“Bands” – Substack

A husband does on a date.

A blue SUV pulls into a spot down from Rick. The woman inside checks her makeup and hair in the rearview mirror and surveys the parking lot and bar where customers stream in and out. She pauses on a man who unfolds his sunglasses and leans against the car across from Rick’s. The man is similar to the height and weight Rick entered on his profile, but the man feathers his black curls after he puts on his sunglasses. The woman steps out of the SUV, wiggles down her miniskirt, but retreats when a woman, striding from the nearby café, carries two coffees and, for the baby in her arms, a juice box, and the man, opening his passenger door, kisses and helps them in. Rick rubs his bald head. The couple drives off, and the woman from the SUV, frowning, scans the lot and pauses on Rick who wants to slink into his seat, but he tilts his phone after it pings <I’m here. Are you?>. He grabs his ratty Flying Squirrels ball cap but, catching himself in his rearview mirror, snatches it off and white-knuckles his steering wheel. He takes off his wedding ring; sets it back; starts taking it off again but stops. “What does it matter?” he says before getting out, waving, faking a smile, and chuckling his way to the woman who crosses her arms and frowns deeper.

William Auten – “Bands”

“Bands” is now available on Substack. Enjoy and spread the word.