Local columnist wrote:
“Tom Mallory coulda been a contender.
“If only he coulda kept his fly zipped.”
Screwing around hadn’t been Tom’s mistake.
Listening to Simolinksy, that had been the mistake.
Simolinksy was a jealous man, and a small one. In civilian life Simolinksy had designed software until his company downsized him. Now he sold computers for an office supply store. Flying was all he had left and he was reaching the age when the Navy would make him stop. No wonder he didn’t like women pilots. They were young. Their careers were ahead of them. They didn’t need bald, aging Reserve officers like Al Simolinksy. Not to teach them. Not to sleep with. Lt. Blindt was sleeping with a captain, the commander of a cruiser in their battle group. According to Simolinksy, the captain had exercised the kind of pull captains of cruisers don’t have to to keep Blindt in the cockpit of an F-14, when she wasn’t even qualified to fly transports. Simolinksy was bitter. Tom should have told him to take a hike.
As soon as they’d reported Lt. Blindt’s adultery, she’d ratted out Tom.
How had Blindt known?
Nobody would have cared if the woman he'd been fucking had been a civilian. To make matters worse, she was a non-com. He’d been caught fraternizing.
So Tom had been forced to resign his commission in the Reserve. That fall he lost his seat on the city council.
“He coulda been mayor. Congressman. Who knows, even Governor. If only.”
Now here he was, two years later, pretending to practice law, clientless and doodling in the margins of briefs he was supposed to be writing in the office across the hall from his wife’s, while she kept both of them from starving.
Then the party chairwoman called.
---From "A Penance for Tom Mallory," this month's installment of the Lance Mannion Tall Tale of the Month Club. Stories went out to members this morning. If you don't receive yours or have trouble opening the file, let me know ASAP.
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