Lake Effect, Spring 2004, Volume 8: My Husband's Best Friend

Chris Mazza


My Husband's Best Friend

     She ordered meatball soup. There was one meatball. I said it was a bull testicle. I couldn’t ruin her appetite.
     We were there to talk about: My search for a career across the continent, her lover 2000 miles away waiting for a commitment. My husband wondering if being married was what he wanted, our new unintentionally similar haircuts, her budding friendship with my husband. My memories of being fired from a job I loved, her anger at her brother for giving her a nightgown for Christmas. My childhood remedies to prevent my body from maturing, her new stock portfolio that she tried not to audit every day, my husband’s recent curiosity about sex with two women at once. And maybe something else.
     We shared a chocolate mousse. I carefully shaved the pudding with my spoon in an upward motion. My side looked like Half Dome. On her side she plunged in and ate whole spoonfuls at a time. I gave her the cherry on top. We stopped talking for a while, sat looking around. The waiter kept filling our coffee cups. My fingers were trembling, I switched to decaf. I wished I would stop handling everything so well, just go ahead, fall to the floor, twitching, foaming at the mouth. Things were winding down. Then she took my hand.