Should we follow our hearts or listen to others? Or do we have a choice anyway?The first time she saw Jag Silvertree she was watering the garden, and her clematis got soaked as she dreamt of melting into his face. The second time she saw Jag she knew she would never feel his angular jaw against her thighs. For Jag Silvertree carried around with him a hurt that she figured would stand out in a field of wounded soldiers. No, she could not take that on. Besides, she'd heard whisperings that Jag had a wife or a girlfriend.
The third time she saw Jag she hardly saw him at all -- hot thighs, angular jaw, wet clematis.
And so they married that first night they spent together. No, not the institution of marriage -- no bogus blessings from God or the queen, no antiquated rites of passage -- but the process, like paints and brushes on canvas or clematis and wisteria on the garden trellis. They slept and fucked and exchanged vows. I take this man. With mango juice on his hard cock. And here comes the bride.
And no sooner had he left that first morning than the neighbours came knocking at her door, one by one, to borrow a cup of milk or the plunger and to dish on Jag. "He's done this before. He'll do it again. You'll see, he'll dump you soon enough for someone else. This is his pattern."
So she declared, "Go take care of that shit in your toilet, Velma. Take care of that shit in your brain. This love is pure."
And every night and every day, Jag and she married. Often, he brought her wedding gifts and told her he loved her. One day he opened his big strong hand on a small crumpled bit of fabric: a black fishnet glove he'd found in an alleyway.
She took it home, washed it and hung it to dry, its elegant solitariness invoking in her a longing for her lover.
But Jag was a troubled man, and his trouble spilled over into her life without let-up, it seemed. Smashed furniture, shattered mirrors, broken promises. Delusional episodes and paranoid behaviour. Still, she loved him, and often that was enough to heal his fractured soul. Other times there was no stopping the rage, the abuse, the hatred. And then she would tell him to leave, and miss him till he returned.
During one such reunion she joined him in a steamy bath and kissed his wet candlelit mouth, biting his lips, then moving down to suck his rosebud nipples. She could feel his cock, swirling in the water like a sea anemone beneath her, getting hard as coral, and she moved down to slurp at its succulent beads of moisture.
"Step out," he mumbled, getting out of the tub. She stood up and took hold of his mighty coral erection from behind and between his legs. He grabbed the fishnet glove from the rack, and as she slid her hand into it he dropped to his knees. Wet, lacy fingers grasped his hair, mane of a palomino stallion; her legs turned to liquid, his tongue to wild seahorse. And soon enough in waves she came in his mouth, and he didn't let up until she came again. Then, sliding smooth and fast, her fishnet hand became a blur as great spurts of jism shot into the bath and onto the glove, hot creamy pearls trimming black net.
On the sixth anniversary of the day they met, roses filled their living room for a celebration of their love. The neighbours came to drink champagne and eat crow. Jag gave her a new pair of lace gloves. She wore them to their wedding that night.
But the next day, hungover and overtired, he flew into a rage when she said the abstract painting he'd been working on looked like an alien with the chicken pox. She didn't know what made her say it except that it did. She apologized profusely, but it was too late. He threw his coffee mug at a wall mirror and left.
As she swept up the shards (walking on eggshells was one thing, broken glass another), she could see him through her window. He was sitting in the yard of a neighbour who'd just moved in: a Rubenesque woman with golden hair. They drank beer, laughed loudly and flirted with each other. He took the new neighbour out for a drive in his car that afternoon. All the other neighbours came to regurgitate their once-eaten crow.
It was only a matter of days. Tearful and apologetic, he came back. She bolted the door, a swirl of memory flooding her being. Wild seahorse, glittering shards, wedding nights and days. Over. Decree Absolute.