Violet saw the woman first. The broad, white backside of her. The pasty rise and fall of her as she smothered the man underneath. Pegged him like a nail into the bed. Her bed. Shoved her husband down into the clean sheets she’d washed this morning. The white pillows she’d fluffed with her own hands.

She spotted a freckle on one pale cheek. As if the woman’s ass were winking at her. Letting her in on a secret. Violet lifted a hand to her mouth to stifle a scream, but instead she laughed—quietly. The rolls of it caught in her teeth, tamed by her tongue. She didn’t want them to stop. She wanted to see, to watch the woman rising like a moon into the darkness, then sinking again.

Violet, you’ve let yourself go. Look at you. Look at those hips. Remember when you used to dance in the living room? You’d take off your pants and shimmy your hips in front of the open window. The neighbors thought we were crazy! You were so sexy, then. Now your hips barely fit through the door.

She waited till he left the room, then flashed her ass out the window. Shook it until the birds flew from the ledge. Until she could feel the fat wiggle and thrash against the pane.

Her husband couldn’t see her. Had his eyes closed, like he always did. Tight wrinkles crawling up his temples to a headache he’ll complain about later. Violet watched him move his hands across the woman’s back, saw him squeeze welts into her skin. Smiled as the woman recoiled from his touch, from the dig of his wedding ring into her jiggling flesh.

Have you seen my ring, Violet? I put it right here. You’re not still mad at me, are you? You didn’t hide it on me because I said you were stupid? Don’t sit there looking uncomfortable. Help me look.

She told him she’d found the ring behind the couch. But in truth she’d swallowed it. Gagged it down. All for the pleasure of shitting it out, of digesting every last bit of its dignity and expulsing it along with the rest of the waste in her life. She wiped it clean with a scrap of toilet paper and placed it back on his finger. I do, asshole.

Violet watched them from the doorway. Saw her husband come into view and disappear behind a curtain of flesh. She was amused by the way he entered this strange woman, moving at a scattered rhythm, prodding her at odd angles. Violet saw his testicles stretch and collapse like a child’s accordion, as if nodding their fleshy approval.

His feet stuck out like a corpse, ankles barely touching the bed. His pinky toes spasmed, bent and crooked, vying for toe space. Trying to escape. The bottoms of his feet were dry and cracked, with bits of dirt caught in the split skin at his heels. Deep, black lines he hides under work socks. Faults he keeps buried in shoes.

It’s just cream, Violet. See? “Use daily to diminish the appearance of fine lines.” It’s not difficult! A dab here, a little elbow grease. It’ll do your face some good. Look, it cost me $39.99, so can you at least try it.

And she did. She tried it that night. She unscrewed the cap and smelled it—this rich, lavender-scented cream he’d ordered just for her. This gift of youthful promise, of a better wife. She dug in two fingers and scooped out a glop. Added it to his mashed potatoes.

Violet knew they were coming to the end. She could hear her husband’s breathing—a raspy, choking sound that stuck in his throat. She wondered if he’d cough now. If he’d throw the timing off with his wet hacking. But the woman covered his mouth with hers instead. Dug her tongue around, perhaps, to catch the phlegm. To keep him quiet.   

Violet could see his Adam’s apple bob—as awkward and off time as the rest of him. She saw his teeth bite painfully against the woman’s lower lip. Wanted to laugh as he drew back with her tongue caught between, pulling her over onto him like a toppled doll. One of her breasts touched his face and he grabbed at it with a fist like a hungry child.

It’s what a man needs, Violet. It’s part of a marriage contract. You’re supposed to want it and offer it to me like a gift, you know? But wrapped up in a nice package. Do your hair, wear some makeup. Do some of those, whachacallits, squats. Get those legs nice and tight.

She climbed the stairs to the office every day for a month. Felt the back of her legs harden, her thighs clench. She walked the block in circles at lunchtime until she was dizzy. Until he couldn’t take the pain of her blisters anymore. And when her husband grabbed her one night to lift her into bed, she squeezed so hard she cracked two of his ribs.

It was time, now. The woman was on her haunches, back curved. Eyes closed. Her husband was wheezing through his nose. Violet walked closer, closer, until she could see into his nostrils. See the thick, black hairs sucked in and out with every breath. His hips bucked unevenly, so that the woman had to catch herself with her hands. There was a low groan from somewhere deep in his throat—a small, dead sound like a trapped animal. A whine. And when he let out a stuttering shriek, Violet laughed.

They stopped. Screamed. Stared at Violet laughing, holding her fleshy sides. Backed away off the bed as Violet tried to catch her breath. She wiped a tear off her cheek and walked to the closet. Took down a suitcase.

Oh, don’t mind me, she said. That’s the best sex we’ve ever had.

Tina Wayland is a freelance copywriter, part-time fiction writer and 24/7 Mommy to a smart wee kid. You can find her copywriting info and a list of published fiction at




Copyright 2009