“Men!” Molly exclaimed loudly in frustration, imitatin’ other women around town and her justification for the outburst seemed correct to her. A sock on the floor, see, a sock, see, see! Crumbs left on the counter, see! Forever pickin’ up after him while molehills become mountains. And we truly are cherished slobs. Also he wants, um, sex and she wants intimacy. Ain’t the two the same? He asks. Well, ladies and gentlemen, maybe they are and maybe they ain’t, so let’s argue and see where it gits us…‘cept we don’t never talk about such things, heaven forbid. Livin’ under the same roof and never sayin’ what we think. Lucky! What! A stiff dose of medicine for someone who thought he had it down pat, a coup over the dinner table that he didn’t see comin’ as she one put one over on Lucky. Molly, don’t git in one of your weepy moods. To git you in the mood he’d do almost anything. Like breakin’ out the best champagne, givin’ her her favorite flowers, and surprisin’ her with candy. Be game. Roll the dice. Add a little sugar and spice. Do something different. Why not tonight? I swear, why not! Hot and sweaty! Git inside her undies and she’ll love you forever. And talk dirty, if you think it’ll do some good. I’ll never prove that I’m a man of your likin’ so long as you don’t let me try. Not tonight, honey.
So, by golly, Lucky por Lucky! Well, I’m not forgettin’ the inner man, what we tell ourselves about ourselves, when we leave our old self behind for good, for I’m tryin’ to change, but we men have to try or be left behind. Let’s hope we’ll arrive at a place without losing our manhood. We’re tryin’, and that should count, so stop quibblin’ over things that ain’t important. Now Molly kaint no longer be judged by her meatloaf. Long ago she acknowledged she wasn’t a great cook. Mother of latchkey kids and a Bandstand girl, as her children passed the test of reliability: more Slim Willet and Don’t Let the Stars Git in Ya Eyes but no opera. Hank Williams? Hell, yes, he’s daddy’s favorite. Vaya Con Dios. Required readin’: Macbeth. Moby-Dick. Loved Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in High Noon. So much for the movies and growin’ up too fast. Lucky is the greatest bull-shitter of the bunch. Be sure and link him, me o my, as often as you can to Ralph Kramdon. Be fair and please don’t encourage him to cry. But wait! Can’t be. He don’t talk. Sometimes he mumbles. Sometimes he’s intelligible. Now! The return of the working stiff. Now what do you expect after he’s worked hard all day? Who can match his stress? Ain’t he the provider? so stay off his case. Ain’t our town a small place after all? I knew I smelt garlic on your breath. Why, bless me Charlotte. I smelt garlic on his breath. Here I am, darling, like I’ve always been with garlic on my breath. Comin’ home workin’ all day and expecting a kiss (even with garlic on my breath). Comin’ home and zonin’ out on the couch and watchin’ the news and later expectin’ more than a kis. But she could be in her cycle, ever think of that, and in a bad mood, of course it’s ‘cause she’s in her cycle. I could go through it blindfolded and on and on ‘cause it’s happened so often! He’s not too timid or ashamed to try anything and not above beggin’ for it, and when he gits some braggin’ about it. We all understand. We’ve been there. He’s like us, our altar ego and our excuse we say is that we don’t understand women, and we can’t be expected to be romantic all the time, even as good as we are, forever tellin’ ourselves that, and since we’ve taken our vows seriously. And it’s not a laughin’ matter. Lucky has some novel ideas about it though, but he’s not always on the mark, I admit, but believe me, he’s a man of his word, but events conspire and his timin’ is off (Molly says always off). He may be enormously full of himself, and she may be out to make him say he is. Got his goat again, suck the life out of him, one word, the wrong word does it. Cry baby! I hate him. I love him, the lug. I love his curly hair. I love her…um… There’s the natural temptation to complain about every little thing, but it just don’t work to try to be nice all the time. And we’re the closest chums.
The years moved swiftly, too swiftly. Together thirty-seven years and Lucky and Molly are still married. By now they know each other very well. It’s no longer a mystery, and they know the answers to most things except…’cept why the country is goin’ to hell in a hand basket. .
Notice how we’ve changed. As aware as you of the changes. It’s a pity that we can’t do nothin’ ‘bout it now ‘cause we did nothin’ ‘bout it to begin with. A big dark cloud now hangs over us, still hangs there as we speak. Holy smokes, what are we goin’ to do? The most smartest men! Where have they been? Woo, I say it’d take the most smartest men to figure out how to stop it. The invasion, what it has done to our neighborhoods and all. How can we take ‘em back? Don’t say there’s no way now. So the day has come that I hoped would never come…the day they moved next door, so we have to live with their hot links, and barbecue, and Playin’ the Dozens. Not that Lucky knows ‘bout Playin’ the Dozens, he don’t. Now we have to call ‘em Colored. Fine! So they’re Colored. Is it Colored or is it Blacks? And they’ve moved next door and there’s nothin’ I can do about it but move and what happened on the football field and the baseball diamond is now happenin’ all ‘round us, and why is it happenin’ where we live? We want to know. Ah, it would take a genius to figure it out, I guess, when I guess we’re not geniuses, or else this wouldn’t have happened to us. But to say something now out in public would let the world see how we are really. We are really! Lucky when we hear somebody spout off ‘bout somethin’ they tell us we should know, what do you say? Welcome to the real world buddy! But we’ll have to see, won’t we?