He pulled her close, unbuttoning her blouse like it was a lede he wanted to bury: “There’s a diner at the center of this Iowa town. Just a handful of big… booths.”

“But is there a counter?” she yelped, slipping her hand down his pants the way a little leaguer with hair the color of straw might slide into third — enthusiastically and painfully.

“Oh, there’s a counter. It’s long, hard, and thick, and men with giant rough hands love to eat off of it.”

“Is it the only diner? Can you tell me where it’s located?” the insatiable lust of her two-part question threatened to overtake her. She was so close, riding this Formica-topped wave like a straight-line wind through a wheat field.

He grinned a knowing grin, and growled, “It’s the only one. And it’s right… on Main Street.”

Her entire body throbbed, her hand zeroing in on his hardness. It was as straight up as the arrow in the tossup zone on the New York Times probability meter. Her meter was pegged, ironically it would seem, in the red. “Very Likely” indeed.

- - -

“Agriculture!” she yelled as she snapped the riding crop across the bare rump of the on-air talent.

“What else is there, mistress?” she cried.

“Mining!” bellowed the news director, looking smart but not too fancy in her Boden color block dress named after a white lady.

“But what kind of mining. Please elaborate,” she moaned, the extraction of precious natural resources jackhammering her with desire.

“Strip mining!” The riding crop came down again. “Open pit!” her muscular-yet-somehow-still-classically-feminine back felt the exquisite sting of the leather tongue, blow after blow after blow. “Coal!”

“But the first two are methods and the last one is material!” the on-air talent challenged.


- - -

He took a seat at the bar next to her as if they had never met before, as if they hadn’t been married four years already. Four years: the length of a standard presidential term barring impeachment, she thought. He took the liberty of ordering her a drink.

She smiled. She was ready. She had always been ready for this. He leaned over and introduced himself.

“Here we are sitting side-by-side, sharing a border, yet barely acknowledging each other. I’m Vermont. And you are…?”

She bit her lip. She had never role-played a red state before. She was prepared to feel wrong and probably racist.

“Mmmmm,” she purred while extending a perfectly manicured hand that threatened to expose her true identity, “I’ve noticed you from across my White Mountains. Nice to meet you, Vermont. I’m New Hampshire.” He broke into a broad smile, already amused by what he would say next (as he so often was.)

“So you’re exactly like me, but stupid,” he teased.

“Or you’re exactly like me, but with a stick up your ass,” she fired back.

He was close enough to her that he could feel her hot hungry breath in his hair as he whispered, “What d’you say we go somewhere a little more rural where I can tax the shit out of your Dixville Notch?”

She rose from her barstool, pressed her charming downtown against his leg and answered, “Sap is running, baby. Let’s go Live Free or Die.”

- - -

He began at her hairline, kissing, licking, nipping at her ear as he made his intentions clear. He was an urban terrier and she would be his bully stick which, if you didn’t know, is an uncooked, dried bull’s penis. That’s all it is.

“Describe the small town to me, the one where the residents gather to discuss politics but mostly hoaxes,” he begged.


He bit her ear again.

“And… sure…” she continued, struggling to concentrate as he moved down the nape of her neck and along her campaign trail “… there had been hate crimes in the past…”

At this, he paused and met her gaze. Although she had run her fingers furiously through his hair as best she could, she had to admit not a single hair was out of place, and the light was catching his good side.

“Go on,” he urged as he resumed his advance on her southern border, “about the hate stuff.”

“Well, it was nothing that couldn’t be washed down with some fresh-from-the-oven peach cobbler and later a very… stiff… drink at the local watering… hole.”

“Guh,” he gulped, suddenly fantasizing about that hot, wet peach cobbler. He circled her breasts with his tongue. They heaved with dirty exhilaration, like a demolition derby at a county fair. Or that washing machine down in the holler that only worked with a rudimentary system of pulleys and ropes. Or a bag of cats tied to a cement block and thrown in the crick because ain’t nobody know nothin’ ‘bout Bob Barker around here, son.

He moved to her taut stomach, the undeniable result of turning down corn dogs. She couldn’t take much more. Like a verbal handjob, her radio voice stroked him with its insistent rhythm, “Let me tell you about this small town, mister. It looks like a dusty postcard you’d find on a sparse shelf of the general store. The one behind the cash register. There are foothills. The town is nestled. It’s a land that time forgot. It’s so small you could carry the entire thing around in the front pocket of your overalls. There are horses. There is a speckled dog with one ear that folds over. Whose dog is it? No one knows. It’s a dog of the people. There’s frost on the pumpkins, frost on the fucking pumpkins, you dumb fuck. Wood stacked neatly and precisely, workman-like, for the long winter ahead. There is coffee and it is bad. There is a barbershop and it is standoffish. There are farmer tans and sweeping generalizations. There are weathered baseball caps pulled down over weathered faces as far as the eye can see. Everything is weathered. The buildings are weathered. The pickup trucks — weathered. And the weather?”

He caught his breath long enough to grunt, “It’s?”


“UUUUUGGGGGGGHUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHAAAARRRFFFFFFFUUHHH” he finally exploded, gasping into her hair, “That … was … off the record.”