'The age of the dinosaurs' by Leonora Desar

His name is PJ. I picked him, or maybe he picked me. One of us said, let’s have an affair, and the other one said yes. When I touched him he grew old. Nobody believes me, but it’s true. When we met he was around 30. Then he was 53. He said, I can’t believe you are making me do this. I touched him and he said my wife, my wife…. he went to the bathroom and when he came out he was 90. I said, your skin. He went to look at himself—maybe I should call my wife. Then he realized what he had said—the one person who could help him was off-limits now. He was the loneliest man in all the world. We lay together on the bed, we were in one of those motels, they have them on the Internet—you Google, “best place to cheat on my spouse in the sleaziest way” and it pops up. We lay together. He smelled like my grandpa—like vitamins and split pea soup. I touched him and he was 1,006. He was the age of the dinosaurs. He looked like he had lived millennia. He was older than time itself. He said, I think it’s all too late. I wasn’t sure what he meant—did he mean it was too late to worry, or for him? I touched him and he died. He was ash. It was like he never even existed. I called room service, I didn’t know what else to do. I ordered a Caesar salad. I ate it and watched Jeopardy. The room still smelled like us. I wondered if dying would be the only way to get over it—all the guilt. I texted my husband; I’ll be home soon. But I sat there. I am still sitting.

Comments

  1. Oh, this is great, Leonora. I loved: He smelled like my grandpa—like vitamins and split pea soup.

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