This is the cliché: a man comes home to find his wife in bed with his best friend.
This is the reality: I come home to find my best friend in my living room, pretending to drink coffee from a clean, dry mug. My wife’s voice is chirpy and insincere.
This is the cliché: a man drags his friend out of the bed, screaming, threatening, hitting.
This is the reality: I make awkward small talk and ask if there is any more coffee left.
This is the cliché: the wife screams and begs mercy for her lover, forgiveness for herself.
This is the reality: My wife says with a quaking voice, “Oh I think we just ran out. Should I make another pot?”
This is the cliché: the man throws his friend onto the lawn and intimidates his wife into penance and a renewed fidelity.
This is the reality: I say, “Nah, thanks.” I think about my dog and try to pretend I don’t smell sex in the air. I slap my palms on my knees and stand up. “Well, I didn’t want to interrupt,” I say, “I guess I’ll just go watch the game at the bar. Good night.”