The fox and the cat lay curled in the exposed roots of the old maple. They’d been meeting like this for weeks, the cat slipping out of an upstairs window, the fox climbing gingerly out of the burrow. Meeting under twilight skies, talking for hours, and then lying together, purrs and soft breath. They only …
The small toe of her right foot was straddling the next bigger one as if hanging on for dear life. Two surgeries hadn’t been able to fix it, and the doctor had finally remarked, “Who says that we need five toes?” Sophie kept hers though. In the winter she had hairy calves. Her legs were short, her torso so long she towered over me when we were sitting together in a restaurant. Her front teeth were fake, her laughter a little dirty, and she used more make up than any other girl I knew. I didn’t masturbate for two years after we met, not to betray her with my own hand.
It seems childish now, childish too that now that we’re no longer young and have families, she should send me a sudden e-mail with a picture of her in Ray-Bans. Really, you can’t see much else other than Ray-Bans.
She cheated on me so many times I never felt enough courage to ask. She did it so obviously and my love for her was so ungainly that I couldn’t see anything else. My love was obese, all bent out of shape. White flesh in low-riders. And now that my love has become as trim as a runner, what’s left to love?
Sophie has a kid now, five years. She had him late. She has been married for fifteen. When I moved in with her in Berlin, her sleeveless shirts revealed that she didn’t bother with bras.
Stefan Kiesbye is the author of five novels, Next Door Lived a Girl; Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone; Fluchtpunkt Los Angeles; The Staked Plains, and, coming in October, Knives, Forks, Scissors, Flames (Panhandler Books). He lives in the North Bay Area and teaches creative writing at Sonoma State University.