My friend always was unconventional—but murder? Some small part of me, somewhere, still loved her, even though, I could hardly see my shadow on the street corner—she had worn me thin.

“Murder?” I asked.

“Do you see any other options?” Andy said.

“What about bargaining?”

“You’ve tried that.”

“What about letting her have what she wants?”

“You won’t be able to pay enough, and you won’t have a moment’s peace. We’re taking about quality of life here.”

“You said there were two options? What’s the second?”

“Death with dignity.”

“Okay, Doctor Kevorkian.” But I could tell he was serious. “So, this is why you never got married.”

“I tried to tell you.”

“I thought you were joking. There’s no way marriage is this bad.”

“That’s right, I explained the statistics, and forgot to make them real for you. What Stalin said is true, ‘One man’s suffering is horrific, but 60 million suffering is a statistic.’ This is why you didn’t heed my advice.”

“Listen man, you’re crazy. I’m going home to make amends with my wife.”

“Suit yourself. I’ve got 18 holes to play.”

And he left. Andy was so selfish, and he had gone-off the deep end. He did everything he could not to work or to get tangled up with women. Whereas, I was a marriage therapist, and married. My social status was so much higher than his. My colleagues approved of me. I was on the right track, but I had a sinking sensation when I watched Andy walk away. I could tell he didn’t care about any of this. I was alone with my thoughts, and they began to torture me. If I could only get along with my wife, everything would be right. So, I went home. I opened the door. It was oddly silent.

I decided to watch football—to prove a point to myself. I could act like a bachelor and still be married.

“Turn that off!” She was standing there, like a monster. Her mascara was running. Her face was red.

“No,” I said. Where did I find the balls to stand-up to my wife? Then I noticed the knife in her hand.

“Turn it off!”

“No!” I backed away. Then she came at me.

“You tried to rape me!”

“What?” I asked.

“You tried to rape me!” And I felt the blade plunge into my kidney. Then I heard her dialing 911.

“Police! Police! Send help! I’ve been attacked!”

I passed out. Then I was in-and-out of consciousness, riding in the back of a police car, in the hospital, then resting in a jail cell.

“Your lawyer will meet with you in one week. You’re getting divorced, and you have been charged with attempted murder.” The big cop walked away and I went back to sleep.

Each day I felt better. Sleep will cure anything. There was a third option Andy wasn’t aware of—jail. It wasn’t so bad. 10 years later when I got out, it was hard to find a job. I was a sex offender, and a taboo to all good women who wanted to protect themselves from a predator like me, but I felt better than ever. I could see my shadow on the street corner, and the sun was shining brightly. A good night’s sleep—a good meal—nature—peace—what more could a man ask for?

The End

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