It is hard to believe it, but me and the little woman are rolling up on our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary soon. Have mercy, what a ride it has been to tame this Texas mustang I lassoed all those years ago, but given the opportunity, I would do it again. I was flat broke when we married so I know my wife did not marry me for money, but our marriage has been rocky a few times. These rocky times probably stem from her having second thoughts when the new wore off and she got tired of eating squirrels, venison, rabbits, rattlesnakes, fish, soft shell turtles, locusts and wild honey, and whatever else the land had to offer (I ain’t sure about this. I am just thinking out loud here.). Her head is just as hard as mine and she has her faults but thankfully she also has virtues that outweigh them. I have at least one fault myself, although I am sure my detractors would take issue with this number. Just exactly why she did marry a broke country boy like me is a mystery that I shall leave to the ages, but whatever it was, I am glad of it.
I have never been unfaithful to her in all these years, partly out of fear of her shooting ability on the one hand and not wanting to hear the sobbing on the other because if anyone can be pitiful, no one can out pitiful a scorned beauty queen. I won’t say I have never been tempted to stray; I just never fell for it. I was taught by a close and virtuous friend, CooterRay, to be a ‘Rock’. I will give an example.
My wife and I had been married for about three years and I was in the foyer of an office in downtown Douglas waiting to see a man on business. In the door walked one of my old girl friends and I do mean one of the ones a man never forgets, and was she ever looking good. She was dressed to kill, every hair in place, powdered and puffed and smelling like a fresh blooming honeysuckle vine. Being the gentleman I am, I stood and greeted her with a big hug for I was genuinely glad to see her. As I released my hug, she returned it with one of her own but did not release me. Looking me dead in the eye and giving me that come hither wounded bunny rabbit look, she batted those beautiful lashes and whispered in my ear, “My divorce is final today.” (This is where the ‘Rock’ part came in.) I knew exactly what she meant and as she continued fluttering those lashes, I began to waver. The rock began to turn into pebbles and roll downhill straight into her bosom. My head was swimming and I stammered “r,r,r,really?” “Yes’, she answered with a stimulating smile as her eyes turned into pools of azure green pleasure. Just then, just as I was at my weakest, the rock about to disappear in a cloud of my own divorce papers, a verse of scriptural lightning flashed and whispered in my ear, “The lips of a strange woman are smooth as oil and sweeter than a honey comb, but her end is as bitter as wormwood. GET OUT OF HERE, BOY!”
“Wormwood my hind leg; my wife will shoot me so full of holes my butt won’t hold shucks”, I thought instantly. Wide-eyed with fear, tearing myself loose from the embrace, I almost broke the double glass doors off the frame getting out of that place.
My wife was curious about the pebbles she found in my shoes that evening, but that is a mystery best left as I left it; unexplained.