“I’ve never been in a relationship that was open enough for me,” he’d said.

Looking up from the newspaper, I said, “I don’t think that’s possible.”

“You’re just jealous!”

“Of you and the Cub Scout troop? I don’t think so.”

We’d dissolved into a smooth-men-vs.-hairy-men squabble and laughed at each other. He really had become a solid part of my life. This in itself was my first stroke of luck, as you always hear the horror stories of people with roommates.

The Barnum Circus kept me company those first few months after Steve. Okay, there you have it. His name was Steve. Barnum called the whole affair “The Steve-isode.” It ranked up there with the horrible “Juan-tastrophe,” or “The boy that Barnum let get too close.”

Barnum was currently convinced that the men of Asia were for him. “I could eat Thai every night!”

At least living with Barnum, life was never boring. Besides, he came with a giant, 72-inch plasma television. So I could watch my sci-fi shows in the living room with the volume up a little as he “had Chinese takeout” in his bedroom. Barnum had been in the bar the night the police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York in 1969—no kidding. He declared himself a dinosaur who had somehow lived past the comet’s impact. He was making the most of life in the twenty-first century, no matter what.

After satisfying his lust for the evening, he’d grab the sorbet from the freezer and come finish whatever show I was watching with me on the couch. He found sci-fi confusing, mostly because he found it odd that nobody had sex in space. “I mean, there’s kissing and all that romantic garbage, but where is the look that lets you know that the couple really enjoys fucking? Okay—so bad-guy robots, plagues from outer space—I get it. But doesn’t stress make people want to fuck even more? That these people aren’t having all sorts of animal sex just isn’t realistic. Poor creatures… it’s a tragedy!”

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an excerpt from “The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Getting Over Yourself” – a short story published in the DreamSpinner anthology “A TASTE OF HONEY” Order here

March 9, 2017