Hetero

She poured the last several sips of wine down her throat and stared at the ceiling. The gentleman seemed nice enough in his well-fitting suit, but he didn’t seem to like her. His smile was plastic and conciliatory.

Desiree hadn’t been out in a while, certainly not on what one would call a date. She was out of practice. When conversation lulled, she couldn’t move on to the next topic, and she didn’t know what to do with her eyes. The restaurant had these lime green chandeliers that made the lighting seem tropical, and she knew them well now. They were too bright.

“Sorry to waste your time,” he said. She assured him that she was fine, but he went on. “No, you see, I told Joan I was hetero, but she never listens. You know Joan. I’m just saying, you seem nice and all, but it’s not going anywhere.”

Desiree nodded a few times, though she didn’t understand. “Are you…?” she asked, but she wasn’t sure what the last word of her question should be. A woman? Trans? She left the ellipsis in place, and accented it with a roll of her hand.

“I mean look at us. We’re the same race. Same economic status. Basically. University-educated. Both wear glasses. Democrats. Do you watch Game of Thrones? No? That’s a start then, but it’s not enough. I’m hetero, and I can’t do anything about that. I need my opposite. You’re not even left-handed.”

He waved for the waiter to bring the bill, and suggested that they should split it down the middle. She agreed, and he shook his head.

“We really are on the same wavelength.”

He said it with such disdain that she felt it, too, the loathing that made her want only anything other than herself.

#heterosexuality, #microfiction, #paraphilia, #straight, #the-fetishists

Vice

No one knew his secret, that he was the Vice President of the United States.

Out fishing with the boys, sometimes the conversation would turn to foreign policy or federal interest rates. He had to bite his tongue.

His wife suspected something. She came home one night and overheard part of a conversation about diplomatic relations with China. She said nothing. They ate dinner. They tucked in the kids. They sat up reading on their sides of the bed, she the paper, he a spy thriller.

He coughed. “I guess you’re wondering what I was talking about on the phone earlier.”

“Not really.”

“There’s a new guy at work, you see, and nobody gets along with him. We’re just trying to figure that out.”

“Great.”

She wasn’t looking up. She wasn’t even listening. He would tell her the truth someday, when she was ready. If he could hold out three more years, it wouldn’t even matter. A few drinks in, he could reveal himself in an embarrassing little anecdote from the past. “You’ll never guess.” It would be meaningless and charming. He looked forward to that.

His wife made a exasperated noise. “Can you believe this pathetic attempt at health care reform? Ridiculous.”

He had engineered that particular compromise. “I know! They should be ashamed of themselves.”

That was all she wanted to hear. She turned over and went to sleep.

He hated keeping secrets, but it was necessary. She wouldn’t understand. Neither would his friends, or his children. They all hated the powerful, and complained of their sick pleasure, controlling policy and people. At the same time, he couldn’t help but think that maybe they were hiding the fact that they wanted to be powerful, too.

With a sigh, he tightened his collar and strapped himself to sleep.

#absurd, #holidays, #marriage, #microfiction, #paraphilia, #politics, #president, #the-fetishists