Of course he knows the visits won't cure him. A straightforward corollary of the syllogism of life, If born, then die. By modus ponens, what else. But this doesn't prevent him from carrying on.
It had been a cold winter's day when he had driven home unannounced past the Stardust Motel where, he found out months later, she would have parked her car in the middle of that afternoon. What the hell, he had said to himself, those many months later. Suppose I had seen the car?
And even before that, when she had visited him at his retreat. Not in, but at. She and her jail-guard friend had stayed in the dorms, and both of them had dropped in at his little cottage for a cognac after supper that evening.
We had at blast Halloween night, she had said. A bunch of us from work went out trick-or-treating in the bars in the small towns around the city.
Wasn't his outfit the craziest? her friend had said. Going dressed like himself? As a jail-guard?
That's her husband, she had said. The one raises horses on the side? He should have gone as a cowboy. If you dress up as somebody else, you really feel free.
He had poured everybody a second cognac. In the mountains, there you feel free, he had reminded her, remembering a line from long ago.
There were no mountains where we went, she had said. Just the flat prairie. And the bars.
Unless you count the mountain in his pants when I danced with him, her friend had said. Admiration in her voice. Was he still hard when he danced with you?
Goodnight, goodnight, the two women had chimed as they left him. We're in Room 7, just in case! Wicked grins all around. Otherwise, see you at breakfast tomorrow morning!
By the time they were preparing for bed he was hidden behind the pine tree directly across from their basement dorm window. The blinds were carelessly drawn. He wondered how many others had stood where he now stood, hard in the bleak moonlight that pointed the pine's shadow directly at the window where they were standing, naked and laughing. He could see their smiles. They seemed to be admiring each other's breasts. Hers were plump, their nipples long and dark and erect. Lower, her pubis with its mousy blonde hair. Her friend's areolas were pink, with inverted nipples. Flaming red pubis. She turned, haunches drooping slightly, reaching down to flick the switch of the night-lamp.
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