in my day we used to call it pussy-whipped

I was driving over a bridge when
I got this strange station
on the radio
and here was this old guy
talking to a lady doctor.

“yes, Dr. Stacey,” he said,
“my wife is going through a
change of life…
she doesn’t think she is
but she is…”

this old guy had this pleading
whining voice.

“yes, yes, go on,” said Dr.
Stacey.

“well, Dr., after 14 years of
marriage she is going out
with another man…
I’m small and he’s big,
she’s trying to replace me
with this opposite thing,
and she says she loves me
but she keeps going
with this man…”

I was on my way to Los
Alamitos.
then I was over the bridge
and on my favorite expressway…
a clear view for miles
to watch for police cars.
I opened it up to 75, then 80,
then 85.

“Dr., this man drinks and
my wife says
if he keeps drinking
she is going to leave
him
but he hasn’t and
she’s still going with
him…
I’ve lost weight, I’ve lost
job after job, I can’t
concentrate…”

“I see,” said Dr.
Stacey.

I had it up to
90.

“…yet my wife keeps
dating this man and
she keeps dating me…

how romantic, I thought,
here’s a man
who has dates
with his wife.

“…my last job
took me back east
and I sent her money
to come stay with me
for a week and
she seemed happy,
she said she loved
me but when she
went back
she began seeing
him again.
I lost my job, I
couldn’t concentrate…”

I dropped the car back to
60 and lit a
cigarette.

“you evidently have a deep
need for your wife,” Dr.
Stacey told the guy.

“I love her, Dr.   but she
is causing me all this
misery, all this anguish.
she’s crucifying me
just like
my other wife did…”

“oh,” asked Dr. Stacey,
“were you married
before?”

the radio was fading in
and out, getting dimmer.
I wanted to hear what
the Dr. was going to tell
him.

I reached down to
dial it more
clearly and
as I did so
I lost it.

I drove along
trying to get it
back
working at the
directional and volume
knobs
but I kept getting
other stations–
music, news,
religion.
it was useless.
I turned the radio
off.

I had an idea
of what Stacey would
tell the guy
as I hit Willow and
took a right:   “if you
love her enough
just have the patience
and the faith, just wait
and endure
and when the fling is
over
she’ll come back
she’ll realize where
the real thing is.”

crap, Dr.
he ought to
dump her panties
on the doorstep
of the big guy’s place
go get drunk and
find a cathouse,
hire a housekeeper
with a big ass
and a Swedish
accent
and play cribbage
with her.

having solved all
that
I drove toward the
racetrack
with new resolve.