If things continue to go bad for her she will become second wife in six years.

This is the deal you’ve made.

All of you.

It’s hard to share a hotel room with such a hot woman. The confined quarters, the heat she gives off…eventually reminding you – in an unavoidable way – how you are so very bad at being a girl. How maybe, if you tried harder, you could be as sexy as her.

She curls her eyelashes and lotions parts of her body that don’t even see the sunlight. She has more than 3 kinds of perfume. She shaves everywhere.


But you are only first wife. You are done trying. Your cosmetics come from a ghetto drugstore. You shave when you remember. Your perfume is a sampler bottle.

The potential second wife wears a thin white tight tank top while she gets ready in front of the mirror. He pretends to watch TV but I see him stealing glances…assessing his inheritance. I look too – her breasts so fucking perfect...her nipples monuments…under the lucky cotton.

I borrow her perfume. She zips up my dress. I share her shoes. We straighten his tie.

I wonder, as first wife, what rights, what privileges this will afford me and I pray the years go bad and fast for her.

For us.

Cat's Cradle
Kurt Vonnegut