Meryl Streep Laughed at That

by Ann Bogle

I once dated a man whose wife had authorized it. Years later, split and raising two boys he'd fathered with someone else, he fell off his motorcycle and jammed his shoulder on the road out of St. Paul.  An ambulance came, and another rider took his bike back to work.   The boys' mother lived in a house two lawns from his, but she wouldn't bring him ice packs; she had her period, she said.  So I drove sixty miles and brought ice.  He was fifteen years clean and sober.  He took the Vicodin as prescribed.  The children played in my hair until they sputtered out, and he and I fell asleep, slanted like boards at opposite ends of the couch, the TV on.  We might have tried to make endorphins then, caring not to upset his shoulder, but no spark had lasted as we had.