Friday, May 13, 2016

Chapter 35

Saturday, November 21, 1964

It snowed all day yesterday. Today began sub-zero with the prospect of the temperature climbing to ten above. I had a new reason to be happy about Sarah's invitation, but I wondered if the kids were going to want to go to the ball game. 

I talked it through with them, and they both wanted to go. I thought Sarah might have objected, but she didn't. She did insist on appropriate clothing, hovering over them like a mother hen as they bundled up. 

Last night, before the kids went to their rooms, I took Butch aside and told him about the prospective meeting with Dingo Dave. Not surprisingly, he was excited.

"Not so fast," I said. "This is tricky." I told him the visit was conditional. If he chose to visit, it would make him an official part of my team, the team being the only entity invested in finding out who really killed Father Fox. He would have to keep his mouth shut around the other seminarians
and pretend that he had no special "in". He resisted this at first, but the idea of being part of an investigative team appealed to him. 

Miraculously, the Edsel started on the first try, but it took fifteen minutes to warm up enough for me to want to drive. And the driving wasn't easy. The day was crisp, to say the least, and sunny, which meant the roads were icy. I took my time, which I would have had to do anyway. The weather held down the traffic, but there was still a jam of tailgaters. I was able to pass through the gate with my faculty pass and get to the seminary

I set up Butch and Sissy in the junior rec room, where they could play pool or ping pong while they waited for seminarians to drift in from their morning work. I said goodbye and got a look from Sissy.

"Where are you going?"

"Back home," I said. "If you think I'm going to sit in this weather for three hours, you've got another think coming. If you find you can't handle it, leave and come back to the seminary. You can make pit stops at the library and Huddle to warm up. I'll be back here at five." I turned around and left. 

The ride back was easier. No traffic in that direction.

Sarah met me at the door, gave me an affectionate kiss, and said, "We'd better get busy. You're not going to want to miss the game."

The thought had occurred to me, but I still wasn't with the program. "Get busy doing what?" I had visions of various tasks laid out before me, none of which I would be very good at and none I would enjoy.

She looked at me with her trademark grin, grabbed me by the hand, and led me to her bedroom, gave me another kiss and began removing my shirt. 


"It's a propitious time of the month, Silly."

I finally caught on. Sarah, being a good Catholic wouldn't use the pill, which was just coming into its own. She had used the "rhythm method" to get pregnant the first two times and then, having almost died giving birth to Butch, used it to avoid getting pregnant. As time went on, and my alcohol habit developed, we had less and less sex anyway. Apparently, this didn't mean Sarah's sex drive had disappeared. It meant I had become unattractive.

Something had changed. "Just because I'm about to have my way with you," she said after she removed my shirt, "doesn't mean that you're moving back in with me."

"What does it mean?" I asked, after kicking off my shoes.

"That I love you, you're my husband, and the time is right."

"Propitious," I said. Sometimes, it's good to let the woman take the lead. 

I still slept on the couch that night, which was a little weird under the circumstances. I hadn't planned on staying the night, but it was so damn cold, and I had already made two round trips in the Edsel. Sarah insisted I stay
—but on the couch. She wasn't ready to sleep together, not literally, not in front of the kids. 

Besides, she said, "it was fun sneaking one in."

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