In a bar, at Shakers, I wait for my friend Norma to join me for a drink. Iâve known Norma for twenty years since I ï¬rst immigrated to Roanoke. Iâve been meeting her in this bar for over a decade, mostly for gossip and childfree time. We got acquainted at a ï¬tness center, where she taught step aerobics and now takes Zumba classes. In my mind sheâs hardly changed âthe same plump body and lascivious smile. The curves of her breasts and buttocks are taunting. Both Norma and I have been married for nineteen years, with two children, who are about to graduate high school. She has daughters and I have sons, and weâve always joked that they should get married, so we can ï¬nally be connected not only through spirit but through the blood of our future grandbabies. Other than our ageâforty-ï¬veâwe are very diâerent, Norma and me. Sheâs blond, blue-eyed, fair-skinned; Iâm half-Russian, half-Armenian with a bale of black hair and skin that looks tan all year round. Sheâs a lighter side to my darker one. Norma loves comedies and Hallmark family entertainment, and I crave the tragic and the desperate. Fellini, Bergman, Tarkovsky. I listen
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Aug 9, 2017
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