tagLoving WivesDinner at the Perryville

Dinner at the Perryville



Jedd Clampett

I don't know how it ever got as far as it did. I don't know what I could have done to prevent it. Believe me it's a sad tale. I just wish sometimes... Anyway, here's my story. It's incomplete I know, but this is as good a place to start as any...

The name's Cullen Culverson, engineer by definition, hardworking surveyor by profession, thinker and planner by nature. My motto has always been use your head, not your heart, and don't let emotion take over your life. I'll add to that I believe what the "Good Book" says, I'm a church going man, and of all the theological beliefs the one that makes the least sense its atheism. Now don't get turned off; this is not a preachy story, far from it.

So here we go...

I went to a pretty good college in western Pennsylvania, earned my degree and followed it up with the necessary work and apprenticeship to become a licensed surveyor. After a few years working for others I struck out on my own, and now at thirty-four I'm doing pretty well financially and professionally; it's my personal life that's gone awry.

I met my wife Marjory shortly after I'd started my apprenticeship. She was going to college part-time and working as a teller at a bank. Pretty girl I thought, brown hair, brown eyes, short, maybe 5'4". I liked her right away; just my type I thought, a lot like me, not flashy, not overly effusive, just the regular kind of girl a regular kind of guy like me could go for. After a few visits and a few discreet questions I found out she wasn't seeing anyone so I asked her out.

It didn't take too long, maybe six or seven dates and we were an exclusive couple. I would've liked to say we jumped right in the sack and made mad passionate love, but that never happened. She was a good girl, church goer from a good family, an only child like me, her father was a veterinarian, her mom a housewife.

We stuck it out, dated for about a year, agreed to get married as soon as she graduated. She did, we did, and shortly thereafter our first, and only child, a little boy we named Ryan arrived. It was then we found out Marjory had some clinical issues so she had her tubes tied. Marjory stayed home for the first six years of Ryan's childhood, and I made headway as a surveyor, like I said, going out on my own.

As a married couple we never did a whole lot, no big vacations; there were no big extravagant visits to the big city. I guess our biggest vacation adventure was going to Niagara Falls. I loved it, the "Maid of the Mist", all that watery spray, holding my wife in my arms, just enjoying each other and enjoying life. We just lived a normal regular life, much like our parents and what our friends were doing. In a way it was just like Adam and Eve, the first couple; I was happy, she was happy, life was like a garden. But then, like Adam and Eve in the garden there was a snake.

How do things like what happened to us happen? Why did it happen to us? And why is it the solutions to things like this never work out the way they should, or how could things like this happen to good ordinary people. Well what did happen? And what did I do about it?


I was pretty busy; everyone knows the procedure, the day in day out rush to and from work, trying to keep up with the bills, trying to put a little aside for maybe a special trip or some special purchase.

Once Ryan hit kindergarten Marjory started in at a part-time job working at the town's public library. It was a good deal, and after a few years she got a promotion or two and found herself assistant manager at the library in our county seat just seven miles from home. Like I said, it worked out good, though lately she's worked most Saturdays, Marjory got off most days around three. The one day she worked a longer stint was Wednesday; that also happened to be the day I chose to clear out my more distant surveying jobs. Most of the time those jobs weren't more than a few miles, but occasionally they took me pretty far afield. That wasn't to say there weren't other days that didn't find me pretty far out there, work is where you find it. Even so I still managed to get home on Wednesdays not much later than six or seven, and most times even a little before that. Bear in mind my work days always started off before sunrise so I almost always left home before Marjory or Ryan were up.

By the time Ryan reached middle school our work patterns were pretty set. With Ryan being older Marjory could work a little later. The school bus stop was just forty or fifty yards from our front door, and other kids got off at the same place. Understand we weren't being careless. We knew the world was a dangerous place, and kids have always been particularly vulnerable. Ryan wasn't being left out to dry. There were grandparents and neighbor's moms nearby. In fact Marjory's mom made a point of being at our house on those days when neither Marjory nor I would be home when Ryan got off the bus.

Anyway, it was a Wednesday in August, the days were long and hot, but it was an excellent time of year, climatologically speaking, to make money. I'd gone to college with a friend who lived in northwestern Pennsylvania, she'd been having trouble reaching a reliable surveyor, remembered me, and called. It was a great opportunity; first a farm had been broken up, part was to be rezoned and sold off as private homes while another was being rezoned for light industrial activity. My friend called and asked me if I wanted the job; the only stipulation was she needed me right away, like pronto. I grabbed it, and off to northwestern, Pennsylvania I went. I left early, well before dawn, and hoped I'd be done in a single day. Fond hope I knew, but the farm was small, only twelve lots were to be set aside for housing, and rest for commercial use. Maybe I could get it done, but if not, I'd stay overnight and finish on Thursday. As it turned out I did need the extra day, but that wasn't what made the trip memorable.

While I was there, out in a beautiful field of soy beans my cell phone rang. It was a call from another friend back home who asked if she could see me when I got back. Since this friend was an RN I doubted if her call had anything to do with my line of work, but one never knew, she might have new neighbors who'd decided to get cute about some line, those things do happen. I agreed to meet her the next day at the local ice cream parlor, a place called Schwartzman's, and a place that made and sold damn good homemade ice cream. We agreed to meet around three in the afternoon.

When I got there she was already seated and working what looked like a scrumptious butter-pecan cone, sugar cone no less. I ordered the same thing and sat down beside her, "So what's up," I asked? I guess I could've asked about how she was doing, but I was really curious about the unexpected call.

She took a big lick from her cone and said, "Cullen I want you to know I value your friendship, and I especially value the relationship my husband and I have had with you and Marjory..."

I sensed a butt coming so I interrupted her and said, "But..."

"Look I'm sure there's nothing to it, but it's about Marjory," she hesitated so I was pretty sure what was coming wouldn't be good, then she asked, "Have you ever heard of the Perryville Diner?"

I said, "Well yeah. I guess so. It's a place somewhere around Chambersburg. I heard it has pretty good food, but I've never been there. Why?"

She'd stopped eating her ice cream and it started dripping down around her cone. She breathed a heavy sigh, "I've seen her there... twice."

"I wasn't sure where she was headed, but answered, "You know she's kind of a supervisor at our local library. She might've been there for something, a conference or maybe lining up an author. She does that sort of stuff you know."

"God Cullen," she said, "I hope so, but I don't know. You know, me being an RN. I sometimes travel. We're a little rich in nursing where I am, but the Chambersburg hospital is shorthanded. I sometimes go up there to help out. I get a little more money, not much, but it helps out. I sometimes stop at the Perryville; they're seldom crowded during the early afternoon, and they have some great salmon," she turned and dropped her ice cream in the trash and sighed again, "Jesus this is hard. Cullen I think she's seeing someone."

I stiffened, anyone would.

She saw me and rushed on, "There's a Comfort Inn on the same side of the street. God Cullen I'm sorry. Twice I've seen her and this man have a short lunch and then walk down and go in that Comfort Inn," she leaned back a little and tried to smile, "I'm sure it's nothing. I mean, knowing Marjory there's got to be a plausible reason. Had it been the one time I wouldn't have thought a thing of it, but it's been twice, and both times on Wednesdays."

I was numb. I knew what she was suggesting couldn't be true, but just the same I asked, "Anything else?"

"No nothing, I guess," she replied, "It wasn't like they kissed or held hands or anything. They just like ate, got up, he left some money, and then they went down to the Comfort Inn, each driving separately."

"Did you see them go in?"

She looked like she wanted to cry, "Yes."

"Like the middle of the afternoon," I asked?

"Yeah, like around 2:00 p.m."

"Did you see anything else? Like what about cars, and signs of intimacy...?"

She said, "No, no intimacy, just a few smiles maybe. Cars? I know Marjory drives a dark blue Subaru Outback. I saw that. The man, I have no idea. I didn't pay that much attention."

"The man," I asked, "what about him?"

"He's tall, good looking. He always wore a suit, but he looks like he works out. He has blond hair. He always looks self-confident, like he really knows what he's doing."

I was a little troubled, but being troubled was a far cry from being suspicious. Marjory and I were like the perfect fit, like hand and glove, the perfect two becomes one. "Look," I said, "call me again if you see anything else. OK?"

My friend got up. I could tell she really wanted to get away. She reached out her hand. I took it. She said, "I'm sure there's nothing to it, and yeah, I'll call if I see anything else," and with that my friend was gone. I finished my butter-pecan, went out to my truck, and drove off to my next job. I decided to put the whole thing out of my mind, that was unless my friend called again.

My friend had called on a Wednesday... I went back to work and forgot all about it. That evening when I got home Marjory had ordered out for pizza. We ate and watched a little news. We each took a quick shower and went to bed.

I guess this is supposed to be when I start talking about all the great sex we have, but I'll be honest sex never happens on Wednesday nights. In fact most weeknights don't see any sexual activity. I've read where people go out to parties, get half drunk, get sexually excited, go home, and make mad passionate love until the sun comes up, usually having four or five separate orgasms. Gee, get real! That stuff has never happened with us. I mean come on; first who gets drunk at parties after they've turned twenty-five? Besides, if there's any party sex, it happens before the party, like right after Ryan gets picked up by one of the grandparents. No, the real lovemaking has always happened for us on the weekends, especially Saturday mornings before Ryan is awake, or after church after Ryan's gone out to see his friends, especially after church when we have the whole house to ourselves all afternoon.

OK, I'll take this a little further. Like what kind of sex is it? Isn't that kind of personal? All I can say is that for almost the entire time we've been married it's been warm and loving, not that there hasn't been a little fantasy to it, but nothing outlandish, just stuff everybody does.

Maybe I'll admit to a few little things. I mean playing hide and seek around the house, or Marjory pretending to be some innocent damsel in distress and me being some terrifying monster hunting and searching around the house, trapping her in a closet, giving her a little punishment spanking, of course only enough to turn her sweet heart-shaped cheeks a little pink, followed by some doggy or maybe something standing against the wall with her begging me not to be cruel, and me promising to give her what she really deserves with my tongue between the lips of her slit until she's sopping wet and her fluids are dribbling all down her thighs.

Ok, a little more? Sometimes we play shackles and chains. I bought a set of manacles that are attached to ankle cuffs. I've sometimes locked Marjory's wrists in the manacles and her ankles to the shackles with only a twelve inch lead between, then she has to crawl around while I chase her with a twig gently smacking her ass. When I catch her she rolls over and spreads her legs so we can go at it. Nothing unusual, I'm sure everybody has their games. Marjory loves it when she's helpless and I go from palming her rosebuds to fingering her labia and her wrinkled little peach.

OK, a little more. We have a pretty big backyard, an above ground pool and a couple sheds. Criminy, think of all those sunny Sunday afternoons, all the neighbors are home, and we're on a blanket outside with nothing on. I mean who wants to get caught? Doesn't everybody once in a while take that extra chance? Isn't it fun? Honestly, by the looks on some of the neighbor's faces I think we have... been caught I mean.

We have a slip and slide for Ryan and his friends. Think about the fun someone could have on a Saturday or Sunday night. The kid's at the grandparents, outdoor lights are on, and the water spilling and splashing down that plastic. What could be more fun, no clothes, just plastic to skin to skin slip sliding around all night long!

Look, I'm a surveyor, but I have policeman friends. There's something extra fun about nabbing a shoplifter, like catching somebody snitching a Reese's cup from the cupboard, slapping the cuffs on them, for sure behind their back, and then patting, or I should say tickling them down for other contraband. Come on, just stuff everybody does. Nothing like an afternoon strip search!

All right I'll admit it, sometimes it can get slightly rough. Marjory got mad at me once. She thought one of our neighbors was getting too familiar. She came at me with a skillet. I think she meant it! I got the skillet out of her hand and held her until she calmed down. Then we were all over the kitchen table and the kitchen floor. Tell me, could anyone that jealous be unfaithful? Look, I've always loved my wife, and I know she loves me.


Thursday we got a call from Marjory's mom and dad. They said they had a surprise and wanted to take us out to dinner Friday. Marjory and I both heartedly agreed.

Friday came, I slipped on a clean blue Oxford button down, a tie, and a pair of khaki slacks. I thought I looked pretty spiffy. Marjory put on a pretty yellow button-up blouse, a pair of dark brown slacks, and a pair of dark brown three inch heels. I thought she looked terrific. We got Ryan to agree to a pair of tan jeans and a Polo shirt.

Me, I was never much of a fan of the Polo or Rugby stuff; I guess it was middle school, too many "Polo-Rugby" boys who just thought they were better than me, my dad and mom being farmers and all. I got even a couple times.

Once, there were two of "those guys" who never seemed to have rides whenever a big school event came up. Me, I had an old Ford pick-up, extended cab. I didn't have a date so I agreed to chauffeur the bastards to the event, it was supposed to be a ferry ride out on Lake Erie. Water see! As I drove along they kept bitching about how uncomfortable the damn truck was, and in what piss poor shape it was in. I got fed up, pulled over, and told them to get out. They didn't believe me until I threatened to kick their asses. I doubted very seriously if I could've beaten even one, let alone both, but me being a farmer and them being the sons of "professionals" they chickened out and got out. They didn't have any dates anyway. I didn't either, but there was a girl there waiting for me. It was a girl who was afraid to let her dad and mom know she was dating me, go figure. Today those two bastards still live at home with their moms and dads; they can't find jobs "good enough". Maybe they should've taken up Polo? I bet they never learned how to ride. Ha! I was riding when I was five! Oh, and the girl; she'd gotten married and had three kids, divorced now though. I see her from time to time. I think she still likes me. So Marjory's mom and dad picked us up at 4:00. We were headed for the local Texas Roadhouse, and that explained the early hour. We got there, only had about fifteen minute wait so Ryan and I gorged ourselves on the free peanuts. I thought, "How bad must it be if someone had a kid with a severe peanut allergy. How would they handle a trip to Texas Roadhouse?"

We got seated, our waitress came around and asked about drinks. Marjory's dad ordered an Old Fashioned. Marjory and her mom each got wine coolers. I got a Pabst. What me show my redneck roots? Never!

Dinner was good. Marjory and I got the sirloin tips with a side of ribs we agreed to share. Ryan got a filet mignon I knew he'd never finish. Mom and dad each got the ribs and a rib eye. The food was great as expected. Our waitress was pretty. I got a second Pabst.

We mostly ate, but we talked some too. While I sat there nibbling on the last of my "rib sidekick" I got to thinking about that stupid conversation I had with my friend just two day prior. I'm not a perverse person, but every now and then if something hits me just right... well. I looked around and asked, "Has anyone ever heard of the Perryville Restaurant over in Chambersburg?" I looked around. No one seemed to have heard me so I went a little further and asked again, "Marjory, in your travels with the library have you ever had an opportunity to eat at the Perryville. I hear they have some great salmon."

Marjory's mom broke the spell, "I've been there. Didn't like it much."

"No, why not," I asked?

"I was there years ago with the "Women's Club". Everybody raved about the salmon so I got it. I thought it was dry and tasteless. Someone at the table said they thought they used farm fish. I don't know what that's called, but they said we were probably eating Atlantic salmon, and the people who grew them sometimes cheated on what they were fed. You know salmon have to eat meat, and the person at the table said they might cheat on that. I don't know really. I just thought my fish didn't taste very good."

Marjory's dad interposed a comment, "That kind of fish raising is called pisciculture."

I looked around; no one said anything. I'd never heard of it. I guessed no one else had either. That was when Marjory had to open her big mouth.

Marjory said, "You should have asked them to cover it in their special Hollandaise sauce."

Her mom partly asked, partly commented, "They have a Hollandaise sauce?"

Marjory must have realized she'd made a slip, "That's what I heard."

As I sat there my bowels turned to ice. What do they call that? A Freudian slip? I asked Marjory again, "Have you ever eaten there?"

Maybe it was me but she seemed a little nervous. She answered, "No, but a couple people I work with have eaten there, and they raved about their fish." She went back to her fork and picked up a few more string beans.

My thoughts; "My wife hadn't done anything wrong. There might have been a slip up of some sort, but nothing I cared to hang my hat on. Marjory was the same loyal loving wife I'd always known. In fact I felt a little guilty. I'd have to figure some way to fix things in my mind, maybe a little extra cuddling when we got home.

That's when Marjory's dad let loose with a hurricane, "I suppose someone needs to tell you why we asked you here tonight."

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