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The New York TimesThe smart plot [is] ideal for Parker's patented brand of knowing humor. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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September 30, 2003
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Excerpt from Shrink Rap by Robert B. Parker
I ALWAYS LOVED Richie's hands. They looked like such man's hands. I knew that I was guilty of gross gender stereotyping, but I kept my mouth shut about it, and no one knew. His hands rested on the table between us, the right one on top of the left.
They were still. Richie was always still. It was one of the things that had made it hard to be married to him.
I knew intellectually that he loved me, but he was so contained and interior that I used to crave even the most unseemly display of feeling. He was still now, sitting across the table from me, telling me he'd met someone else. We were divorced. It was fine for him to see other people. I saw other people too. But this was a somebody else he'd met. This was more than seeing other people. This made me feel like my center had collapsed.
"Somebody, like walk into the sunset?" I said.
"She wants to get married," Richie said. "She has a right to that."
Richie shrugged. "I'm thinking about it."
"Three kids and a house in the western suburbs?"
"We haven't talked about that," Richie said.
"What about Rosie?" I said.
"She likes dogs."
I looked at the hamburger I had ordered. I didn't want it.
"Rosie would still want to visit," I said.
"I love Rosie," Richie said.
"Has Ms. Right met her?" I said.
"They get along?"
"Very well," Richie said. "Rosie loves her."
She does not.
"Rosie will remain my dog," I said.
Richie smiled at me. "We're not going to have a custody fight over a goddamn bull terrier, are we?"
"Not as long as we remember she's mine."
"She's ours," Richie said.
"But not hers."
"No. Mine and yours," Richie said. "She lives with you and visits me."
I nodded. Richie was quiet.
"How long have you been seeing Ms. Right?" I said.
"About three months."
"You're sleeping with her," I said.
"Do you love Ms. Right?" I said.
"Her name is Carrie."
"Do you love Carrie?"
"I don't know."
"And how are you going to find out?" I said.
"I don't know."