Camille laughs, leans toward a handsome man on the next barstool, his hand on her knee, hers on
his shoulder. Mark Nipple recognizes the streaky hair, bedroom eyes, forceful nipples, untamed
by expensive cashmere sweater or invisible black lace bra, unmistakably signaling sexual
interest. She's a little older, thinner, fine lines around lips and eyes. He wonders what the hell
she is doing here, in a Barbary Coast bistro. It's been at least ten years since he succumbed to her
charms, a mid-life vacation from sanity while his wife Anita was out of town at a conference. He
had known better, agonized over cheating on his spouse despite their over-familiar, un-adventuresome sex life. Telling himself carpe diem, he'd made the leap, taking Camille up on an
offer to continue their flirtation somewhere more private.
Does she remember that insane night in her room at the Pittsburg Howard Johnson? Watching
pornos on cable, then attempting each erotic contortion, eventually collapsing in helpless,
tequila-fueled laughter? Her taut body, full breasts, world-class ass, the unquenchable lust that
encouraged him to take her again and again, a starving man at the banquet of her lithe, willing
Now Nipple is heavier, hornier, exiled by a cranky menopausal wife from his marital bed. This
trip was her idea to get him out from underfoot, so he cashed in frequent flyer miles to visit San
Francisco, spend a few days with their daughter. She suggested this place for a leisurely after-
dinner drink. He can't decide whether to make excuses and leave this lounge before Camille
spies him, says something incriminating to blow his straight-arrow dad cover. Or, he could find
an unobtrusive table in the shadows, discreetly observe her in action.
Curiosity gets the best of him; he opts for the latter. By the time their pinot noir arrives, Camille
is licking her lips, runs a finger around the rim of her martini glass, and beams a welcoming
smile as she shares an intimate comment. Mark, mesmerized, watches her apparent conquest, his
face reddening, relaxed-fit Levis suddenly tight. He misses what Samantha is saying.
Peering in the same direction, his daughter sees the vivacious, sexy cougar at the end of the bar.
"You o.k., dad?" she asks, pointedly staring at the crotch of his pants where a swelling bulge
levitates straining denim. Embarrassed, she looks away. His blush deepens. Both pretend nothing
Camille has no interest in anyone other than tonight's mark, never glances in their direction.
When she turns her head, he sees slackness along her jawline, the beginning of jowls, crepe
puckers around the neck, a scattering of silver hairs at her temples.
Nipple feels tired, invisible, benched on the sidelines. His once-firm erection suddenly shrivels.