by Jack Swenson

Poor Bud. His wife kicked him out of the house because she found out about his girlfriend. She was getting a divorce, she told him. I said I didn't think she had sufficient grounds. “It's a sad thing,” I said, “when a man has to suffer just for getting a little on the side.”

Bud said he didn't know what he was going to do. “They're both crazy,” he said. He meant both his wife and his girlfriend. His girlfriend was kinky, he said. She made him take off all his clothes, get down on all fours and bark like a dog. She even bought him a dog collar. She would lead him all around her apartment on a leash.

I asked him what he was going to do about it, and he said he didn't know. The sex was wild and crazy. He didn't want to give it up. He said he was going to a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting. He hoped that would help.

He asked me to go to a meeting with him, so I did. There were about a dozen people at the gathering. The secretary opened the meeting, and three or four people talked. The rest just sat there. A fortyish librarian with a sweet face stood up and said she had never been married and never even had a date. All she wanted was a friend, she said. Somebody she could ask over for dinner.

A chubby grocery checker said she had kicked her boyfriend out because he beat her. She wanted to ask the group if they thought it would be okay if she called him up and invited him to come over for Thanksgiving dinner. She was lonely, she said. She started to cry.

After the meeting, Bud asked me what I thought. I shrugged. I told him to check out the librarian. “She's not bad looking,” I said. I wanted to ask him if he would give me his girlfriend's telephone number, but I didn't. I didn't want him to think that I was some kind of pervert.