Sunday, May 06, 2007

My Wife and the Moustache, by Chris Killen

My wife won’t try on the moustache I’ve bought her. She says she’ll leave if I mention it again. She says I must throw it away. It’s the moustache or her.

I’m on the bed, thinking this over.

She’s in the bathroom, crying.

The moustache rests on my palm like a furry little bird. I love my wife, of course, but I’d love her even more if she’d try on the moustache. We’ve reached an impasse, the silence hanging between us like a wet towel.

My wife’s name is Bernice. I do not call her Bernie. She does not have much pubic hair.

My first girlfriend’s name was Cordelle. I called her Cordie. She had lots of pubic hair, and got rather wet, and sometimes, when I went down on her, I’d see the hair curling up on either side like a Salvador Dali. I imagine it was like kissing a man with a vertical mouth.

I’m not gay. I like women, but women with moustaches most of all.

I went to the circus once. I loitered around the tent that housed the bearded lady, but she was overweight and not beautiful and in general something of a let down. I want my moustaches small and dainty. The bearded lady’s was lost somewhere in her beard, which cascaded down her face like a hairy waterfall.

I did not have much luck with the women.

Then I met my wife, at a costume party. I fell in love at first sight. The theme was great philosophers. She’d gone as Friedrich Nietzsche – a great wolfish thing obscuring her top lip and cheeks. I was Schopenhauer.

We make a good couple, I said, and she smiled, the moustache glittering in the smoky candlelight.

She never wore that moustache again, but the memory of it was enough. I figured there would be other occasions. So I waited for them, stood at a street corner, holding a bunch of roses, hoping this might be the time she turns up, moustached. And I carried on waiting through countless dinners and trips to the opera and the all-night bowling alley.

But there was no moustache action. There was no other action, either.

She is a strict Christian.

Our honeymoon was a fiasco. Consummating our marriage, I found I was not able to enjoy myself unless I surreptitiously got a bit of her hair and draped it over her top lip. But in the excitement she kept shaking it free.

The following night, once she was asleep, I drew a small moustache on her in felt pen. Then I woke her up and ravished her, and she enjoyed it greatly until she went to the bathroom afterwards. There was a pause, and then a scream, and then there was cursing.

We spent the remainder of the week in separate beds. This was at her insistence.

We do not have any children.

I’ve not mentioned moustaches again to my wife until tonight. I figure five years is a long enough time for a change of heart.

Tonight is our wedding anniversary.

She’s in the bathroom, crying.

I’m on the bed, thinking this over.

It’s either you or my wife, I say to the moustache, and it curls in the moonlight as if my hand is smiling.


the drifter said...

I liked this story, and so did my friend, the little boy who lives down the lane.

Socrates said...