At Cape Cod in August, my girlfriend and her ex-boyfriend say they want to go to the beach. It’s her birthday weekend, and he’s visiting from St. Louis. He’s tan, like she is, and blond, and taller than I am. My skin is pasty white. He also has big hands, which he uses to fix complicated things. He knows the best way to install a transmission — a tranny — while I know the best way to cut an avocado. Slice through the peel till the blade touches the pit. With the blade against the pit, rotate the avocado 360 degrees till you’ve divided it in half. Strike the pit with the blade. Twist the blade, extract the pit, and then scoop out the meat with a spoon.

 

In our motel room, I look up from my copy… More…