The overcast afternoon created a blanket of gray over the Manhattan skyline. Josh enjoyed his perch on the Greenpoint apartment building, legs stretched across an Adirondack chair. He sipped coffee and listened to Ben suck at leftover pieces of chicken salad stuck between his teeth.
“She’s still in love with him,” Josh said.
Ben shifted in his chair. “You’re an idiot,” he said.
“He had a huge dick.”
Ben groaned and flicked a remnant of chicken off the roof.
“She told me. After we had sex for the first time, she said Andre was big. I almost cried.” Josh drank too quickly, and the coffee pooled beneath his tongue. He pulled in cold air through pursed lips.
“She’s your wife, man,” Ben said, amused. His Brooklyn accent carried. “You fucking won.”
“I know she thinks about him when I’m inside her.” Josh tongued the small blister forming in his mouth.
“Jesus Christ,” Ben said, bugging out his eyes, “you’re a whiner.”
“How is this whining? I’m talking. I can’t talk to you about this shit?” Josh stood and walked to the edge of the roof deck.
The wall around the roof was lined with cemented-down pots of jasmine. On breezy days, his apartment, one floor below, filled with their scent. Josh fingered a petal and looked towards the city. Clouds sank low, allowing the very tips of buildings to peak into them.
“It’s like he’s still in there, you know? She still feels him in there. It’s why she listens to the music.” Josh let the coffee mug dangle over the edge. He felt his grip slipping, a fraction every second. He wanted to watch the ceramic pieces impact and scatter. His thumb, though, pressed tight against the handle.
“You’ve got to get past this, Josh. You’re married. Maddie loves you.” Ben gave Josh a firm punch on the shoulder. “You’ve got to get past this.”
The mug flew from Josh’s hand. He watched in horror as it sailed onto the adjacent roof and bounced. The clang seemed to echo for blocks. As it hit again, the handle snapped off, though the rest remained intact. Josh’s hand held its shape, as if the mug remained there. He wondered, then, if he’d meant to let go. “It didn’t break,” he said.
“Damnedest thing,” Ben said. “Strong coffee.”