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The Boyfriend
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He's in the Kitchen

The creak of the front door pulls me back from my mindless cruising. It is 2:00 a.m. and I haven't written a word for hours, but I did read a seemingly endless loop of more and more obscure academic articles. Unfortunately, the tastiest remain hidden behind subscription services, the annual fees for which could only fit the budget of a full-service university.

I have to stop letting the time get away from me like this. How did it start? Oh, yeah, looking for an Elvish word for lust. Highly unlikely Tolkien created that one. What did Naomi tell me? If there were one, it would have been invented by Morgoth. Sounds great but no help.

"Lucy? Is that you, honey?" I call. She appears in the doorway. My heart melts. My youngest. Ten years of ballet classes and the best gifted-and-talented programs the public schools have to offer show on her.

"Mom, remember that guy I met?"

Uh, which one of the two dozen guys I've heard about in the last couple of months, might that one be? The one from city university, from acting class, from the restaurant, at the corner deli, on the subway, in the dentist office… You get my drift. The kid is a guy magnet and friendly too.

"Which one?"

"I told you. The quiet one. Well, I thought he was quiet. Remember. I said he was kind of the hipster type?" The girl likes her boyfriends with complexities: too young, too old, artists, musicians, unpublished screenwriters, actors (preferably out-of-work or never employed), and so on... Her favorite put down is: "He's too white bread." Hey, what's wrong with a bright young doctor or lawyer (employed)? Or a garbage man (regular union job), or a fireman (another union job)? Firemen are hot, fit, and good looking. Everybody likes firemen.

I stand waiting. I can feel my mouth is hanging open. No, this one always needs feedback. I won't get more without speaking.

"Yeah?" I ask.

"He's not really such a hipster, more Euro-trashy I'd say. At least I thought that a few hours ago. Now, well…now, I don't know. He's special. I'd say my gaydar was going off—he's too perfect—only I can tell he likes me… He's in the kitchen. Will you take a look? Just say 'hi'. Please…"

"Oh, Lucy. It's 2:00 a.m. Look at me!" Sure. Nobody cares what a woman of certain age looks like in her own home at two in the morning. But my son's Bob Marley t-shirt (too tight across the stomach, too big everywhere else) and faded flannel pajama pants are below even my standards.

"Here put these on," she says, throwing my jeans at me. "Tuck the shirt in."


Definitions of Americanisms will be gladly provided upon request.


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