[39] Meteor Shower, Stuart Watson

When she later introduced her husband, she called him “my meteor man.” They met because of Spanish class.

She sat near Edward, a banker. He wanted to speak with his Latino customers. He asked if she would join him for the meteor shower.

“Should I bring shampoo?” she asked. He smiled.

They spread blankets on the slope, lay back under the dark and speckled sky among dozens of couples. Edward took her hand.

She asked about his family. He asked if she wanted to have sex.

She asked about his work. He asked if she wanted to have sex.

She asked where he went to college. He asked if she wanted to have sex.

This guy, she thought. One-track mind.

He excused himself to use the restroom. Focused on the sky, she felt his hand when he returned.

“There’s one!” she squealed.

“Like someone flicking matches,” he said in mildly accented English.

“Or sending Valentines,” she said.

“Or threading silver needles through a black velvet screen between us and eternity,” he said dreamily.

“Or proposing marriage,” she said.

“Or launching molten mortars of mercury,” he said.

“Or revealing our baby’s gender,” she said.

“A boy,” he said, “or better yet, a girl.”

She smiled at the pregnant sky. She was wrong in her first impressions about the banker. She suddenly felt an intense desire to have sex with him. Later, tired from the wine and watching, she rolled on her side to suggest they leave.

She gasped. This man, lying next to me, holding my hand — who is he?

She sighed in relief, however, when he spoke in Spanish. His name was Alberto. He had eyes like flicked matches, silver needles in velvet, mercury thermometers.

A man, in so many ways, like a slightly accented shower of meteors.

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