Friday, October 29, 2010

Leg Man

He loved the feel of silk stockings. Seamed. Preferably black.

Whenever his fingers brushed the full length of long limbs, he shuddered when reaching that spot where the lace at the top of the stocking met the flesh of thigh. Moments later, after he watched them rolled gently downward and shaken off the tips of toes to the floor, he liked to draw a line up the back of calves with his tongue. 

The lovely young women were allowed only one night with him.

But this early evening duty summoned, and he had to leave for a little while. Before locking the door to the cool, dry, well-ventilated room he called his gallery, he stood before a vertical glass container titled Number Six. It showcased the glorious legs that had belonged to his most recent conquest, their length sheathed in silky sheer darkness with straightened seams and preserved in formaldehyde.

With a shaky hand he reached out and touched the glass, and traced a line up the calves with his fingers.

He could not introduce any of them to his family. They would not want to understand.

“Oh, there you are, dear.” His mother looked up from the table as he entered the dining room and greeted the waiting guests.

“Sorry.” He kissed her cheek and pulled out the chair at her right and sat.

“I was finishing my latest piece and . . .”

“Don't worry, dear,” his mother interrupted and patted his arm, “I've made sure no one took your favorite part.”

She held out the platter of roasted chicken and he speared a drumstick. He planned to eat quickly and return to his apartment. Though his mother would narrow her eyes and make those annoying tsk sounds to show her displeasure with such a short visit, he knew she would not keep him from his business. He was an artist, after all, and she always supported his need to follow when the Muse beckoned.

Later that evening, as he walked out of his home to patronize unfamiliar haunts and find fresh material for Number Seven, he left a new pair of stockings on the bed.

Friday, October 15, 2010


The unique aroma of mild-flavored coffee. He'd bring me some before leaving for work as I lay on his side of the bed. Awake but with eyes closed, I'd wait until he placed the porcelain cup of Blue Mountain regular roast - milk no sugar - on the nightstand before I sat up and gave him my best good morning and thank you smile.

On the mornings we were angry, the routine was the same, except there would be civil greetings but no smile.

The styrofoam cup of tepid coffee – sugar no milk – sat untouched in front of me as I listened to the neutral mediator work through all the issues my soon to be ex-husband and I needed to resolve.

“Because you share the same base of information, it will take less time to negotiate something that makes sense to both of you,” the mediator said after he invited us to sit down at the conference table in the center of his office.

It took one hour. We were married for a short time and there were no children to share.

Today, I sat in the coffee shop near my office and saw him walk by with her, his arm around her shoulder and throwing back his head as he laughed at her words.

I wondered if she waited on the bed for that first cup of coffee or if she sat with him at the table after serving him breakfast.

“Do you want a refill?” The waiter stood at my right and held the carafe over my cup.

I nodded and while he poured the hot water into my cup, I asked for a fresh teabag.