Amanda has a supersweet languorous smile, and conversations always stall when she enters a room. She has laser-beam hazel-green eyes, full of attention and sense; whatever they focus on warms perceptibly. Her hair, long and soft, is a living part of her body, and she flicks and flows it like a filly flirts with her mane. At night, when my renegade brain ticks away, unsolving and unresolving dilemmas of money and unwork, there’s always the warm flesh of Amanda, spooning against my back and touching me, holding me. She calms me, addresses me, makes me sane.
Amanda, Mandy to friends, is far smarter than you or I. If I’ve lost something about the house, my wallet or my guitar capo or my open can of soda, I’ll ask her, and her terabit brain ticks for a picosecond and she says, “Why, on top of the mantle, sweetie,” and there my wallet or my guitar capo or my open can of soda will be. Her ability to do this, repeatedly and perfectly, gives me no end of cheap entertainment. It’s the perfect parlor trick.
Mandy sings, only for me, in a copper-plated alto. Unlike me, she remembers all the words to any song, and we’ll sometimes spend Saturday nights on the couch, with my guitar eviscerating random rock songs, and Mandy will plug into her vast mental library of throwaway-music lyrics, and we’ll joyously and raucously sing for an hour or two. Our great friendship smoothes the rumpled folds of our bed sheets, and so I consider our California king-size a place of refuge, or a nest. With a glass or two of cheap Merlot in her, she’ll forget to forget, and she can see her own sultriness reflected in my shining eyes.
She tells gentle blue jokes, twisting her tongue to the side of her ample lips in a punctuation mark of irony. I have never, in my fourteen years of association with her, known her to be spiteful or cruel to any living thing. She is a fine wife, a gentle and sweet and intelligent wife. I love my wife; more than that, I like her.