Lightning in My Living Room

This is a metaphor. Isn’t everything?

I was suspicious, right off the hop. My bride is a brightly inviting sort, so it’s not unusual for us to have a houseful. She mentioned that a young woman in our neighbourhood, someone whose good English has made her a go-to person when we can’t figure out how to pick up a parcel or find a decent loaf of bread, wanted to come over and visit. Hmm. Interesting, but we’ve never been exactly chummy before, and she didn’t say why she wanted to come.

“So Cindy wants to come over and won’t say why.”

“Yeah, and she wants to bring a friend, too.”

“Did you ask her? And she won’t tell you? And this doesn’t strike you as weird?”

I instantly smelled vacuum cleaner demonstration, but that’s a memory trace from a long-gone episode of injured pride and free-flowing anger. Chinese apartments are seldom carpeted. Gotta be selling something, though. I was sure of it. I got my back up a little, bluntly reserving my right to disappear into the bedroom at the first sign of a product demonstration. My wife inquired again, and the mystery remained, except that Cindy (an English name, and not her real one) would now have two friends with her. The secrecy irritated me, as did my bride’s apparent lack of curiosity. I even thought, What is this? A swinger’s club?

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