My wife’s friend—my friend too, she reminded me—was coming over to conduct some nude drawings. Maybe conduct isn’t the word. She was coming over to look at my wife naked, for a while, and I was told it didn’t matter if I was around or not. I had errands to run. It was a Sunday, after all; I’d be in and out, in and out. Tate was her name. Like the museum? I’d asked her once. Tate had shrugged, like maybe she hadn’t even heard of it. Strange, because she was an artist. An upscale furniture maker, doing wooden sculptures on the side. Well, first Tate would draw, taking stock from all directions. Then, back in her studio maybe, she’d carve. Someday soon a dead log would take the shape of my wife, knotted breasts and rings cinching through her soft belly. Fine, that’d be fine.
Tate was standing outside the front door, looking down at her phone, when I stepped out to take Andy for a walk. Flustered, you might say.
“Oh hey, Jake. I’m a few minutes early.”
“No problem, how are you? Good to see you.”
“You too. And well! I’m well.”
“She’s good! Yeah, real good. You two should come over for dinner once it gets warm enough to sit on the new porch.”