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The Art of M. J. Rennie


ab sub

An excerpt from Absolute Submission...
By M. J. Rennie   

   In my work as a policy analyst, I must attend conferences in various parts of the state, sometimes in other states. Three years ago this past July, I attended a conference in Slateville-St. Johns, where I thought I might see Veronica again after many years.
   What do you know? There she was. I couldn’t believe my eyes at first when I saw her at the State Professional Diversity Conference. I stood stock still in the hotel lobby, looking at her from a distance while she talked with another woman.
   As is usual in these situations, I just stood there, too nervous to make a move.
   Veronica did make a move, however. When she saw me, she walked across the lobby to say hello, putting her hand out. I took her hand and shook it gently. It felt warm and strong.
   “You are looking very well,” I said.
   “So are you. Very well indeed.”
   “I’ve been following my own health plan.”
   “What’s that?”
   “I eat right and exercise. I also try to make improvements in the world around me. I’ve never given up on anything.”
   “Sounds like a worthy method,” she said. “Coincidentally, I feel pretty much the same way.”
   “I’m not surprised.”
   We talked about the conference in a general way, making the kinds of guarded statements required in those situations. Then words came out of my mouth that I had not originally intended to speak.
   “What are you doing for dinner?” I said.
   “As a matter of fact, I don’t have any plans.”
   “There is a good Italian restaurant a few blocks from here, in the shopping mall. Would you care to join me?”
   Veronica smiled, showing off the beautiful teeth she had kept in perfect condition, always a sign of class.
   “I don’t see why not.”
   In the afternoon, I called the restaurant for a reservation. They assured me that seating for two in a quiet booth would be no problem.
   However, when we arrived that evening, the place was crowded and I was told by the hostess we would have to wait.
   “That is, unless you guys wouldn’t mind being seated in the bar,” the hostess said.
   I looked at Veronica.
   “It’s all right by me,” she said.
   She seated us in a dimly lit booth with a view of the huge TV screen. Monday Night Football was on and the Giants were playing the Lions. After a brief glance upward, I never looked at the game again. We ordered a carafe of white wine and started talking.
   “I’m so glad you didn’t make a fuss about the reservation.”
   “What would be the point?”
   “My ex-husband would have pitched a fit.”
   “I could’ve pitch a fit. I simply choose not to. I’m being on my best behavior.”
   “So tell me everything you have been doing,” she said.



   Above: The Vulva. External female organs of generation. From Grey's Anatomy page 1008.