by Len Kuntz
She hadn’t seen him dressed up in decades, hadn’t made love to him in almost as much time.
Sure his suit was out of style—everything too baggy and oversized, his pants pleated and as blousy as a clown’s—yet he looked resplendent, never so handsome.
She pretended she was the reason for his appearance and not the funeral.
Years and years ago, he used to like to dress well. He’d said it was for her, so she’d find him smashing, so she’d be more apt to be frisky. That was over fifty years ago, right before they were married.
The pastor, standing at the front of the freshly dug grave read from the bible: “Yea thou I walk through the valley of death.”
It was the third of their friends to go. A couple others were close to dying—cancer and dementia tightening their evil grip. Another friend broke her hip last week, which was always a tell-tale sign of impending doom. There’d be more funerals and more funerals and then theirs. Time was running out on them.
The pastor finished and the family of the deceased placed roses on the top of the shiny, mahogany casket. The crowd dispersed and went to their cars, ready to head to a reception where there would be too much food and not enough alcohol.
She feigned a bug in her eye so that they’d have to stay behind.
“Let me look,” her husband said, his eyes big as billiards’ balls. “I don’t see anything.”
“Well, it’s there,” she said, though nothing was.
It felt invigorating to lie for once, even if it was a small lie. A ripple of electricity shot from her spine to her toes.
“I swear there’s nothing in either eye.”
“If I get any closer I’ll by lying in your irises.”
When she heard the last cars pull away, she said, “Maybe my tears flushed it out.”
“Well, let’s go or we’ll be late.”
“I’ve got a better idea,” she said.
She took his hand, noticing the gnarled fingers and thick veins but not caring. She held tight and led him to a stand of bushy trees whose leaves had not yet fallen.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
She lowered her hand to his crotch. “This.”
“My god, Meredith, we’re in a cemetery.”
“Yes, isn’t it devilish? Delightful?”
“No, not at all.”
She dropped to her knees and unzipped him. “It will be,” she said. “Just wait and see.”
published 30 March 2016