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SEGAL, Erich

Love Story

“What term do you employ when you speak of your progenitor?"

I answered with the term I'd always wanted to employ.


"To his face?" she asked.

"I never see his face."

"He wears a mask?"

"In a way, yes. Of stone. Of absolute stone.”

I wanted to keep looking at her because I wanted to never take my eyes from her, but still I had to lower my eyes, I was so ashamed that even now Jenny was reading my mind so perfectly.

'Listen, that's the only goddamn thing I'm asking, Ollie. Otherwise, I know you'll be okay.' That thing in my gut was stirring again, so I was afraid to even speak the word 'okay.' I just looked mutely at Jenny.

“But what does he do to qualify as a sonovabitch?” Jenny asked.

“Make me”, I replied.

“Beg pardon?”

“Make me”, I repeated.

Her eyes widened like saucers. “You mean like incest?” she asked.

“Don’t give me your family problems, Jen. I have enough of my own.”

“Like what, Oliver?” she asked, “like just what is it he makes you do?”

“The ‘right things’”, I said.

“What’s wrong with the ‘right things’?” she asked, delighting in the apparent paradox.”

I began to think about God. I mean, the notion of a Supreme Being existing somewhere began to creep into my private thoughts. Not because I wanted to strike Him on the face, to punch Him out for what He was about to do to me - to Jenny, that is. No, the kind of religious thoughts I had were just the opposite. Like, when I woke up in the morning and Jenny was there. Still there. I'm sorry, embarrassed even, but I hoped there was a God I could say thank you to.