For this I googled “chambers of the heart.” Better title? Maybe.
It was after her third miscarriage that she decided to have an affair.
She picked the bass player, not because he was unassuming or sulky the way she imagined most bass players to be, but because he had a beard bolting new-red along his jaw. The color made her think he must be younger than she was, even if she couldn’t guess by how much. It was like buying herself a birthday present, choosing him, eyes saddling his frame the way his hips did his guitar.
There wouldn’t be any other birthdays to celebrate, besides.
The bar without her husband was like learning to dance again, but discovering she had only one leg, or three. Her lipstick spotted smoke against the glass of Malbec she lifted and pressed against her mouth, pressed and put down again without drinking. The bass player swilled something bottled and microbrewed on stage, his right foot braking against the amplifier pedal. For her the motion was something else, all four chambers of her heart flooded with gasoline, left atrium pumping poison, ventricle sucking off. Her blood moved, the bleeding that should’ve stopped but hadn’t inking her panties in a language she couldn’t understand. Her body talked. She didn’t listen.
The bass player leapt from the stage at the close of their set and she rose, smoke and light catching in the hollows of her cheeks, her eyes, the places where once she’d had feeling. Her husband would forgive her. She’d already forgiven herself.