Black Widow by Matthew Dexter

After my husband died in the war the decision was reached that I should sleep with a different man his age every year to keep his spirit alive. Problem was, as years wore on it became increasingly difficult to find men willing to sleep with a woman my age. In 1945 it was simple. By 2005, gentlemen had become more reluctant toward this elderly cougar.

I’ve done all the annual Botox and tummy-tucks, but the plastic surgeons just can’t scalpel away all the madness in my face. Some wrinkles are as natural as the breeze through the trees. A woman’s face becomes a solar map of sorrows and an ocean of indelible pleasures as decades roll on. There’s certain majesty to all these bumps in the road. Especially the ones that rise to the surface every December 7th, these no modern medicine can ever circumvent.

I’m swimming in a shallow harbor of men who have no feelings for larger ideas than the best method to cast off the apple-cinnamon scent of my body after sex. Every year they get older…many recent divorcees or widowers or just plain cheaters. “We’ll make it to midnight,” I tell them every weekend. We always do.

I’ve assisted them in their homes by giving their wives deep-tissue massages and sleeping pills in frozen beverages. I’ve hired neighborhood boys to rake messy backyards and shovel snow from driveways of lazy ladies who never work a day in their lives. I’ve made a man out of every year and often more out of every man. They should thank me after I disappear every second of December. My perfume and my majesty and the leaves on the ground are all they need to remember.

Bio: Matthew Dexter lives and writes in Mexico. He will also probably die
in Mexico. This lunatic gringo has been known to eat tacos and drink beer in
Cabo San Lucas. He belongs in an insane asylum.


Glenn Gray said...

Nicely written. Really dug this, Matthew.

Christopher Pimental said...

Nice tight story.

Bill Baber said...

enjoyed this...

Anonymous said...

This story illustrates perfectly the importance of physical appearances in our society today in how the main character goes through such great lengths to gain outer beauty for the men because they desire those much younger than her for their outer beauty and she does all she can to gain their attention through alterations of her physical appearance and it in the end destroy who she is inside. I feel this story is a good commentary on how physical appearances have gained too much importance in our society and this story reminds me of the Roger Corman film Wasp Woman, which despite the title, is about the same theme, how a desire for beauty can destroy what we have inside and does a good job of it, just needed a bigger budget. Great story.