The guys went wild when they found out that Luna lived right on the beach. Even Dave cracked a rare smile when it registered that we would be surfing tomorrow morning. I had forgotten how pretty the beach is at night and how peaceful Luna’s place looked from a distance. I knew once we got inside it would be anything but calm, but we all needed to cut loose after 5 straight days on that damn tour bus. I hope that Luna didn’t tell Odette that I was coming. I could hardly wait to see the look in her eye when she saw just who Luna’s surprise band was.
We parked, per Luna’s instructions, down the road at Bob and Lucy’s place. They have lived here probably as long as Luna has and have been a stabilizing presence in the revolving door of their neighbors life. Bob is a professor at the university and Lucy is an expert Gardner. They have been married forever and Odette and I always said we wanted our marriage to be just like theirs. I wonder if Odette ever thinks of that anymore.
“Christopher, my gallant young friend how goes the music business these days?” I could not stop grinning as I shook Bob’s hand a bit harder than I intended. We exchanged pleasantries about the weather and nothing in particular and just as I was ready get my stuff out of the bus when Bob immobilized me, “You know, Lucy was a lesbian once”.
I pretended that I was looking for something in my rucksack and mumbled to the guys that they should go on up to Luna’s without me. I turned to face Bob whose bemused face startled me into squeaking out “Wow, what was that?”
“You heard me dear boy and feigning deafness is not the reaction that I was expecting. You see, I know what is going on with you and Odette. Luna has been telling me a bit about Odette’s infatuation with the young student and I thought you might appreciate hearing from a guy whose been through it.” I started to tell Bob that I didn’t need to hear about Lucy’s experimental phases and was silently cursing Luna and her big mouth when he interrupted with a theatrical sigh.
“It was back in 1978. The girls were still small and we used to rent out the guest cottage to visiting artists in order to both get a little cash and add some diversity to our otherwise homogeneous community. That year, we rented to a friend of Luna’s called Betsy who was a sculptress/pot dealer. Lucy was infatuated with her right from the get go and spent hours at the cottage watching Betsy work. The two began a morning ritual of a brisk nude swim in the ocean and I suppose it was on one of those mornings that the affair began. On a red and white striped beach towel with the sun just waking up, Lucy betrayed me.”
Bob was starting to look misty eyed and I wondered if he actually might cry but he only offered a small smile and continued.
“Soon, Luce was consumed. She started spending more and more time at the cottage and less time with me. Now, as you know we all consider ourselves enlightened and evolved human beings and as a proud Francophile I sort of always romanticized the idea of an affair. It seemed so terribly sophisticated when I would read about it in one of my novels or learn of some celebrity or other stepping out on his or her spouse. So, I was surprised at just how hurt, angry, you name it I was. One night, when Lucy was off somewhere with Betsy instead of tending to me and the girls, I just lost my mind. I went down to the cottage and started busting all of Betsy’s sculptures. One by one, I smashed those delicate beauties against the cold, ceramic floor and watched with a sort of demented glee at how easily they shattered.”
I shook my head and leaned back on the bus holding my rucksack, “Bob, I am so sorry. How did you get through all of this? What happened when Betsy found her broken sculptures?” This time it was clear that he was wiping away a stray tear as he finished the story.
“Well, after I had destroyed three or four of the smaller pieces I found that I was horrified at what I had done and began to frantically look for a broom to sweep up the evidence and that is when Lucy and her girlfriend walked in. Betsy immediately started to scream at me and began to lunge for the broom to hit me with I suppose, when Lucy stopped the chaos with her laughter. Tears were rolling down her face as she explained that in 8 years of marriage this was the first time she saw me cleaning anything. Stunned, I began to think about all of the other things I had not been doing and I realized that Lucy wasn’t doing this to me she was doing it for her. Sadly, the two intertwined and by freeing herself, she was killing me. Betsy stormed off, Lucy and I spent that night talking and I am proud to say that ever since that August night, I have swept up my fair share of spills. Lucy learned to really talk to me about what was bothering her, what she needed, when she was scared that we may be slipping off a cliff rather than talk about me to another. Forty two years of marriage has taught me that it is easy to get off track. But, if you both want to, you can find a way to work through anything. Damn though, that was a horrible summer.”
I nodded and thought about Odette and wondered if we could figure out our way. Would this just be a horrible season in our otherwise happy marriage? Or, would it be the thing that breaks us? I needed to clear my head so I told Bob I was going to walk along the beach before going up to the house. He patted me on the back and assured me that he would be at the party later with something special to share. I smiled, touched that he always remembered my fondness for bourbon and headed off towards the beach.
In the not to far distance I saw a girl with a guy that looked alarmingly like Jake. There was no way he would just randomly be all the way out here, unless Odette asked him to come. But she would never do that. The two were laughing and he was pretending to drown in the shallow water. He looked a hell of a lot like Jake, but the dark plays tricks on the eyes I suppose. I see that guy everywhere I go. I looked down and saw a seashell that I picked up for Zoe and headed up towards the house; to my girls.