If you like this story, please check out my completed book, “Butts in the Seat”; one reviewer said it was “amusing, entertaining, and provides therapeutic value.”


“Hey,” Joanna says to Leigh. “Look who’s here.”

“Holy shit,” Leigh says. “I wonder if they already had the funeral.”

Leigh is referring to the fact that Salome, the beautiful Iranian woman who is now chatting with Melissa at the other end of the bar, only visits Stenny’s in the immediate aftermath of the death of one of her husbands, fiancés, or boyfriends.

“That’s a shame. She really seemed to like the last one. What was his name?” Joanna asks.

Leigh has an excellent memory for this sort of stuff. “Jacques. From Le Havre. That’s in Upper Normandy.”

“I wonder how he died,” Joanna says.

Past paramours have died in a variety of bizarre ways—wind surfing accident, spider bite, a fall while rappelling down a mountain.

Salome explained it to Joanna once. “I live a bold life and so do my partners. It’s sad when they die, but it would be much sadder if we grew old together huddled under a blanket watching TV.”

Joanna nodded, but if she understood, she really didn’t agree. She looked forward to growing old with Matt, especially under a blanket.

“I guess we should go say something,” Leigh says now.

“Let’s make sure he’s really dead first. It would be awkward if he isn’t.”

“Good call.”

Melissa is heading their way; Salome remains at the other end of the bar; head bent over her smart phone.

“Hey Melissa,” Joanna says. “Is Jacques dead?”


“How?” Leigh asks.

“Heart attack.”

“Wow. That’s pretty prosaic for one of her guys,” Joanna says.

“They were having a ménage a trois at the time. The 3rd person was a dominatrix. Toughest in the business, according to Salome.”

“Well, that makes more sense,” Leigh says.

Leigh and Joanna head toward Salome to express their condolences. Salome is not a typical griever, so they’ll mix in messages like “Sounds like he died happy,” and “What an adventure!” and “Did you have to pay the dominatrix full price?” with more traditional words of sympathy.


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