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September 23, 2012 | Commercial Fiction

Cialis

Dave Housley

Cialis photo

“How did you even get these tubs out here?” I ask.

He squeezes my hand. “It’s a secret,” he says. “Happy anniversary.”

I reach across the space between our tubs and dip a fingertip into the soapy water, wiggle it toward his nether region. “Is it working yet?”

He looks down. Can he really not tell without looking down? Getting older is full of surprises, almost none of them welcome. “Not yet,” he says.

I rub a soapy hand across my thigh and look out over the lake. How he got the resort people to put these tubs out here, I have no idea. I know they weren’t here yesterday, when we had drinks at the fountain that stands maybe thirty yards to the right. I know they weren’t here this afternoon, when we had lunch on the restaurant’s terrace. I know they were sitting on the top of the lake’s bank, steaming and soapy and ready to go, when we donned swimsuits and robes and headed down to what I thought was going to be the hot tub.

It is lovely, though: the manicured lawn trailing down to the lakefront, dark green water giving way in the distance to the mountains speckled with Fall.  An Ansel Adams  morphing into a Jackson Pollock. A couple walks past us. They glance and look away. I sit up, hoping they can see the band of my swimsuit.  

“For god’s sake, William,” I say. “People think we’re naked under here.”

“But we’re clearly wearing swimsuits,” he says, shooting the last word out toward the fountain.

The man nods his head and the woman giggles. I scrunch further down under my bubbles.

“This is lovely,” he says. He looks at me and smiles. There are years on his face. History. But I can still see the glint in his eye, the mischievous smile, the confidence that made me wait for him in the hallway after Freshman Comp class some forty years ago. Now I know, of course, that confidence can be a funny thing. Confidence can mean time shares and junk bonds, tech start-ups and sub-prime mortgages. Confidence can get you sitting out on the lawn of a five star resort in a lukewarm tub waiting for an erection that may or may not come.

My water is starting to get cold and my hands are wrinkling. We’ve been out here for an hour and I’m starting to wonder about logistics. “How did they get hot water out here anyway?” I say. “Did people have to carry these things? Is this a normal thing that they do? Was it extra? Did you tip them?”

“So many questions,” he says. “Can’t you just appreciate this.”  

“Wouldn’t one tub have been a little more, you know, efficient?” I say. I try to put a smile into my voice, a flirt. I like to think that I can still make that appendage rise without the help of pharmaceuticals.

“Maybe you could just appreciate the gesture,” he says. He looks out over the lake and sighs. “On the question of a single tub. May I remind you that I’m a partner. There’s a cettain…I mean, we couldn’t just…do it…right here in the middle of the Greenbriar?”

 “So just on a practical level,” I say. “When that pill starts working, are we just going to walk back to the room like nothing is happening. There are people playing shuffleboard over there. They’re starting karaoke at the bar.”

He shakes his head, stares out over the lake. He wipes a hand on the side of the tub, picks up his iPhone.

“Mr.  Romantic is checking his email,” I say.

“Can’t you just…” he starts. A young couple walks over to the fountain. They are holding hands. The man puts his hands on the woman’s leg and whispers in her ear. They giggle.  He sits down and she leans over onto his lap, looking up at the clouds.  They look like they have all the time in the world.  “I think it’s starting to work,” he says.

“You think?”

“Actually,” he says. “Not yet.”

The sun is setting over the ridge and the sky purples. Karaoke sounds trickle down from the bar, a woman doing a capable version of My Way.

“Should we have dinner brought in?” I say. “Or would you like to go to the restaurant again?” My water has gone cold and goosebumps are forming on my thighs.

“Hold on,” he says, “this will start working soon.” 

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