The Virgin and the Post
by David Cain
He had an adolescent’s appetite for sex, an indiscriminate, visually driven need to touch some pretty girl with his majestic meat. Thirty-five years old, he also had a young man’s skills in seducing the fair maids, which is to say, he had none. He was cute and he was strong, tall and manly, boyish and kind. In many ways, he could seem an ideal middle-aged male. Balding, but who among them isn’t? Still, somehow in the development and growth of this handsome lawyer, the ability to speak to a woman was sorely neglected. If there was a possible wrong word to say, he would speak thus. A wrong, offensive, tasteless, clueless, obnoxious tedious string of syllables was always his go to game. He really wasn’t much better with men, but years of baseball and football had given him some man language. Of woman language, he had none.
He was of the sort who married and cheated and cheated and cheated and cheated. For the most part, no woman would come near him. He only connected by purest luck, or because she was really insane. The time bomb of his mouth had a short fuse. Mostly nothing worked in his quest for booty and it never worked for long.
Still, over years, he managed to serial cheat. Rarely with anyone more than once. Eventually he cheated mostly with prostitutes, because there was no extra charge for saying something stupid and he could fall in love without offering more than his cock. Asian prostitutes, exclusively, because the language barrier obviously worked in his favor. Strained communication buys a great deal of latitude for, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean what I said. He didn’t want words anyway, so the Pacific provided him the necessary extra-marital delights. At least until the mob started making threats, but that’s another brick in the wall. His wife had been playing blind from the start. There is just no way she didn’t know. He wasn’t clever enough to hide full scale premeditated adultery.
So he’s married five years and getting weary of his “I know nothing” wife, who I’m sure was getting weary of him. A change in position and implementing his new approach gave him reason to try again at seducing without paying. All he had to do was find women who didn’t speak English so good.
He started flirting with a twenty-three year old Asian virgin. I never saw her or met her or anything, so that’s really all I know. She talked at length, it seems, about her virginity. I took that as a bad sign. She was also rather technical about this virginity. Cunnilingus, I am told, did not count. I heard she liked that, very much.
We lived in the greater DC area, leeches of the governmental sort. Doing quite well in many ways.
He took his young virgin to a park in Alexandria. They sat on a bench and they talked. In my mind, the conversation took the flavor of Baby Baby Baby please, let me relieve you of your virginity. Gather some rosebuds while we may. World enough and time. Desperado. Baby please. Who knows, maybe they just gabbed about the office. Late afternoon, when work starts to slow down, in that valley between mid-afternoon and the crawls of commuting. People who cheat think we don’t know, but we do. Everyone knows.
A flock of youth meandered by, reeking of cheap weed. He paid them little mind. The butt of a gun struck the back of his head. Blood and panic and his wallet, her purse. The thugs ran into obscurity.
The police arrived and took their statements. Damn shame. Damn kids.
He straggled home to the wife, covered in blood, hours and hours after she was expecting him. We didn’t have cell phones back then. It was a very different world.
He told her the story of how he’d been sitting on this bench in Alexandria and these guys jumped him and took his wallet and there, there, baby, everything is all right. Replacing all those documents sucks. That’s what really sucks.
The virgin went away, still a virgin, technically. I don’t mess with virgins. I don’t have time to corrupt anyone. I like my friends pre-corrupted.
A year went by and things grew calm. No more affairs, no virgins, no brushes with the mob. Maybe I was busy and not paying attention. Sometimes life gets like that. Probably lots of wild stuff happened.
A year went by and one Saturday, the Washington Post ran an article about an increase in violent crime in the Alexandria area. His wife picked up the Post that day and began to read the article for reasons. He had been assaulted and there it was, a description of the crime. Him and his virgin were robbed. The truth indisputable in black and white. Woodward and Bernstein. To be sure, she checked the date.
And packed her bag and moved along. She was blind no more.