It was a stricken love, but still love. It was the kind of love that gazed up at you from the bare white flood of your headlights—a wide-eyed love with the meekness of grass-eaters. Soft fur, pink tongue, and if you got too close a whiff of mulch on the breath. This was the love she cherished for her husband.

The love had other moments. Of course it did. But its everyday form was vegetarian.

She suspected it was the love of most wives for their husbands, after some time had passed. Not for the newlyweds—that was the nature of the condition—but for the seasoned, the ones who had seniority. When she thought of conjugal love she saw a field of husbands stretched out in front of her—a broad, wide field. Possibly a rice paddy. They were bent over, hoeing. Did you hoe rice? Well, whatever. The way she saw them, the husbands had a Chinese thing going on. They toiled like billions of peasants.

30 Days

I threw the tea pot out the window.

It plummeted three floors and shattered into a hundred white porcelain pieces right behind Mrs. Epstein, whom I had never much liked anyway.

“Hey!” she yelled up at me.

“Sorry,” I said, hanging half my upper body over the sill. Then I turned back inside, grabbed half a dozen tea cups and dumped those out, too.

I wasn’t that sorry.