His dad said two was the ideal number, for martinis and breasts. One, something’s missing. Three, gluttonous. Good rule, so developed the progressive martini. Keep refreshing while you drink. Glass never goes dry – only counts as one.
But he’s thinking about sevens on his seventh wedding anniversary. Seven-year itch. He thinks that has something to do with divorce. Seven’s the hump. Make it over, you’re okay.
Divorce sounded inviting that morning, with Sweetie nagging about the gutters. But by mid-afternoon he’s shiny from the first martini and gutters sound reasonable.
The ladder rises. He swigs, then climbs.
Seven-Year Itch is also a Marilyn Monroe film. The gin facilitates a blending of Sweetie and Monroe.
Gutter clear. Back down. Swig. Move the ladder. Swig. Up.
Back to thinking about twos because next door a bikini top does yard work . She sees him, waves. Makes him wonder… if given the chance? That morning he would have said “cheat.” Now, into martini one, no.
Down. Swig. Move. Swig.
He passes the bathroom window. Sweetie’s showering. Taps the glass. Eventually she answers.
“What are you doing?”
“Gutters! Happy Anniversary.”
“The sitter will be here in an hour.” Her tone is sharp, like the morning. He was hoping for playful. And a peek. But she wears a towel.
Down. Swig. Move. Big swig. Up faster.
The next thing he remembers is the paramedic. “How many fingers?”
“Good.” Sweetie emerges over the paramedic’s shoulder. “You feel alright?”
“Yes,” he answers. “Yes.”