The Spooning Incident

I had an assignment for my writers group to write something based on either an obituary or a wedding announcement. A few weeks ago the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times had a blurb about a woman scorned who made a few phone calls to cancel vendors for her ex-boyfriend’s wedding.

I had been thinking about what to write and most of this story came to me in a dream in the early hours of the morning. I thought I would transcribe it and see how it came out. You tell me.

Joe woke up to find a gaggle of protestors on his front lawn accusing him of child molestation. He hoped they would leave before his date arrived in the evening.

Over dinner, Joe felt the need to defend himself to Carla.

“My son and his friend were playing in my bed, making tents and the sort. When it was time for bed, they asked if they could sleep with me. I said sure. I guess in the middle of the night, half asleep I rolled over and spooned next to this kid. He told his dad, some red neck homophobe who called the cops and his KKK pals. And here we are.”

Carla sympathized and admired Joe’s honesty. No man would want to talk about this on a second date, and that he brought it voluntarily revealed a strong character.

Carla, dedicated and unassuming, had not dated many men for any serious length of time. She felt comfortable and needed around Joe, as if she was somehow helping him. She stood by her man through the rallies, yelling at the local hicks “spooning was not a crime.” She helped him relocate to a new home void of protestors. She went to the arraignment and cheered when the judge dismissed the case.

Joe was grateful for the companionship and having someone believe him. Even his brother David stayed comparably silent during the spooning ordeal, as he would later refer to it. So much of Joe and Carla’s relationship revolved around this ugly accusation and its aftermath. It disgusted Joe that someone who barely knew him before the spooning ordeal would remain so loyal and never ask any questions. In fact, she never asked anything of Joe. She just stood beside him loyal and meek. At another point he would have found her passivity attractive, and in fact he did, six months ago when the world was ready to ex-communicate him. But now, now that he had a grittier view of the world, now that he was once accused of a heinous crime and saw his freedom flash before his eyes, now Joe wanted more.

“Every woman has the potential to be psychotic,” David once told his brother.

Joe thought Carla too submissive to do anything crazy, and after all that he endured, anything Carla could potentially do would not compare to the spooning ordeal. So he said goodbye to Carla without ado.

Devastated, she called twelve times before noon, hanging up once the answering machine picked up. She dialed Joe’s cell phone and home number, careful to block her number eleven times that evening. The calls tapered off until after one week she no longer picked up the phone and dialed the digits she was embarrassed to have memorized. Was a just reward for her loyalty? Stand by your man, my ass.

“You told her you loved her, didn’t you?” David asked.

Joe nodded.

His brother looked at him with knowing eyes.

As the weeks turned into months, Joe discovered that the dating scene was not as accessible for a formerly accused child molestor/spooner. He longed for the reliability of Carla, those comforting hazel eyes assuring him that he could survive anything. He almost wished that she had more stalked tendencies.

Joe was lamenting his mistake at their favorite falafel haunt when the waiter congratulated Joe on his engagement.


“Carla came in the other day with a beautiful diamond ring. I assumed you were still together,” the waiter said in a heavy middle-eastern accent.

Carla’s wedding was scheduled to be a beautiful affair complete with white flowers, an ivory gown and cream cake. Days before she was set to walk down the aisle, her caterer called confirming the recent cancellation.

“Huh?” she asked.

“We received a phone call the other day canceling the arrangements.”

Carla un-cancelled the cancellation and confirmed her other vendors. She told her fiancé what happened. “I think it’s Joe.”

“You told him you loved him, didn’t you?”

Carla nodded and her fiancé caste a knowing smile.

Moral of the story: Every man has the potential to go psycho too.


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