Nonchalance and an E-Type Jag
By Casey Poluk
My timing was perfect. I walked in just as my wife was mid-coitus with a man I knew only as "Buck", whose shiny silver jaguar I had just viewed outside in the midnight air. I had been sadly disappointed to find it definitely wasn't our car; I found too the keys to said car on the counter with the word "Buck" die-cast into a key ring. The car was that of a man whom my wife had somehow found attractive. It was probably the car. Yeah, it was definitely the car. My mind wandered as I watched my wife finish up. Her eyes first went to Buck, very close to thanking him for the truly adulterated pleasure, until she saw the obvious lack of pleasure in his eyes, and the even more obvious look of horror plastered on the wide mustachioed face of his. Her eyes followed his to mine and her face too put on a look of complete embarrassment and shock. My face, however, contained no look of surprise, shock, horror, or embarrassment. It only had a slight smirk pasted across the lower segment of my face where either a frown or angry snarl would normally be placed. I searched my mind for a reasonable feeling of anger or resentment that I should have had, but I only found meandering musings about whether I should buy a jaguar, and what color it should be. Not red, I'd get pulled over by the cops too often. Perhaps light blue. I've always liked that color. It's innocent yet fun.
Nobody spoke for maybe a minute or two. The only thing I could hear was the slight pant of the two's intimate exertion and the only thing I could smell was fresh sex. It wasn't pleasant but I didn't mind it for some reason. I looked at the bed, the sheets in disarray. Their sex had obviously been somewhat frenzied; the cover's twisted around their naked bodies. My wife's breasts were fully exposed and her strawberry blonde hair was disheveled. These observations I made over the course of thirty seconds of silence. I then took the privilege to break the ice. "So, Buck; did you and Samantha have a good time?" I said, without hate, spite or malice.
"Wa-wa-what?" Samantha stuttered, her jaw drooping in a position of understandable disbelief.
"I said: did you two have a good time?"
Buck finally found the courage to speak. "What tha... fuck?"
"Do I need to repeat myself again? I didn't stutter, did I?" I calmly asked.
"What tha fuck is goin' on? I don' fuckin' understan' this shit!" Buck's trashy diction and vocabulary disgusted me a little. I had always hated that type of person. He was the type that keeps gun safes across town and shaves his head but kept their nasty mustaches and switches from trashy girlfriend to trashy girlfriend time and time again; quite unpleasant.
"I believe your two's fuck is what's going on." I stated.
"Vernon... I can explain." Samantha said slowly.
I held up my hand for her to stop. "No need; at least not right now. I'll leave the room so you two can get dressed. I'm not interested in the contents of your groin, Buck, I'm sorry to say."
I quickly walked out of the room and could hear the shuffling of bodies and sheets behind me. I shut the door and walked down the hall and into the kitchen. Pressing a button on the machine, a bubbling began to emit from the coffee maker. I leaned against the counter and patiently waited for either the bedroom door to open or the coffee to finish. Whichever happened first wasn't important, but that they both did was. Interestingly, the coffee finished first, and, pouring a cup, I realized that the two of them must be discussing tonight's events in my room. No doubt they were surprised I had arrived two days early from my seminar trip. It was a mandatory trip for all the office members. It was intended to be both leisurely and meaningful, we were to spend a few relaxing and carefree days on this trip funded by the mega conglomerate and receive a seminar on how to continue this cheery faade on through our work week once we were done. Ironically, the seminar speaker found out that his wife had been cheating on him and so threw himself out of a thirtieth floor window in the Las Vegas hotel in which the seminar was being held.
I had been rather disturbed, but not by the sight of the man's mangled body on the sidewalk, nor by the idea that the man had killed himself, but that Alfred Fletcher, author of "Affirmative Thinking in the Workplace", a positive thought guide on how to keep a continually calm and optimistic mind no matter the home or work situation, had killed himself over a woman. Irony continues to pervade this situation. However, the most amazing thing was that this woman was so important to Fletcher that he simply couldn't live if she had been unfaithful. Sure, he could have definitely been pissed and betrayed but he certainly didn't have to die. His commitment to this girl and her importance to him was so great that his life was nothing in comparison?
I guess I couldn't truly sympathize with him just for that reason. I knew nothing about that commitment and that importance. I had loved my wife. I had thought the world of her, yet my mind was at ease with her betrayal. I had been cheated on before, yet never quite as serious as this occasion. In those situations I had been pissed, mad I had let that happen, but not sad; not broken-hearted; not suicidal. I have never experienced that feeling, and if I was going to, this would have been the time to; but no.
I felt only the strange tickle at the back of my throat that comes before a slight cough. I didn't hear my heart thumping in my chest, only the continuous fizz of the fluorescent lighting. I did not see stars, only the fairly bland white and blue scheme of the kitchen floor tiling. I didn't taste the copper flavor of betrayal but only black, bitter coffee, and I didn't smell blood, neither Buck's nor my own. My sense, my mind, was occupied with what they were working with right now. My senses had no fucking heart that could be broken, only I did, and it certainly was not. It took a lot to hurt me emotionally, as it seemed, and loss of love wasn't a lot to me. To be as nonchalant about this occurrence was maddening, and yet I couldn't help myself. I had to leave. I had to go. I could care less about this place, and I didn't need it anymore.
A shuffling of feet and the faint murmur of voices behind the thin, cheap doors of the house alerted me to what was going on. I quickly reached behind me and slipped Buck's keys into my pocket. In a quick turn of the cogs in my head, I stumbled towards the bedroom. The two lovers were leaving the room as I was walking in. A gentle yet assertive push to Buck's chest and a cold, slippery slide past Samantha led me into my room. Locking the door behind me, I changed out of my suit and into a blank, navy-blue t-shirt, loose-fitting jeans and a comfortable pair of loafers. I grabbed my wallet, but left my cell phone. Unlocking the door, I walked out of the room and down the hall, past the kitchen, in which the two were sitting at the table, sipping down black coffee and talking softly. They didn't notice me until I had reached the front door. Begging and screaming, I heard her tearing down the hallway. Her apologies were immense and her sadness even greater. I wasn't fazed.
Out on the drive-way were two cars: a small, '06 Honda Civic, and a slick '63 E-Type Jag. A difficult quarter-second of thought brought my hand to my pocket, a short quick walk brought the key to the lock, and a sit down in the comfortable leather seats brought me to my happy place. I pushed the key into the ignition, and I turned it, causing the word "Buck" to jangle against other chains and keys. Shifting and turning my head over my shoulder, I backed out of my drive-way, and, shifting once more, rolled down the street.
My mind was racing, wondering what the fuck I had just done, but my heart was happy. Very happy. I drove down the street, and out of the suburban area and into downtown. I kept driving. I left town. I left the county. I left the state. I kept driving until morning. I was intent. The intent being escape. The escape being from a place that no longer held meaning to me. The lack of meaning due to how little I cared about what had occurred there the three nights I was gone and what will happen there from now forth. I did not need that place and the things contained therein. It was all long gone and what was on this highway is what approached me. It was all I cared about and would care about. I took off. I scarpered. I made my escape, and nothing mattered less than what the tires had just rolled over and nothing mattered more then what they were going to. And it was seven o'clock when I pulled into a rest stop on the free way.
I exited the vehicle and went into the very moist and grimy bathroom. A short scrub of the hands and fingers following forthwith an evacuation of the bladder, and I was out in the orange sun light of seven in the morning. I looked over to the Jag and admired its sheen. No matter whom my wife was to him, this Jag was without a doubt his baby. That thought saddened me, and the more I thought about it the sadder I got. Head down, I walked slowly over to a bench, and slowly at first, then horribly and disgustingly, I began to sob hysterically. I sobbed, cried, blubbered, sniveled, bawled, howled, and wept. I wept every fucking tear out of my body. My tears then fell between my fingers and onto the ground in front of me, only to evaporate in the sun.