Surreptitiously she enters through the garage. With false bravado she steps over the threshold, closing and latching the door behind her. She makes her presence known with, “Honey, I’m home!” The irony of the situation cuts short her laugh; the reality of the greeting has only twisted humor. In the hallway, he greets her. A brief kiss is exchanged. Together they enter the bedroom. Time is limited and so are words.
With an economy of movement and with a well-practiced routine, they carry out the mission for which they have met. When all is said and done, comments about his kids, his job and his health are shared. After his shower, awkward thank-you’s are exchanged followed by a perfunctory embrace. Together they exit through the garage. “See you next time!” In opposite directions, they re-enter the highways and back roads of society.
Always expecting this to be the last time, she compartmentalizes her feelings on the way home. Always fearful that this is the last time, she takes pride in making time with her worthwhile. She is no fool; she is in no way delusional that all this is in the name of love.
Love is no where to be found, but she has learned it is better to be used than to be ignored. Hours later and even in the days that follow when she is back within her world void of intimacy, affection or respect, she tells herself again that it is better to be seen if only for a moment than to be unseen for what feels like a lifetime. It is better to be disposable than forgotten.
Often it is said, certainly by those who sup at tables which are abundantly laden, that a person like her obviously has no self respect. Often she has thought that if she wasn’t willing to accept crumbs from his table, she would not be fed at all. No, she’s certainly no fool. She is merely hungry.