Friend & Wife


Stan Washington, Contributing Writer

We are sitting in my den, George and me. The smell of leather and brandy waft through the air.

It is our monthly meeting to discuss something no matter how inane it may be. George and I go

way back to high school and college. As young men, we competed for QB, Pitcher, grades, and

of course, women.


We won our college’s football conference four years running. He was the QB and I was a wide

receiver. It was fun and kept each of us on the edge of excellence. We started businesses right

out of college. He was wildly successful and failed dramatically many a time. I invested in his

projects. It was like buying a lottery ticket. You never knew when you will cash in or cash out.

He never married but was mentioned in several divorce suits. I’ve been married for 41 years

and in love for 16 years. My wife was mercurial some days then also could be a charming lovely

soul another day. Then days later she would become a wild she-devil. She is very beautiful but

she had her moments. Let’s just say, it was quite a ride.


George is reminiscing about his “glory days.” I am here as his audience. I shake my head when

he needs feedback. We have been doing this for over 40 years in one form or another. His wild

stories about women and business deals led to either lawsuits or near indictments.


I look across the blue oriental rug watching him retell any one of a 1,000 stories. My mind

wanders as I watch his arms waving and demonstrating the story. I should be his arch enemy

for what he did; that is what he and my wife did. Susan and I were married for 16 years. I was

pouring heart and soul into my business. George stopped coming by so often and Susan was

gone for longer periods. She hinted that I made her angry and she needed her space.

They believed they were discreet but not so as I would not notice. I hired a detective and found

out what, where and how, well let’s just say there were pictures.


This went for a few months. Then Susan was staying home more and George started coming by

more often. It appeared to me the fling was over. I did not confront either one. I was angry

and hurt but I wanted to keep my friend and my wife.


I spent the last 25 years pretending to love them both, well I did love them but now I am

cautious. It is my secret versus theirs. The reason was I needed them more than they needed me.

Being as old as I am now is hard because there are fewer people who are close enough to

keep me company. Many people choose to be able to blame and be righteous. I chose to keep

slightly flawed people close.


I sit here with George remembering my history and wanting more but relishing what I have.