Chapter 19

“That’s the dress you were wearing the night we met,” said Pat as David carefully hung the plastic-covered gown in her closet.

“I haven’t worn it since, except once when I used it to whack off in. It’s kind of a religious relic if you know what I mean.”

“It should be in the Smithsonian. The gown that stopped armies and yours truly.”

“Maybe I should get married in it.”

“Not on your life! If we get married you’re going to be properly respectable. It won’t be a hippie wedding, you dope.”

 

vvvvv

David’s life was moving at a much faster clip than he’d anticipated. Despite his misgivings, he’d become somewhat involved in Pat’s business, at first attracted to the computers there. He’d ended up taking computer courses at the nearby junior college, becoming the resident household computer genius. Pat had sighed a sigh of relief — her former husband had purchased and set up the machines before their divorce and her employees knew more about them than she did.

David’s slack time decreased. The get-togethers with Harvey and Margaret became farther and farther apart, postponed, a chore. David realized with a start one day that he hadn’t dressed as a woman for an entire month, and more than that, hadn’t missed it. He couldn’t say that he was truly happy, but he could say that he wasn’t lonely and at loose ends any more. Parts of him wrangled and tangled with his decreased freedom.

On a camping trip that summer he didn’t shave and upon returning — to the accompaniment of Pat’s jokes — kept his mustache and let it grow bushy. At work, his boss and Gene Gatzo noticed with interest.

 

vvvvv

Sunlight streamed in the kitchen on a Sunday morning as Pat brought fresh-buttered English muffins to the table where David and Danielle sat. Both were playing their game of acting in TV commercials.

“Mmmm good. This is sooooooooooo good I could eat a thousand of them,” said David as he put a generous helping of strawberry preserves on Dannie’s muffins, then on Pat’s and his own.”

“You guys just can’t get enough, can you?” Pat scolded. “You guys are going to get fat just like me.”

“You, fat?” said David incredulously. “The way you work? No way, lady.”

“No way, wade-y,” chimed in Danielle. She wolfed down her muffin before the adults were halfway through and clamored for more.

“David, I’ve been thinking.”

“Oh-oh.”

“Why don’t you quit work at the VA?”

“I’d love to. But I don’t have an alternative.”

“Are you kidding? With your stock photography and the computer work you’re certainly doing your share here if that’s what you’re worried about.”

He paused. “I’ll admit that I’d really love to go in and tell those SOBs off. Sorry about the bad language, Dannie — tell ‘em I don’t need ‘em, I mean.”

“Go do it.”

“I’ll think about it. I mean, I have to think about losing my benefits and health plan and all that, too.”

 

vvvvv

“Hi,” said David as he flopped himself down next to Vince Grasso’s neat desk. Vince looked up, surprised. They’d had very little contact lately. Office gossip had it that David was now living with a respectable lady, not with someone like Corky. One thing hadn’t changed, though — he was still habitually late.

“Can I help you?”

“I’m sick.”

“You need to go home?”

“I mean, I’m sick of this place.”

“Well, we all get sick of work at times. If you’re stressed out or something, why don’t you just fill out a sick slip and take the day off?” Vince adopted a soothing tone.

David started laughing as he looked away.

Vince shuffled some papers. “I think you’d better get back to your desk. I don’t know who put you up to this but the joke’s over.”

“Really. I’m here to tell you that I’m quitting, resigning, whatever you call it. I’m giving a month’s notice.”

“Oh, surprise. I see. Well, I suppose it’s nice when you can do that. What are you going to do, if you don’t mind my asking?”

“Odds and ends. Odds and ends. I’ve got some things cooking.”

“Well, I’m sorry to hear that you’re leaving. You’ve been a valuable part of the team here.”

“I’ve been a scalawag and you know it.”

“Oh, well, we all have our off times. But I’d like to think that we were friends on the job here. You contributed a little variety to the office.” Vince smiled knowingly. “Anyway, David, that’s your final word, then? If you change your mind, you let me know right away, OK?”

As David walked to his cubicle, Vince wondered if his records clerk was going to be photographing weirdos full time.

 

vvvvv

“David, love, it’s time we had our discussion about you know what,” said Pat, calling in from the adjoining room as David finished washing dishes one evening. Danielle, tired after a long day of play, was fast asleep.

“Oh, yeah.”

“‘Oh, yeah,’ — is that all you can say? If I remember correctly, there was this small matter of marriage we were going to talk about.”

David walked out to see her, wiping his hands on a dishcloth. “Wait a minute. I have to go put on a pair of panties to get in the mood.”

Pat ran over and grabbed him and he allowed her to force him to the living room carpet. “You’re not getting away from me even though you’re probably two-timing me and doing all kinds of things I don’t know about,” she chortled.

She got that way sometimes and he didn’t always like that part of her. He wrestled himself to the top — he wasn’t going to do any negotiating at the bottom of a pile — and pressed his body hard against hers. “So,” he said gruffly, kissing her hard more out of self-defense than anything else, “will you marry me and make me king of the castle and give me half-interest in everything?”

“King, huh? Just where do I fit in? Yeah, that’s probably exactly what you’re thinking.”

“Let’s sit down on this, OK?” reasoned David. “I mean, look, what I want you to know is that I love you a lot and that you’re the most important thing in the world to me now.”

“Now?” She cocked her head to one side. “What about tomorrow and a year from now?”

David put his finger to his mouth and shushed her, then sat her down and poured petite glasses of amaretto. They set a date in November.

 

vvvvv

David lay in bed wearing the red Frederick’s corset Pat had given him. He was alone in the house. Wondering what he could fantasize about, his mind raced about tapping that old memory, this fresh one. He fixed on Diane Beckelmeyer for a moment and resurrected the image of her whipping him with his hands tied. She would have an evil grin and she’d tease him, rubbing her breasts against his body.

Then he remembered various women he’d seen in ads — the way the cups of their bras or corsets held their breasts and created smooth lines. He remembered the black bra Pat wore sometimes, the way the tight straps made small creases in the skin of her shoulder and back, and the way he photographed her wearing that bra. He could reach over to her chest of drawers and put it on if he wished. No, he was too close to coming. The sweetness was too great. Then he thought about the simpleness of her cunt, the rose-like flesh that had repulsed him the first time he’d seen it as a college student. Folds of wet skin upon folds of wet skin — Pat’s ultimate softness. He had a full image of her cunt and amazingly it was propelling him to orgasm.

Never before had he managed an orgasm centered on a women’s cunt. Now he understood why women in porno magazines often exposed their cunts — guys got off on the rosy skin alone.

 

vvvvv

He was only too happy to leave the wedding details to Pat. He figured that if so many men had gone through the ceremony without screwing up too badly, then he could too.

 

vvvvv

 

Dear David,

We’re so happy for you both and so anxious to meet Pat and see you again. Of course we can come out for the wedding.

We’re wonder if you need any help financially. We’re willing to help out if need be.

You haven’t told us very much about Pat. We’re in the dark!

Mother

I’m glad to see your life on track again. It makes us very happy. We were worried about you for a while there. We’re glad that everything seems to be going good for you now. We’re anxious to meet Pat.

Dad

vvvvv

Sometimes he asked himself if he was doing the right. thing. He had set this whole program into motion without ever having a master plan for his life. “I mean,” he wrote in his diary, “here I am getting married. How the hell did I ever get to this point? Am I trapped? Is this what I really want? It’s too late to back out now — the champagne’s been ordered.”

Otherwise, their life seemed charmed while they prepared for November. They would soon be an official family — husband and wife and daughter — and everyone would think of them as such. Even their neighbors on Marwood Court would see the name on their mailbox — The Nunleys — and think that normalcy had returned. He and Patricia would get old together and have children and grandchildren. David, gray-haired, would be out raking leaves while she knitted on the porch.