Challenger - Return Home   A Science Fiction Fanzine   Winter 2003


Michael Estabrook

originally published in
The Crawling Eye



I had a bad dream about my wife, a dream where I was
watching as she kissed another man, kissed him hard and long
and sure, the two of them clutched tight against one another.
She was rubbing her hands over his shoulders and back, as he
grabbed her around her waist trying to pull her in closer. It was
more of a heavy making-out session, really, than simply
kissing. And even though I know my wife is as true as a
woman can be, the dream was unnerving.

So the next evening I say to her, can we hug and kiss
just a little and she says yes. So we stand in the kitchen and I
kiss her beautiful, sweet lips, feel the heat of her wondrous
existence, her femininity, warming me, reaching its tentacles
into me, entangling my heart and mind and soul, and the
inevitable begins to rise and she looks at me with that frown of
hers, a mixture of sadness and disappointment. “Why does
kissing always have to lead to sex, why can’t kissing simply be
kissing?” she states, exasperated.

But going beyond kissing was not what I had in mind,
truly, I only desired simply to kiss her, to help erase that horrid
dream of her with that other man from my mind. But somehow
it all got ruined, seems I’m a victim of my own manhood, or was
it Mother Nature again, getting in the way.




Very strange with our 23 year old daughter in
this Irish Pub, a simple box-like room with cheap
chairs and worn stained tables, cigarette smoke
floating, loud inaudible drinking song lyrics,
clumps of young men in groups shouting to
communicate with one another. We’re with her
young man and his parents, first time ever,
standing to the side on the dirty, gritty floor trying
to hear ourselves above the din, while drinking
Bud Lite in a bottle. I can’t, no matter how I twist
and turn it, inspecting it top to bottom, figure it
out. This place is nothing to speak of, doesn’t
have good food or dancing, the three piece
“band” stinks (even Chris said so), it’s cold and
smelly and dirty and loud, nothing really worthy
in here, except of course for our beautiful
daughter smiling, happy, so comfortable and
content, carefreely holding her cold Bud Lite in a
bottle in her pretty little gloved hands, leaning
against her young man.


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