung it on the back of a stool.
     “Like I said, this is my own personal Cheers,” Golf Guy said. “I rented a place and lived within walking distance from here when I got divorced. I ate here a lot. I was nervous coming here tonight because I know a lot of people. No one’s here, though.”
     I was kind of flattered.
     Golf Guy told me his ex was a wealthy trust fund baby whose family had a plane and a ski house in Colorado. He and his ex had lived in an expensive house in an expensive neighborhood and whenever they needed money, she dipped into her fund.
     “It was like play money,” he said.
     “Must have been hard to walk away from. Your relationship must have gotten bad.”
     Golf Guy shrugged. “She wouldn’t fight. Wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. When I asked what was bothering her she’d just say, ‘nothing.’ We told the kids we were getting divorced and I had to do all the talking. She just sat there. She married a guy who’s younger. Had a baby five months ago. Never told me she was pregnant. My friends would say, ‘Looks like Bitsy’s putting on some weight.’ Her husband is thirty-five. She’s forty-four. I’m forty-four. She’s going to be in her sixties when her daughter graduates high school.”
     “I’m older than you. I’m forty-nine.”
     “So what. Why’d you get divorced? You said we’d swap stories one day and yours would top mine.”
     I sighed and made a face.
     “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”
     “No, I’ll tell you.”
     “He actually did that?” Golf Guy said, his mouth hanging open. “I could see where it would be tempting, but to actually hook up with someone from a cheating website?”
     Golf Guy’s phone vibrated on the table and a woman’s name popped up.
     “She’s just a friend,” he said. “I used to date her, but just like the girlfriend I mentioned who has a horse, she’s a girl and a friend.”
     A photo of a boy playing baseball glowed behind the woman’s name.
     “Is that your youngest son?” I asked.
     “Yeah,” he said and showed me several shots of his son. A waitress brought our food.
     “I’m paying for this,” Golf Guy said.
     “No you’re not. This is for golf lessons. I’m getting off cheap.”
     I snatched the check when it was placed on the table. I pulled my reading glasses out of my purse.
     “I need these,” I laughed.
     Golf Guy snickered. “I need to get my dog home,” he said. “She’s been in the car all day. Want to meet my dog?”
     We walked to Golf Guy’s car and he let his young Pit/Lab mix out.
     “What’s her name?”
     I put my hand out for Happy to sniff. I crouched down and pet her.
     “I’ll walk you to your car,” Golf Guy said.
     I opened my car door and turned towards Golf Guy. He put his arms around me and kissed me softly. My heavy handbag dangled in my hand. I put my left arm around Golf Guy and kissed him back. He slipped his tongue into my mouth. When we stopped kissing, I threw my handbag in the car, put both arms around him, and we kissed again. I pressed in harder, wanting to feel something, some magic, anything. I felt a little tingle when he put his tongue in my mouth, but that was it. Golf Guy squeezed me into him.
     “I came up to you because of your perfect ass,” he laughed.
     I laughed and said goodbye.
     Blake was watching TV when I got home. We talked for a while then I went upstairs and flopped on my bed. I felt numb.

     “Thank-you for tonight,” Chris texted.

     “You’re welcome.” I texted back with a happy face.

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