A.K. Small is a French-American writer with an MFA in Fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has published poetry in The Broken Bridge Review, has attended the Bread Loaf conference, and is currently working on her first novel titled THE RULES OF ADULTERY. She lives in New England with her husband and daughters.
(Tiger photo: insidesocial.com; Tiger & Elin: engagements.ca & blog.suntimes)
PS: Thanks AK for this super Post & also thanks JAMES P. McAULIFFE for his wild star-inspired collages in our StarLit Gallery!
~~~~~~~My Tiger Look-Alike ~~~~~by A.K. Small
Until last week, I secretly adored when acquaintances approached me at, let’s say, a Christmas party like the stuffy one I attended tonight. I especially delighted when a woman—preferably someone from my children’s elementary school—whispered, with a margarita in hand and bright lipstick smeared across her glass, “Your husband totally reminds me of Tiger.” Usually, the speaker wore Christmas trees, dangling from her ears and white caps on her teeth. I would nod then reply in my most charming voice, “I think it’s his complexion.” When in actuality, I knew that it was not only my husband’s café au lait colored skin, but also his height, his athletic built, and, of course, his smile. That big, genuine, winsome smile.
Well, until tonight when the woman, this time, slightly overweight and named Iris, leaned in conspiringly then hissed, “Your husband looks just like Tiger fucking Woods. Notice?”
At parties, my man customarily ambled around rooms with his signature Sprite. With open arms, he discussed running gear, under armour winter tights, and medical insurance. Once in a while, he turned toward me with his reassuring nod. But now, as in tonight, in this overly decorated house where hand-made, wooden elves lined shelves, he seemed deep in conversation with a slender woman. A stranger who sported the cropped, buttery, leather jacket from that chic boutique, the one gift I had almost bought myself for Christmas.
“See what I mean,” Iris chimed in, elbowing me as if we were friends.
“No, I don’t see.” I shrugged, wishing my wine glass were still full. I swirled the last drop and tried to look merry.
“Oh my God, he’s such a close talker. If Elin only watched out for signs.” Iris readjusted her silver décolleté, then gave one of her breasts a friendly tap.
“What signs?” I asked, confused. “What are you talking about?”
“Hooker signs,” Iris replied, frowning as if she couldn’t believe my ignorance. “Do you not watch TV?”
I placed my wine glass near one of the elves, and tried to excuse myself, but Iris barricaded the way.
“Poor Elin,” she continued, aggressively. “She’s foreign and has mixed kids, like you. God, you both break my heart. I’m so glad Gillette dropped that son of a bitch. Tell your husband to keep his pants on.”
I, now, wasn’t sure if Iris took meds or if I had missed something important, like my husband smooching the gal with the buttery leather jacket, but either way, I no longer wanted to stay. “Let’s go,” I ordered. “Before I swing one of your golf clubs.”
My spouse, who had meandered over to the appetizers and popped his one and only pig in a blanket said, his mouth full, “What’s the matter?”
“You were flirting with that girl,” I accused him. “I hate you and Tiger.”
He helped me put my coat on then said, slipping his hand in mine, “Sweetheart, the lady I was ‘flirting with’ owns the chic boutique and is ordering you her leather jacket for Christmas.” He grinned, shaking his head.
“Don’t smile.” I whispered, yearning to kiss his famous lips. “It makes you look shady, like a disgraced celebrity.”