The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
My Song is Love Unknown
By David Bontumasi
The cards were in my corner. I couldn’t look too smart or too dumb, so I played it cool. The whole chain of events happened quickly: the discovery, the realization and then the final act. Just days.
I watched her phone light up while she was upstairs taking a nap. It was 7:48 in the evening. Maybe she just went to bed early, I can’t recall. She didn’t usually say a whole lot in the evenings. “What a day. I’m fried,” she’d mumble as she walked past me to the kitchen. “I really don’t want to talk about it. Besides, you don’t want to hear about it, anyway.” I shrugged my shoulders because that was correct, I didn’t really want to hear about the turmoil of being a middle school counselor. I never understood how listening to 7th grader’s problems could be a tough job anyway. She said I never listened to her. She wasn’t entirely right about that, I did listen. Most of the time, anyway. Well, sometimes I listened. But she was wrong when she said I lost my ability to be fun.
“Jesus, you’re a stick in the mud sometimes, you know that?”
“What? Where did you get . . .”
“You never want to do anything, Stuart. You just sit there, and you don’t move. You watch TV or you’re on your computer the whole night. What’re you watching, anyway? I swear, you’re like an extra cushion on that couch. You just blend right in to the fabric.”
“I like to do things,” I responded, “Plenty of stuff besides those things where, like you said, I just sit down and don’t move.”
“Well, I do too, but I like real stuff. Stuff that involves other people. That’s the big difference between us, Stuart. I like people. I love to sing and dance. I did musicals in high school. I miss those things. We don’t dance. You never take me dancing anymore.”
“What are you talking about, Lottie?” I said, holding my hands up in defense. “I took you dancing. We danced at Janice and Bernie’s wedding.”
She looked at me blankly. “That’s not ‘taking me dancing,’ Stuart. That’s just being somewhere where dancing happened. Weddings don’t count. Plus, that was at least fifteen years ago.” She sat in chair near the fireplace. “Do you remember when my mom was sick and we used to drive out to see her every Sunday? We stopped wherever we felt like it on the way and we did things. We picked corn; we explored that old vacant farm house. We found that little river and walked in it with our bare feet. You took off your pants and waded in your underwear! We did things. Those were fun road trips, but you’d never do any of those things now. Never.”
“That was a long time ago. And your mom, she’s dead now.”
“Unbelievable,” Lottie looked at me. “You get so bogged down by the details that you miss the big picture. The point is that we used to have fun, Stuart.” She shook her head. “Jesus, you’re so dense and you’re so boring.” It made me sad to see her like that.
“We didn’t dance at Janice’s wedding. That wasn’t me.”
Lottie’s phone vibrated in front of me. Two long buzzes before I looked at it. The phone rattled against the wooden coffee table. I had to pick it up, just to stop the noise. As I held the phone in my hand, I wondered why the “Choir Director” from church was texting Lottie, on a Sunday evening, and saying “Night night, sleep tight.”
I quickly set her phone back on the table, face down. That was weird, and confusing. Then, it clicked.
For the next six days, I kept the secret. I paid attention to every little thing around me. It all had meaning. I made lists in a red spiral notebook, labeling certain things “logical” or “rational” and other things as “impulsive” or “irrational.” I made columns with headers and rows with the furthest column to the right left for “comments,” which I tried to fill in with as much detail as possible. I began to think like a detective, watching, noticing patterns and deviations in patterns, recording facts in my notebook. Her clothes, the way she styled her hair, the way she walked. When she woke up, what she wore each day, where she went, what we had for dinner, when she went to sleep. The way she picked up her keys, where she charged her phone each night. Now that my eyes were opened, I knew. I don’t often lie to myself and I wasn’t going to start then.
I started to remember things, all kinds of things. There was the dinner at Helen and Malcolm’s a year or so ago. We were standing with them near the front door, the four of us, and Lottie was talking, telling a story. She was all excited, moving her hands, her eyebrows raised but her eyes passed me over, I never once caught her eye. She didn’t look at me, like I was a stranger. I felt cold, like I didn’t exist. Suddenly, there were other memories, small things I didn’t even question before. Lottie had been spending a lot of time at church each Sunday, and at choir practice twice a week. There were the excuses of long days at school. She had started taking an exercise class twice a week at the Field House: Boomba or Zimba or Salsa or something. And this development was big: she started to empty the dishwasher. That was telling. She also took naps for the first time that I could remember. She was like a completely different person. And at night, when she slept on her side of the bed and I slept on mine, I’d looked over and watched her back and shoulders heave with each breath and I could tell she was thinking about this Choir Director guy. I just knew it.
I decided not to confront Lottie yet. If I was going to accuse her of doing things with this Choir Director, this God-forsaken Richard Jones, then I had to have irrefutable facts. I needed to be right. Who was Richard Jones? Where did he live, did he have a wife, a girlfriend, a gerbil? What kind of name is Richard Jones, anyway? It was like a non-name, Richard Jones. Two boring, fictitious names. Maybe it was an alias and he was a criminal on the run. Obviously, he was shady. Jesus, did people call him “Dick”? Now, that’d be perfect.
ACTION DAY ONE. Investigation - Step One.
It was Sunday, at church, and I watched his every move, as he milled about before the service. Everyone in the congregation seemed to like him, I never noticed it before. They hugged him, smiled, touched his shoulder. It’s like there was a spotlight on him the whole time and he was right where he was supposed to be. In my notebook, I recorded the facts.
Richard Jones is:
Tall – pretty tallish
Ten years younger than me – and Lottie - maybe forty
Skin glossy white – like soaked in milk – sickly?
Large forehead with a full head of brown hair
Hair combed to one side
Thin black glasses – no, brown
Long swooping expressive eyebrows
Ears pointing straight up!
Two moles on the left side of his face —
BIG DEAL!!! - one on forehead near the hairline and another on cheek near jaw. Perfectly round, like bullet holes. How can she look at him? I feel sick!
Once the mass started, he raised his arms to lead the hymns. I must have seen him conduct the choir on countless Sundays before but never paid much attention. Lottie stood right in front of him, at the center of the sopranos. She sang with all her might. I tried to look at her watching him, but I couldn’t see them at the same time. It made my head hurt to try.
I had begun my investigation before church that day, casually talking to Martha Baker, who’ll remind anyone that she’s the longest tenured choir member at just over twenty years; and tall, bespectacled Jim Brogade. I asked about choir practices and what kind of guy Richard Jones was.
“Are you interested in joining the choir, Stuart?” Jim asked. “I tell you, we’ve got some room in the bass section. We could use all the help we can get,” he said with a laugh.
“No way,” I told him, with a fake laugh and a nod.
“We’re singing ‘My Song Is Love Unknown’ next week. It’s a toughie, but a good one. You could join us. We love new talent.”
“No, I’m just curious how it all works.” I waved my hand and walked away.
After the service, Lottie stayed after with the choir, and I remembered the church directory we had at home, in a basket under the desk. I raced home and found it, between a telephone book and some old maps. I turned a few pages and there he was staring at me, with those two moles: Richard C. Jones, Choir Director. He was wearing a crisp dark blue jacket and a striped blue, orange, and yellow tie. I copied his address down on a small piece of paper. I folded it twice and put in my breast pocket of my shirt.
ACTION DAY TWO. Knowledge is power.
I wrote everything down in my spiral-bound notebook, planning my days, and the steps it would take to complete the operation. I would learn through keen and methodic observation. I would follow Richard Jones. I would become his shadow. I’d walk with him, talk with him, breathe with him. He wouldn’t be able to escape me. I’d discover his interests, his habits, his tendencies, however minute. I would watch how he moved, how he spoke, and that way, I’d discover what Lottie was thinking, what she saw in this other guy. That’s why I’d be in control.
I’d approach him, tap him on the shoulder and smile. One of those Cheshire Cat smiles, a self-satisfied grin from ear to ear.
I’d repeat the words from his text, but I’d say them slowly and deliberately, “Night night,” with my head cocked back, squinted eyes, like Clint Eastwood might do it. “Sleep tight.”
“You talking to me?” he’d ask, turning towards me, confused. I’d still be Dirty Harry.
“Yeah, I’m talking to you. You may not know me, pal, but I think you know my wife pretty well. Did you know,” I’d look upwards as if searching for the right word, “That she was someone’s wife?”
“What are you talking about?” he’d probably ask, innocently.
“Oh, don’t play dumb, it doesn’t suit a man of your stature,” I’d say with a tsk, tsk and a smile. “Yes, Lottie Jameson, soprano extraordinaire, she’s my wife.”
“Oh, dear me,” he’d mumble and bring his fingers to his lips.
“Yes, oh dear you, indeed. I have the upper hand now, fella. I know everything that’s been going on. You made a fatal mistake being with a married woman.”
“No, it’s not like that. I didn’t know,” he’d plead, “I didn’t know. I thought she was separated or divorced or something, I didn’t know.”
I’d look at him, lower my head and shake it disgustedly, from side to side. “Oh, that’s rich.”
He’d look up to me.
“She was upset and I was there, a shoulder to lean on. Nothing more than that. Can’t you just forget about it? It was nothing, I swear!”
ACTION DAY THREE. Surveillance, investigation.
Richard left his house around 6:30 that Tuesday evening with a small black bag over his shoulder and I followed him, my car slightly lagging behind his. I didn’t know where he was going but I was on his scent, my heart thumping up through my neck and into my jaw. I was going to see what the hell this guy with the moles was up to. Suddenly he veered right towards the Fitness Center. He got out of the car and I followed him in.
He sauntered up to the front desk, to a young blonde woman, smiling and laughing — oh, he was quite the charmer — as he signed in. With a wave, he walked past the desk and down the hallway. I rushed to the counter.
“Hi. I’m friends with ol’ Richard C. Jones, my buddy Rich. Richie.” I pointed towards the hallway. “He just went in.”
“Yes, Richard’s a great guy,” the woman said, looking at me.
“Richard.” Holy crap, I couldn’t blow my cover. ”Yeah, good friend. I call him Richie sometimes. Or Daddy Long Legs. I have to race to keep up with him. He’s probably already getting dressed.”
She smiled at me, which was nice. “Are you a member?”
“No, no, Richard said that I could come as his guest. Just come right in, he told me. I’m not going to work out, I just want to see the place and watch. Look, I’ve got to catch up with him.”
“That’ll be $20, sir.”
“What? No, I’m a guest of Richard’s, I’m a guest of his. He just went in. He’s got two moles. He’s a member.”
“Yes, that’s the guest drop-in fee.”
“But I’m not going to work out, I’m just going to watch.”
“I understand, sir.”
“I didn’t bring workout clothes,” I protested, “Heck, I don’t even own workout clothes. I’m just visiting.”
I looked down the hall and Richard was gone. I was afraid of losing him for good, so I reached for my wallet and gave the woman a $20 bill.
“Keep the change.”
I darted towards the locker room. Richard had changed out of his street clothes quickly, thank God. I hadn’t thought about the possibility of seeing him naked. I walked along the lockers with my head down and then past the pool, into a large open room. There were rows of machines to the left you run on or push and weights and mats on the right. And lots of sweaty people walking all over the place. Richard was standing near some shelves with stacks of fluffy white towels, stretching and swinging his arms in circles. He looked kind of sad in a faded t-shirt and shorts and the tiny, little baby socks he was wearing. I was watching him stretch down to the floor and over each leg, when he stopped, stood straight up and walked towards me, but then continued right past me. Whew. Holy crap, that was close. He could easily have spotted me, caught me watching him, but he missed me and stepped up on a treadmill. He pushed the buttons on the display unit and started to jog.
I walked slowly away from the doorway and stood near the stacks of towels, where Richard stood just moments before. I swung my arms in circles, rolled my neck and then stretched just as I saw Richard do, reaching for the floor with my hands but pulling at each knee since that was as far as I could go. I started to jog in place, timing my rhythms and pace with Richard’s. I had just decided to quicken my pace, to jog faster and harder than Richard, when someone tapped me on the shoulder.
“Can you I help you, sir?” It was a short, buff guy with a white towel crumpled over his shoulder. I looked down to see “Zack” etched into his warm-up jacket.
“Nope, I’m fine.”
“Are you a member here, sir?”
“I am fully vested, Zack. I paid my $20.”
“So, you’re a guest?”
“You betcha. A guest of the Fitness Center, paid and in good standing.”
Zack looked perplexed. “Well, sir, you might want to change into your workout clothes. The men’s dressing room is right behind me.” He made a slight gesture with his left hand. “We don’t allow street clothes in the workout area.”
“Oh, come on.” I stopped jogging and stood shaking out my arms.
“It’s our policy, sir. For everyone’s safety.”
“Well, these are my workout clothes. I like to work out in the same clothes I live in. That way, my muscles don’t get too big for my dress shirts, you understand? I can see my development in real time. It’s going to be the new trend, working out in your everyday, street clothes. You watch – everyone’ll be doing it.”
“We encourage you visiting, sir, and checking out the facilities,” Zack said, “But if you’re going to work out, I’m going to have to ask you —"
“Look, I just want to work out a little and truthfully,” I lowered my voice and tilted my head downward. ”I’m a little shy, okay? I’ll be honest with you, Zack. I don’t really like people to watch me. Ever. At all. I’d like to work out here in the corner, quietly, if you don’t mind.”
He spoke a little louder and more deliberately. “I’m going to have to ask you –”
“I’ll just stay out of the way back here. I won’t bother anyone.”
“I’m going to have to ask you to leave this area and get properly dressed,” Zack placed his hand on my bent elbow
and gave a slight push.
This guy wasn’t going away. I looked over at Zack and smiled. I couldn’t make a scene, not with Richard so close. I tried to be calm even though I was in the right. I had paid my full fare and just wanted to work out. That’s all. Why was that so difficult for little stubby Zack to understand?
“But of course, Half Zack, if you want to treat a potential new member that way.” I looked over at Richard and I could see an enormous sweat stain forming at the top of his back, just below his neck, like a slice of pizza, being pulled from the pie. “Where did you say the men’s locker room is?” I asked with a smile. “Back this way?”
ACTION DAY FOUR.
After work the next evening, I sat in my car, on Richard’s street, trying to catch another glimpse. I sat there for three hours, three maddening hours, but only had doodles in the margins of my notebook to show for it. His car was in the driveway but there were no movements at all, anywhere. I must have missed him somehow. I couldn’t let that happen again. I needed time to really do this right. And I needed a camera. And some binoculars.
ACTION DAY FIVE.
The next morning, I dressed at my usual time and got into the car and drove a block from our house, before I pulled down a side street and called my boss. I told her that I was pretty sick and wouldn’t be coming in. Maybe the flu, I grumbled. Lottie wouldn’t know any better, she’d think I was at work.
I drove to church and spotted his car. I waited. I drank my coffee; I nibbled the outer edges of a Sausage McMuffin. I couldn’t eat any more and crumbled the rest back in the wrapper and threw it in the bag.
It was just before noon when he finally emerged from church, squinting as he looked up towards the sky before putting on his sunglasses. I took his picture – snap, snap, snap. He got into his car and drove off.
He pulled into an open spot at a little strip mall and ran into the blue and white America’s Financial Bank on the corner. Why was he getting cash at a bank? A hotel room? Flowers? Condoms? He looked over his shoulder just after he swiped his card and opened the glass door to the bank –snap, snap, snap, snap – four pictures as he entered the ATM vestibule.
He was much more photogenic than he should have been. He moved quickly and gracefully, heading back to the parking lot, like the hero in an action movie. He got back into his car and pulled out. As he drove past, he looked at me from behind the glass. I slid down in my seat. I tried to crouch under the steering wheel and my knees slammed against the underside of the dashboard. “Owwww,” I grunted through clenched teeth. I quickly covered my mouth; my reflexes were sharp like a steel trap.
He pulled into the large parking lot of the drug store. This would be telling. Maybe he needed some ointment, a large bottle of hyper-something creme. Maybe he was looking to get rid of those moles, or some big puss-filled raspberry on his knee or elbow from the friction of the bed sheet. This is the kind of information I was looking to capture.
Inside, he wound through the aisles and by God, wouldn’t you know it, he headed to the pharmacy in back. It was a much bigger issue than I had thought. He must have something that needed a doctor and a pharmacist and some serious medication! Maybe he was dying, and this medicine was something he needed to stay alive. He was smiling, though, when he paid at the register. Jesus, I thought, why is he always so damned happy? He carried his golden elixir out of the store in a small white paper bag without an obvious care in the world.
I followed him into the KFC drive-through. I think he got a combination meal. A #3 maybe. Then he went back to church. I watched him get out of his car and reach back with his right arm, pressing the lock button on his key fob. Click, click, click. He walked across the street, over the curb and up to the large wooden front door of the church.
As he disappeared, I scratched my head. I wondered how Lottie could be attracted to us both. We were really different, Richard Jones and I, so different. Richard was too young for Lottie, too young for me. We walked differently, drove different cars, he sang for God and I . . .well, what the hell did I do? I hated my job. I hated everything about it. I managed a team of sixteen Client Representatives at an insurance company, an unethical insurance company. What could I do, though? I looked the other way, just like everyone else on the team.
ACTION DAY SIX. Day of Action.
Time to do something. I parked in a better spot on his street for taking pictures.
Striking in dark purple button-down shirt and dark grey trousers. Click. Click.
Puts garbage in can on side of house, laughs. Click.
Arched eyebrow catching late afternoon light. Click.
Confident jawbone jutting out. Click. Click.
Lightly tanned, forehead glowing with health. Click.
Moles not really visible. Click. Click. Click.
I noted that he left his house at 3:50pm and took three turns to get to K&J Market, seventeen blocks away. My photographs and my notes were definitely gotten more refined. I made charts and drew tiny maps with roads and intersections with solid arrows. I never scratched things out anymore. The patterns weren’t clear yet, but I had a real good feel of my subject. He parked in the second row off the main doors, the sixth spot in, two away from the cart corral. As I walked towards the revolving doors, I could see him through the large glass, already inside, pulling a shopping cart from the row of carts and heading towards the fruits and vegetables.
As I entered, I turned right and hovered near the cheeses, the solid yellow, white blocks and half-moon slabs. I watched his movements closely, and what he put in his cart.
Bananas: two full bunches — pods? clusters?
Approximately twelve bananas. He really likes bananas. I hate them. I hate the texture. He walked over to the lettuce and herbs and waited while the water shot out and Gene Kelly crooned, “Singing in the Rain.” He picked out a batch of fennel and a sprig of basil, placed them in plastic bags and then dropped them into his cart.
Fennel: what for? Exactly?
I looked over my shoulder to keep him in my line of vision. My instincts and my timing were getting pretty good, like an alley cat. My rhythms were almost perfectly in time with his.
He stopped and picked up a bag of apples, I hovered near the celery.
He pushed his cart ten feet, I pushed mine eight feet. And then two more.
He looked at a box of cereal in his hard, I pulled a cake mix from the shelf.
He turned and reached back for some coffee filters, I bent down to look a small bag of flower.
He put an item in his cart, and I followed suit, moving forward again, just as he did.
I had parted my hair to the side that morning, which was helping my agility. I had to wet it and press it down with my palm, but I looked different. I had stolen one of Lottie’s makeup pencils and drawn two moles – one on my forehead and one on my cheek. Two small dots. I didn’t want it to seem too obvious. Maybe I was thinking more like Richard Jones and, just maybe, Richard Jones was beginning to think a little bit more like me.
I got closer, with each aisle, watching, noting every step.
He is happy, singing. Why so happy always?
He’s singing out loud at K&J; I’m trying to stay close to hear the words:
“My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown”
(That’s all I could hear)
I was starting to get some exposure to Richie boy now, but there was so much to know. I had questions:
Lottie hates all our books; she says they make the house look cluttered. Books are not our problem, I’ve told her. Twenty-two years of marriage just brings mess, that’s all, but she doesn’t listen to me anymore. I’m sure Richard had piles of mail on the dining room table, too, and messes in the corner. Or was he a minimalist, a monk? No papers, no books, no belongings, no mess? What made him so Goddamn great?
His cart was filled by the time he got to the frozen foods. I had thrown a few things in my cart and was pretending to read the back of a Banquet Chicken Pot Pie a few feet away when the unthinkable happened — he walked away from his cart and disappeared down the next aisle. The time was now. Sensing the sudden vulnerability of my prey, I scooted out from behind my cart and leaped forward, deftly reaching for the handle of his cart. I grunted as I pushed it forward, racing down the frozen aisle, heading towards the front of the store. His groceries were in my hands, cradled in the cart, in a beautiful jumble of colors and logos and glorious shapes. A power deep in my belly burst through me and I let out a stifled howl.
At the end of the aisle I hesitated, saw an opening and slid into lane 8 where a young cashier named Maxi seemed to be waiting for me. I kept my head down as I loaded his items onto the conveyor belt. Maxi scowled slightly as she nonchalantly ran each item over the scanner, a slow, steady rhythm of beep, beep, beep. Maxi was in no hurry. I tapped my fingers on the debit pad trying to will the process to quicken. “Go, go, go!” Finally, she pulled out a long paper receipt, $134.78.
“You need help out to your car?” she asked, barely looking up as she pushed at her glasses. Was she talking to me?
“No, no, it’s all good!” I shoved the receipt into my front pocket and sprinted with the metal cart rattling over the concrete, out to my car. As I peeled out of the K&J parking lot, I glanced once in my rear-view mirror, and imagined I saw Richard running after me, yelling, his arms waving erratically. Maybe he was still walking up and down the aisles with a dumb, lost look on his face. That thought made me laugh out loud. Ha! I got him! My heart pumped wildly, my hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel trembled like I had stolen something, which I guess I had.
When I got home, I stood in the foyer and listened. No sounds, no movement, as expected. Lottie wasn’t due home for – I looked down at my watch – one hour and twenty-three minutes. I rushed back out to the open trunk and carried six bags in each hand, my arms so heavy I could barely lift them to turn the door knob. I piled the twelve bags on the living room floor, leaning against each other like drunken sailors at daybreak. I began my inventory. I took each item out of the bag and set it into one of four food categories – Richard-breakfast, Richard-lunch, Richard-dinner, and Richard-Misc., for things without a definite eating time, like the 13 bananas. (Damn, one more banana than I had guessed; I quickly made the change in my notebook.) I added a fifth pile off to the side, Richard-Non-edibles: toothpaste, Cascade pods and 75W Ultra Soft lightbulbs.
After I had sorted the groceries worth $134.78 into the five groups with roughly three inches separating each stack, I stood and looked at the perfect piles of swirling colors. Beautiful. I took a deep breath in, slowly savoring what I had done, all that I had accomplished in just thirteen days.
Thirteen bananas, a large bag of small carrots, a tub of hummus, bottles of water, packets of Bumble Bee tuna (in oil), several cans of Progresso soup, a loaf of Buttermilk bread, a jar of sweet pickles, two cans of Del Monte peas, Sun Chips, five boxes of Lean Cuisine, bags of frozen broccoli and vegetable medley, small jars of Parley flakes and coarse sea salt, a clear plastic bag of bulk cashews with a red and white twist tie, a box of Success Rice, and a small bag of Columbia’s Best Deep Roast coffee. All documented.
Those four food piles contained the food that Richard had chosen to place inside the furnace of his body, which, more than likely, was a similar assortment to other foods he had placed there in the past. This banquet before me was the food that made Richard go. It made him feel satiated and full, it made him happy. It filled his stomach, surely, but it also fed his mind, his imagination, the movements of his body, how he played the piano, how he conducted the choir, how he joked with the blonde woman at the Fitness Center and seduced the sopranos to reach notes they didn’t know they could hit. And laid out in front of me was that exact combination of food that Richard had chosen that day to fuel his body. Without food, this food, he would die. It was the reason for his existence. It was the reason for my existence.
I was sure Richard went back and filled another cart with exactly the same food, which meant that he and I would have identical carts. I would eat the exact same things that he ate, and at almost the same time. My pleasure at eating his food would mirror his own pleasure, so we’d have the very same sense of fulfillment. I’d be fueled in the same way as Richard.
I wanted to taste all the food in front of me, all at once, to take everything in. I was ravenous. I lurched towards the packages, and felt each box, the plastic wrap, the paper containers, the outer bags. I ran my hands along the edges, over the tops, looking at each item from every angle. I brought them to my face, my nose, my lips. I began to lick the banana peels from the bottom to the top, the outsides of the various boxes, along the rims of the cans of food just to feel their texture. I stole a bite here and there, sampling cereals and fruit. I looked around as I chewed, my mouth bulging and overflowing. I reached up and flicked my hair off my forehead as Richard might, and touched my two moles – one on my forehead and one on my cheek.
I sat on the couch with my spoon in a can of Amy’s Organic Tomato Bisque Soup and savored the gurgling that I could feel happening inside my body, inside his body.
“Oh dear God,” I mumbled between burps.
Soon, Richard and I would be one. I had it all happening now inside me and it would grow inside of me and soon manifest itself, outwardly. We’d become the same. We’d read the same books, travel to the same places to see the same things, laugh at the same point in the same movie, we’d take the same pictures with the same phone at the very same instant. We’d love the same woman, equally and be loved by that same woman. When Lottie walked through the door, we would be here.
I swallowed and waited.