It’s 4 a.m.

The wind billows the white lace curtains.

She turns on the light.

Uh oh, he says.

“Uh oh” is right. Do you have any idea what time it is?

Well no, he says. Is it late?

No, funny man. It’s early. It’s four in the morning.

Oh, he says. You were asleep, I assume. That’s pretty. Is that a new dress?

Gown, she says. She taps her foot. It’s a gown. And yes, it’s new.

It’s lovely, he says. The color goes with your…

Where have you been, she screeches.

He looks at the floor.

Here and there. Around, he says. I had some stops to make on the way.

Stops, she says. I’ll bet you did. “Stops” with names like Carol. Darlene.

Now look, he says.

Don’t you “now look” me. I go to a lot of trouble, she says. I bought this new gown. It was very expensive. Spent hours fixing my hair just so. I’ve been waiting and waiting. Four a.m., you come through the—

Listen, he says. You knew how I was. And what did I tell you? What did I say from the start?

She mumbles: it’s a one-way street.

A one-way street. That’s right, he says. I’m a free spirit.

He turns, as if to leave.

I’m sorry. Come here, she says.

She unties her nightgown.

It just drives me crazy sometimes.

The nightgown falls to the floor and he smiles.

There. Now that’s my girl.

The wind billows the white lace curtains.

She sits up in bed.

It’s 6 a.m.

She brushes her hair away from her eyes.

She lights a cigarette and laughs.

Damn incubus. Free spirit, my ass

What have I gotten myself into, she wonders.


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