By Liz DeGregorio
They meet for dinner every Saturday around 5:30, sitting across from one another at the long table. Their wives are dead: One had passed years ago, but the other had passed the previous fall. The four of them used to sit here every Saturday, to enjoy some kind of meaty dish plus a starch. Now it was just the husbands every Saturday evening. The long-time widower was a former doctor with a pronounced limp. The more recently bereaved, a former high-school English teacher, always did his best to anticipate his friend’s movements and ensure he wasn’t made to move too quickly.
There was never much to talk about, but they both changed out of their daytime sweatpants and into clean, cool outfits for their dinners. Tonight there were eating pasta with sauce out of a jar (they were not of the generation of men adept at feeding themselves). There were no meatballs. Just like every Saturday, toward the end of the meal, one of the men would place his palm on his friend’s thigh, almost too soft for it to be felt. His friend’s heart would always jump, then his own would immediately glow. What he had been waiting for all week was finally beginning.
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Liz DeGregorio is a poet, writer and editor whose work has appeared in Electric Literature, Catapult Magazine, Lucky Jefferson, ANMLY, Dread Central, BUST Magazine, Ghouls Magazine, Ruminate Magazine, OyeDrum Magazine, Blink Ink and many other publications. She’s also performed at the award-winning storytelling series Stranger Stories.