Content Warning: This story has brief sexual content and two cuss words.
Pickles and Ice Cream
The engine purrs evenly as it propels the Mercedes C-220 through Connecticut meadows and stands of Birch and Maple. The headlamps spread light over the wet pavement and on curves captures a damp scenery and snowflakes mixed with the rain. Outside it is ice cold.
Jacob admires Gin, his wife, sunk down and asleep in the passenger seat. A wholly erotic vision crawls into his head showing them at home joined together in their warm bed. The Sunday drive to his parents in New York was almost over. Interrupting her Jacob says, “Gin, we’re near home.” She stretches, yawning and switches on the radio, “…and so the Knickers with only two…” she switches the radio off. Jacob’s gentile question crosses the car. “How was the Sunday night nap?”
She says after a yawn “I’m in a warm car and I’m still cold. My god, Connecticut winters come icy, cruel and heartless, like a sociopath. Terrorizing you you like some serial killer. But you know what happens in my head, Jacob, as the snow flies, California sunshine happens and tattoos me a tan. I’m lying there in my bikini on my blanket in the sand, and I’m quite pregnant. Can you see me Jacob, in the bikini with a basketball belly and I tell you this? I am warm and tan. Here, clouds cover beaches and cold winds blow snow and ice. Yuk.
“Spring will be here soon enough Gin.” Jacob lit a cigarette, tastes its smoke, exhales and concentrates on the wet roadway thinking about her attitude. The car is quiet. Gin sacrificed the sun and fun of California for me. Okay. Well, me and the opportunity for a consistent money supply. She knew we had to put ourselves in the financial position to have children. We are not there yet. Our business is here because my parents got us started. But damn woman you are outwardly tired and irritable. His parents nearly spit out their tea when Gin surprisingly suggested a long trip to California for a warm mating season. The idea caught the parents off guard. They understand business and building a foundation and going to California for vacation and breeding didn’t fit into the plan.
For Jacob the weeks bring constant stress and focus on attention to detail. He began his No Tear, Tight Wear Under Hose business five years prior and profit grows slowly. Profit from two large new accounts is at his fingertips. But this did not satisfy her.
The want for sunshine and a baby weakens Gin’s days. She understands the difference between want and need. She wants a child, but Jacob says there is a need for a strong foundation first. Without a child, I am done. My feet slipping inside those goddamn galoshes, and not to be outdone, the galoshes slipping on frozen snow as I try walk. Hungry for compensation, that’s what I am. She burrows deeper into her Vince Camuto wool coat, only her loose blonde hair visible.
“Still rain mixed with snow dear, almost home.”
Gin’s head reappears from the coat. She offers no comment. Residential lights around Lake Candlewood tell her they were near their modest home on Nabby Road, Jacob says he wants to buy them a larger home, but does he?
Icy rain still splashes on the windshield as they arrive home early this Sunday evening.
Gin went directly to the shower when they were inside. The hot shower massages her back and brings a satisfying warmth. She hums “All American Girl” and shaves her legs before stepping out of the shower. She dries and tactfully powders then brushes her teeth. Jacob, sexually anxious, invades her peace and knocks on the door “Gin you about through?”
She ignores his question and replies, " Jacob, I notice your hair is beginning to thin. On top you know sweetie. Is that what you want, a Woody Harrelson sort of look? I’ll leave the vanity mirror out so you can take a look. Of course, you are making some money so that’s a plus. But you’re growing bald and I’m growing bored opposed to growing a teeny, little baby person.”
“Can we not talk through this door Gin? Seriously, you know the business needs me, my input. We are close to a couple large orders Gin, and I’m there to make sure it all happens. Then we can buy a larger house and have a baby.” Winter being winter fattens her displeasure and weighs heavy on him. Infrequent kisses not quite in sync, more like pecks pecking outside the bullseye. Hugs unhook too quickly. Conversation becomes debate, debate begets argument. Starting to feel like Heartbreak Hotel on Nabby Road.
She steps away from the mirror, wrapping a towel around her body. “I’m coming out Jacob.”
She exits the bathroom, and her form excites Jacob as he watches her cross the bedroom. Shutting the bathroom door, he confronts his face and a rough stain of beard showing in the mirror. He thinks, I am going to have to deliver an answer for Gin. I ought to get going on that. Maybe some counseling will help.” He hears the rain dripping outside the window. It made Jacob feel like dancing to a Harry Connick, Jr. love song, his arms wrapped around Gin, hers around him. Dancing, in turn, made him eager. He showers, shaves and brushes his teeth all the while trying to rein in that horse called Eager.
Spring seems distant, difficult to visualize or feel. Grey days and boredom cling fatefully to her person. Jacob, she knew, stalls using his budding business and the required devotion to be successful to distract her. I need a prod, a shiny object, something where he can’t resort to distraction. Bend him to my will so I can escape this cold and childless life.
Jacob first to bed lay there enjoying the softness of the flannel sheets Gin insists on having in winter. His eyes follow her as she glides about the bedroom in her nightgown, brushing her hair as she visits the vanity applying face cream. Back to the closet she hangs up clothes. He watches her breasts beneath her light silk nightgown. They perform an arousing breast ballet and he became glad for Gin and glad for their bedroom and glad for the flannel. He wishes the lights were low and Gin was in bed feeling and returning his touches.
Finally, Gin crawls into bed and wriggles to coziness on her side. Their silence serenaded by the pattering rain falling on the roof. Jacob moves his hand to her belly and scoots close behind forming a spoon. He cuddles her breast, snuggling closer. Her scent titillates.
“No more birth control Jacob. It’s pickles and ice cream for me, or else.”