Gabrielle picks it up.

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Gabrielle picks it up. “Good morning, John. Yes, your wife is sitting here having breakfast with your daughter.” She passes the phone to me. “Charley, your husband would like to speak to you.”

I take the phone, walk around the corner, and close my eyes. I feel Minako scoot off my lap to go turn on cartoons. I hear John’s voice from across town remonstrating me. For the first time, it is John that sounds a little worried, a bit insecure. “We went out,” I tell him. “We just went out drinking, playing pool, video poker. Lighten up, Mr. Savage.” He is unnerved by my own ease, yet somewhat appeased by my bullshit explanation.

While he scolds me, I wade in the memory of last night, like a bath, one infused with pungent herbs, confectionary blossoms, and a dream I had, one drawn in a faraway temple. It is a dream from the Kama Sutra, or the Song of Solomon, a dream that I think will be with me always, a hopeful dream for my future. I wade in that pool, hearing my husband’s voice, as though it is nothing more than a gust of wind blowing by.