The honest man tells his wife the truth about sex. It’s a vertiginous moment. The truth about sex is that he always wants it and will forever continue to want it with whomever is nearest and most willing and most attractive, but that of those three indicators attractiveness, while important, is not the essential and will, if mitigated for instance by distance or disinterest, yield to nearness and willingness every time, so that if she, the wife, will only continue always to be near and to rouse or to feign arousal she will never have a rival even among the most attractive for his sex, such as it is, from which longish explication the wife detects primarily that she is not considered the most attractive by the one most near. Without a word she lifts his keys from his jacket pocket, backs his sweet young Buick without looking into traffic and proceeds in reverse adroitly to the corner bar where her 7th 7and7 tells her a secret about boys and girls. To the gentlemen in the tavern her attractiveness is sufficient by several tenths, her nearness a matter of no dispute, her willingness the only occasion for a round of lively wagering. Those to whom her posture indicates a readiness most hasty place bets they can’t afford to win or lose with those persuaded of her modesty. In a forward gear, she drives one home to meet her husband, who regards him with an active curiosity, then offers him a drink. Then, having made her point, she thinks, she retires to the bedroom alone, leaving the boys to drink away the night talking about the girls they’ve known. Toward morning, she hears her husband tell the one about the honest man. She laughs out loud. She hears them laugh.

Copyright ©1997-2006 David Hodges

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