Tom Dollop was sitting in front of the TV, in his scruffy  but comfy movie-watching chair, trying gently to scrape the sale price sticker off a DVD case when his wife, Violet,
approached him purposefully, holding out a spoonful of something she wanted him to try.
     “What’s this?” he asked her, continuing to peel the price tag away with his fingernail.  Tom hated price stickers on things.  He figured nobody had to know how much he’d paid for anything—in this case for a previously-viewed copy of Kings Go Forth with Frank Sinatra and Tony Curtis.
     “Green curry paste,” Violet told him.  “Try it and tells me if it needs anything.”
     Tom tasted it.
     “Good,” he said.  “Good I guess.  I’m no green curry paste expert.”
     “But you like it?”
     Violet went back to the kitchen.  Only to return a few moments later—without the spoon.  Tom looked up from his DVD.
     “Do you love me?”
     “What do you mean?” he asked her.
     “You don’t understand the question?” said Violet.
     “Not really, no.”
     “I asked you if you loved me.”
     “Yeh, but why ask me now?” Tom said.  “Do you not feel I love you?”
     “Not the way you used to.”
     Tom looked around the room, at the shelves of CDs and DVDs, and at the poster by Georgia O’Keeffe, advertising the Santa Fe music festival for 1972.
     “How far back are you going?” he asked her.  “Are you asking me if I love you as much as I did before you started making that green curry paste, or are you going back as far as, say, last week, when we went out to see The Grandmaster?’
     “Why did we see that film anyhow?” she asked him.
     “Because it was presented by Martin Scorcese.  He liked it.  He thought it was elegant.”
     “I didn’t think it was very elegant.”
     “No?  You think you know more about films than Martin Scorcese?” Tom asked her.
     “Well it isn’t that.”
     “Then what is it then?”
     Violet turned and walked back to the kitchen.
     Coal Blackstone and Lincoln Ford were just finishing their seafood risotto and dividing the last of the wine.
     “Would you like coffee?” Coal asked him.
     “Maybe if you corrected it,” said Linc.
     “Corrected it?”
     “Yeh,” Linc grinned.  “Café correttoCorrected coffee!”
     “And exactly how do I go about correcting this coffee I’m about to make us?”
     “By giving it a little push—a “corrective” shot of Grappa or Sambuca.”
      “Ah.  Do we have any Grappa or Sambuca?” Coal asked him.
     “We have Grappa.
     “We do?”
     “Yeh, it was just a whim.  I was passing an LCBO the other day and had this yen for a bottle of Grappa…”
     “Some strange yen,” said Coal.
     “Well, I felt pretty sure they wouldn’t have any, but they actually did have a couple of bottles…”
     “Yes, I’m sure Grappa’s a big seller,” smirked Coal.
     “…so I got one.”
     “Okay,” she said briskly, “I’ll make the coffee and you can correct it.”
     “Fair enough,” said Linc.
     Forty-five minutes and three coffee correctives later they were in bed together. 
     “We should correct things whenever we can,” said Coal, dreamily outlining Linc’s mouth with the tip of her index finger.
     “I couldn’t agree more,” said Linc, tracing the outline of Coal’s left ear with the thumb.
    “The truth is,” she said, dragging her finger slowly down the middle of Linc’s chest, “Grappa tastes a bit like the Venetian Lagoon.”
    “Gave you ever actually tasted the waters of the Venetian Lagoon?” Linc asked her, idly massaging her left shoulder with his right hand.
     Coal was silent.
     “Coal?” Linc said.  “Are you there?”
     “Oh yes, sorry Linc, I was just enjoying your ad hoc massage,” she told him, “which, by the way, was delightfully asymmetrical.”
     “Here,” said Linc, moving his hand to her right shoulder, “let me symmetricize you.”
     “It puts me a million miles away.”
     “In Venice perhaps?”
     “I guess so, yes.”
     “Taking the waters?” laughed Linc.
     “You don’t take the waters in Venice,” Coal said.  “That’d be worse than drinking from Lake Ontario.”
     “So since you don’t know anything at all about the potability of Lagoon-water—except that it’s vile stuff—you’re going to have to take back your grappa comment.”
     “Okay, I take it back.”
     “You’re awfully agreeable tonight,” he smiled.
     Coal leaned back onto the pillows and raised her arms so that Linc could lift up her black satin chemise and toss it on the chair beside the bed. 
     “You have no idea how agreeable I’m going to be tonight,” she told him, sticking her finger gently in his mouth.
     “You taste like grappa,” he laughed.