Ed raised his head upon entering the building, was shocked to see his brother-in-law, and asked him, “What are you doing here?”
The reply was not what he expected. Gary’s eyes widened, and he countered with, “What do you mean what am I doing here? What are you doing here?”
Both men were taken aback by the other’s presence at the adult bookstore, and they glanced around the place to see if anyone else was there who would recognize them. Embarrassment radiated from their mutually crimson faces.
Ed blocked the doorway behind him with his imposing frame and maneuvered himself between the exit and the cash register where his wife’s brother, Gary, stood. Ed didn’t want Gary to see his younger sister waiting in the parking lot outside the porn store. He felt as if he was caught buying condoms on their first date.
The couple’s sex life, and any intricate details of it aided by items procured from the premises, were none of Gary’s business. Ed’s mind instantly flashed to how he could hide Regina’s presence there and save face no matter how impossible it seemed since Gary was paying for his purchase as they spoke. He’d leave momentarily and see Regina awaiting her dirty-movie-renting or KY-Jelly-buying husband’s imminent return.
Theirs was an otherwise stunted and awkward conversation punctuated with an atypical silence before it ended with the two otherwise confident men left shuffling their feet and staring at their shoes. Normal banter centered about the latest football score and whose team was bound for the bowl game, a rivalry between their favorites normally spurring their competitive natures, but the weekend’s cold snap was the only safe topic to be found. Gary finally took his leave with an uncomfortable, “Well … that about does it.” He gave a quick nod and added, “See ya.”
Hands in his pockets, Ed nodded back and offered, “Yeah, see ya around.” Seeing his brother-in-law at the porn shop while he checked out a raunchy DVD was not the place Ed had mind. So sheepish at the surprise that he totally forgot what Regina had asked him to get — strawberry flavored something, Playgirl magazine, sex swing — he had no recall whatsoever. Shaking his head in disbelief, he snickered to himself and turned back in retreat to the car.
The man was shocked to discover what waited for him outside the glass advertising-covered door. Gary’s wife and Regina both sat in the cab of Gary’s truck grinning like two Cheshire cats. Funny, Ed didn’t notice the truck there when they first arrived.
His brother-in-law hadn’t yet worked up enough courage to get back into the truck’s driver seat and turned back to Ed, shrugging his shoulders in deference to the women. Gary lifted his hands out to his sides, chuckled, and shouted back to Ed, “So who do you think is gonna win that game on Sunday?”
*prompted by “What are you doing here” from Studio 30 Plus