The moment he put his hands on me, I was willing to forgive him. The past few years had been rough for us both. I felt shunted aside and he, well, he’s made some mistakes. No man is perfect. As his callused hands gently ran along my sides, finally gripping me, I was overcome with relief.

I’d been living in the dark back corner of the garage, a detached structure to the left of the house. My mornings were given life by the cadence of his footsteps and the gentle sipping sounds of his second cup off coffee. How he could walk, slurp and not spill was one of the many qualities I adored in him.

I had been wedged between a black milk crate filled with L.P.’s and cardboard box chock full of  “vintage” Playboy magazines. I’m old enough to remember when they began appearing in our mailbox, I didn’t like them then and I don’t like them now. But like I said men make mistakes. His latest bounce by his side enthusiastically.

“What’s that daddy?” 

“Oh just some old stuff, been meaning to get rid of it for a while.”

The beast had no loyalty, memory or heart. Had he forgotten the long nights spent together at our old place on 5th Avenue, with him getting stoned, spilling beer on me and singing along to the radio. The company of his voice, made the endless rotation of Bob Segers “Night Moves” tolerable. We dreamt together of a future derailed by her sudden and terrible appearance.

“Your mother wants to put a washer and dryer in here.”

It was always her. Controlling him, systematically obliterating all traces of his past. The records. The smut. Myself. She’s terrified of anything outside her limited middle class quilt magazine mentality.

He shuttles his knee high mistakes away before they inherent their fathers taste in teak end tables.  God forbid they discover he once had a personality. Their trailing laughter smugly indicates an upcoming life filled with possibilities, while my own appear to be dwindling.

Held in his arms, pressed to his chest, my elation short lived. The light of day illuminating what I’ve long suspected. With a cracked veneer, colorless features and a fungus creeping up my backside, it’s clear my best years are behind me.

Mr. Wonderful drives a few blocks away and drops us in front of a dumpster with common trash. Who could appreciate me now? Better he had donated me to a school for the blind, than to be seen like this. The wind picks up and the Playboy magazine covers flap in agreement. We are the lost.