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I pick up my lover and we drive to the abandoned ice cream shop, pull around behind it. It’s still daylight, which is good. The cops only bother idling cars at night.
We do what we came to do, with all its noises, heavy breathing, and changes of position, not always easy in my little Honda. Afterwards, I open the glove box for the tissues I keep there. He smiles. “You’re so efficient.” Well, it’s been five years—three, if you subtract the plague years, but still. By now, I know what I need. What we both need.
The agreement is that we will be quick, but still good to each other. That neither of us is looking for romance. We are adults, not teenagers, and we both have lives—people—that must not be harmed. This is simply—release. Fun. That’s the agreement.
He sits quietly for a moment after the clean-up, then takes my hand. Looks at me for a little while. Looks at me until my eyes start to sting and blur and I have to turn my head. “Stop,” I whisper. He squeezes my hand. He stops.
We head back to his car, town police none the wiser. It’s getting harder to find places to go. He keeps suggesting a hotel. I think it’s a bad idea.
We say goodbye. He slides into his seat, picks up his phone. She’s probably texted. “Please pick up milk and bread on the way home.”
I have a text from home, too. “How do you catch an unusual fish? Unique up on it.”