THREE A.M.

Her eyes were half closed in her trademark let’s make love look. With lips that shimmied and shimmered in a lush Max Factor red lipstick, she seemed to be reaching out from the screen and all the way up to the second row in the third balcony of Radio City Music Hall. She was looking at him and only him.
“The French are glad to die for love.
They delight in fighting duels.
But I prefer a man who lives,
And gives expensive……”
Jules…..Jules….JULES!”
“Huh? What?” he mumbled half-awake trying to figure out where she went?
“You are singing in your sleep again.” His wife said overflowing with three a.m. frustration. “Gentleman may prefer blondes, but I prefer that you didn’t do showtunes in the middle of the night.”
“Sorry honey….” Jules whispered and waited.
A heavy sigh was her reply. He took quiet short breaths until he could hear her low adenoidal snore. He turned over in the bed toward the glow streaming though the window of Manhattan after midnight.
“Hi!” She was tangled in white sheets and propped up on one elbow right next to him in the bed. “Who’s the grumpy tomato? She doesn’t like showtunes?”
He squinted and then rubbed his eyes.
“Well?” she said not in her breathy movie voice but in her own natural and beautiful voice, a voice melodic with a hint of melancholy and on the edge of laughter.
“ah….no she likes showtunes… it’s just that I can’t sing.”
“Nonsense! I think you sing like Frank.”
“Frank?”
“Sinatra silly!” she laughed and pulled the sheet up a little higher over her bosom, lifted her head to the left and looked over his shoulder. “You didn’t answer my first question, who’s the tomato?”
“Believe me, she’s no tomato she’s my wife.”
Was she really here he wondered? Did it really matter? Don’t question the night just keep talking.
“How did you get in here?”
“I don’t know.” She looked up at the sleep tossed lock of champagne blonde hair hanging down over her right eye. With a crooked kiss she blew it back into its cinemascope ready place. “I just turned over and here you are.”
“Me too!” His eyes wandered slightly. “Don’t you have anything on?”
She wiggled her shoulders and gifted him with that sleepy half lidded smile. “Just this sheet, and Chanel No.5 .”
They talked until the sky began to brighten.
At 6:30 the alarm went off and he woke up slightly dazed and a little dazzled. His wife moaned. He hit the buzzer and then hit the shower. While dressing for the office he remembered her from the night before and smiled. What a strange and somehow lovely dream it had been.
He absently picked a white Brooks Brothers shirt from where it lay folded with the others in the cedar closet.
There it was as real as sunlight and twice as lovely, a red lipstick kiss on the back inside of the collar. He put the shirt on. He could almost feel her lips brush the back of his neck. For the rest of the day he could smell the luscious Max Factor red lipstick kiss from Marilyn Monroeimage

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