It's late afternoon and night has already fallen. You stroll in after work, toss your bag on the mudroom bench, kick off your high heels, hang your camel-hair coat on the peg rack, and step over the threshold onto the dark wood-floored kitchen. Notice: the house is quiet, more so than usual. And warm, toasty warm on this wintry evening. Turn toward the living room and see your husband, or boyfriend, or lover prostrate on the couch. He looks at you and says: Hey Babe, how was your day? You ready to relax?
Drift over to him and kiss him gently on the forehead. Say, in a hushed, smoky voice: It's been a long dreary week; a really, crazy-busy long week, I'm so ready. He murmurs: Hmmm, come here Babe. He sits up a bit, propping himself against a tawny silk-covered pillow, making room for you. He takes your hand and pulls you down toward him on the chenille covered sofa. Run your free hand through his curls and tell him you want to change out of your work clothes—that suit you hate to wear, those dark, constricting stockings. You want to slip into something more comfortable. The fire is lit, glowing embers snapping. Gaze out the window. Wonder how the moon can hang so low in the sky, looking almost tragic.
Let me get you a drink, he says. Oblige him. Sit back in the sofa, sink into it (you'll change later), swing your stocking-covered feet up on it. He pours you a glass of Grenache. From the Rhone Valley. A Gigondas. You've been to this French village's peak, surveyed its clay terraced slopes. Say: Zhee-gon-dahs—you read my mind. Watch him casually deliver it to you. Smile. Remember your first taste of it at a hillside caveaux. Consider how lucky you are to have nabbed this guy. Your thoughts stray to your first date. The stroll along the Charles.
He hands you the generously filled long-stemmed glass, places his on the mahogany coffee table and sits beside you. Whisper: Thank you for taking such good care of me. Swirl the deep red in its glass, note the intense burgundy color; admire its clinging legs, slowly tearing from the rim; Sniff the wine; breathe in chocolate and berries. Take a big sip. He watches you drink it, rubs your nylon swathed feet, and says: You're beautiful; I'm happy to be of service to you. He kisses you gently on the lips and then picks up the remote, clicks it and throws it back on the table. You hear this:
A soulful Madeleine Peyroux.
Your stomach is empty and the wine goes to your head. You want to sing. You want to be the chanteuse. You hum. You sway. Almost swoon. Your man catches you in his arms and you giggle, you forget about the melancholy, the sore shoulders and achy legs, the crazy-busy long week. And the kids you haven't yet asked about.
It's Friday night. You're all right.
Remain in this fantasy all evening.