He Didn't Tell Me Sooner
Michael Maiello
"H e's a good egg," she said, "but the boy simply has no money and papa doesn't find him charming at all. But I do, and this isn't another gin romance, because we were drinking whiskey and it was painfully humid that night. I never fall in love during humid times and I generally avoid men who work in advertising. I mean, a girl meets a hundred men a year and I meet two hundred, and some are heroes and the others are small bits of chaff, but it all gets confusing to keep them straight on a tight and humid night.

But we both love jazz and besides it was the next morning when I learned he was driving a borrowed car, that his cufflinks were golden imitations and that he'd made the whiskey himself in his grandpa's bathtub. He's an alcoholic faker with pretty blue eyes and he's my jelly bean who kisses so tender. I knew I'd fell in love. Him being a fake just came too late in the evening to make a difference."

She took a cigarette from a silver case and put it to her lips. I struck a match, watched her inhale (pale skin under bobbed hair) and I fell in love with a girl who'd fallen fast and hard for another man.

First published: February 2000
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