I was waiting for a call to go back to work. In the downtime, I was watching Internet porn.  There was one site that I was particularly interested in, but I needed to use a credit card to open an account on the site. Now, I’m not very good at online credit card transactions, I guess, because I don’t have any patience. (My wife pays all the bills and balances the checkbook; she’s very good at it and, unlike me, she has lots of patience.)   

      I asked my wife if she would use my credit card to open up a porn Web site account. “I’ve been at work all day. I’m tired, and I’m not going to set up an account for you, Darryl. If you want to watch porn, figure it out, yourself,” she said.  

      “I tried, baby. Baby, please!” That didn’t work.  I even tried, “I’ll do the dishes every night for six months! Please.”

      “No,” she said.

      My wife is in the living room watching TV, Masterpiece Theater, I think. I’m in the other room, banging on the laptop, all my credit cards scattered across the desk.   I sat at the computer all night, pushing buttons, calling 1-800 Customer Care on my cell phone. Nothing. 

      I started to think of our friends, Jon and Carol,   remembering  how when their son, Peter, was small,  he would  walk into  the living  room with his Barney video  and bang it against the VCR, all the  while singing: “ I love you, you love me , we’re a happy family,”  until Jon, or Carol   put in the  videotape   for him.

      I’m a union construction foreman. I did the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Greek and Roman wing gut rehab– a 250- million- dollar project –  and here I am, like a four- year- old boy, sitting in my underwear, banging on  the keys of my laptop computer.

     “I love you, you love me, were a happy family…” 

      I had a doctor’s appointment to deal with a bad sinus infection.  The receptionist at the doctor’s office told me they were located on 36th Street near Madison Ave, just across from the Morgan Library.   When I got to   36th Street, I couldn’t find the doctor’s office.  It was snowing, and I started getting neurotic, and frustrated.   I saw a door, and on the office door sign: Dr. Rothman, Ob/Gyn, and    I burst into the waiting room, ready to ask: “Where is Doctor Klein’s office?”  I looked around, and saw that   the whole waiting room was filled with Hasidic Jewish women,   waiting to have their Hasidic vaginas examined, poked, and prodded.   I covered my eyes with my hand. “Oh my God, I’m so sorry,” I said, and ran out of the office. I finally found Dr. Klein’s office.

      When I got back home, to Chinatown, I stopped at Wong Ping’s Chinese grocery store to buy beer, as I do every day.  Miss Ping is always watching DVDs on a 13- inch monitor, and they always seem to be epic Chinese war movies, with men dying in battle and a woman with a single tear running down her cheek.   Miss Ping and I never speak. We just exchange sad looks.  I take the black plastic bag of beer off the counter and leave the store.    

      “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family.”  

© Darryl Graff