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- Abstract

Could you not do this, Tom?” Robin said, applying a layer of oxblood to her lips in the visor mirror. “Tonight is supposed to be fun.” § Tom Lyon turned to the passenger seat, where his wife was touching up her look for the evening, a stylish approximation of an Air France stewardess. The black pencil skirt, sailor-stripe top, and beret suited her narrow frame and vaguely Euro features—green gimlet eyes, that full-lipped pout. He should have told her so. She was 40 and feeling it, even if she could pass for 37. But the simmering stress between them left no room for generosity and the compliment died in his mouth, like a character in one of their unfinished screenplays.

The lawnmower engine of their Honda Civic hybrid—the car they said they bought to save on gas, but really on cars—shuddered off. Tom stepped into the relentless L.A. sunshine and immediately started to sweat. It didn’t help that he was wearing a black shirt and black pants, his own not-so-stylish approximation of a French waiter.

About the Author

Rick Marin, former columnist for the New York Times and author of Cad: Confessions of a Toxic Bachelor, is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles. This is his first published story.