Lucy, The Lathe Operator

Info silverhawk
29 Jan. '18

I met Lucy on my first day of work as the second shift foreman of the small parts machining department of Pelligro Industries.  As factories go, Pelligro was small, only about two hundred employees, and made hydraulic components for the heavy industrial and agricultural market.  A small part of the factory also made replacement parts for the aircraft of World War II.  These parts were very low volume runs, as one might expect, and were sold primarily to aircraft museums and a few people with more money than they could spend who restored these war birds of the past and flew them in aircraft shows.  Pelligro was the only company that still made FAA approved parts, and that was because Pelligro had made the originals during World War II.

I was, as I later heard Lucy said of me on that first day, “still wet behind the ears”, and could not possibly know enough to tell her how to do her job.  I couldn’t really argue much.  I was twenty six and she was forty seven.  I was a self-taught machinist and I’d never worked in a factory.  She’d worked in aircraft parts for twenty two years.

All my experience, what little there was of it, was gained in my uncle’s tool shop.  I’d started working there on weekends when I was sixteen.  Like many young men in the 1960’s, I was drafted into the Army three months after I graduated from high school.  I went through Basic Training in Ft. Polk, Louisiana and was certain that like most draftees, I was headed for Advanced Infantry Training and then to Vietnam.  Either because of my technical background, or more probably, some bureaucratic error on the Army’s part, they sent me to school to be a vehicle mechanic.  I ended up doing a year in Korea in an Infantry Company Motor Pool before being discharged.

After the Army let me go, I worked for my uncle for almost six years.  He turned sixty five in 1972, decided to retire, and couldn’t find anyone with enough money to buy the business outright.  He sold off the equipment a piece at a time and finally sold the building.  Grant Tooling was only the fading, painted name over the door of the old brick building and the fading memory in all the former employees, most of who were at retirement age anyway.  

I was out of a job, and needed one badly.  I had a car payment to make, rent to pay, and thought it would be nice if I could eat once in a while as well.  The city unemployment office sent me to Pelligro to apply for a foreman’s job.  I wasn’t sure what that would entail, but it would be better than moving back in with my mom and dad.

After a lengthy interview with the Personnel Manager, and a tour of the facility, I left without much hope.  He’d asked if I’d ever managed people before, and I figured my answer of “I was a squad leader for a short time in the Army” killed my chances.  I was surprised by the phone call a week later telling me I’d gotten the job as second shift foreman in the aircraft parts department.  I was to start on the first of the month as long as I could pass the mandatory physical.  My salary would be a little over nine thousand a year, I’d have health insurance, and I’d get overtime pay if I worked on the weekends.

Jack, the first shift foreman, stayed over and walked me around the aircraft parts  department to introduce me to all six of the workers.  I was more than a little surprised to find all but one were women and those women were all in their late forties to early sixties.  I was going to be supervising a bunch of women at least old enough to be my mother, and a couple were as old as my grandmother.  The lone man ran only one special lathe job because as Jack put it, “he’s the only one who’s ever been able to do it right.”

When Jack left, I walked back around the department to get better acquainted.  It was an interesting first night.

There was Martha who ran the biggest turret lathe in the shop even though she was only about five feet nothing and couldn’t have weighed more than a hundred pounds.  She was so short she had a special box to stand on so she could reach the lathe controls.  Her hair was silver and her smile was contagious.  I pictured her baking cookies on Saturday and playing with her grandkids on Sunday…well, until I talked to her.

“I’m glad they didn’t promote Mark from Hydraulics Machining.  He doesn’t know his dick from a broom handle, and he’d get everything fucked up like Hogan’s goat.  You’re young enough we can teach you what’s what so we can live with you.  Oh…and don’t go grabbing our tits or patting us on the ass like the last asshole.  If we want our tits grabbed or our asses patted, we’ll tell you.”

There was Wanda, who was divorced and about fifty.  At one time, judging by the color of her eyebrows, she’d had auburn hair, and her face was pretty enough she’d have been a woman any man gave a second look.  I gave Wanda a second and then a third look.  Her hair was that bright red color that can only come from a trip to the hairdresser.  She stopped working, put one hand on her cocked hip, and grinned at me.

“You got a girlfriend?”

I said no.

“You like older women?”

I said I supposed it depended on how old.

“Well…How about fifty?  I’m around that age.”

She winked at me and grinned.

“I’d be fun.”

Wanda would have been interesting, I thought.  She wore tight, knit shirts to work, her breasts were huge, and she seemed to always get the front of her shirts dirty.  At the start of her shift, she’d start out clean, but by lunch, she’d have hand prints under and on each breast.  She made those handprints herself.  Janey told me it was because Wanda couldn’t find bras that fit very well so she kept adjusting things to be comfortable.

Janey was just as nice as nice could be.  She ran a row of drill presses making holes in hydraulic valve spools and she was fast.  She always smiled at me when I walked by.  I always smiled back.  Janey liked her jeans tight and her tops cut low in front.  She never came on to me or any of the other men in the place, but she had all of us staring at her deep cleavage and the way her hips made a seductive little up and down motion when she walked.

The other women were just your normal, average woman.  They were there to earn an income.  Some were single or divorced.  Most were married and building savings and social security credits for retirement.  I got along with them well and they got along with me.

Then there was Lucy.

Lucy was a pretty brunette though she didn’t have a great figure.  She had a few pounds on her ass that made it look a little wide, and though it was hard to tell for sure because she always wore loose, button-up shirts, her breasts weren’t all that big.  Lucy also seemed to have an attitude.  That first night, when I walked up to her turret lathe, she ignored me and kept on turning out valve pin blanks.

I cleared my throat to let her know I was there.  She turned, looked at me, and said, “Can’t talk now.  I’m on piecework.”  Then she went back to spinning the hand wheels and indexing the turret of her lathe.

I understood.  Piecework meant a machine operator had a target quantity to make in a shift.  If they exceeded that quantity, they were paid a bonus per piece based on the percentage they made over the target.  A good operator who worked efficiently could earn ten to twenty percent over their hourly wage, and Jack had said Lucy was one of the best.

I didn’t catch up to Lucy at the first break.  As soon as the buzzer rang, she headed off to the ladies room and stayed there until just before the buzzer rang again.  I did find her in the cafeteria during lunch.  She wasn’t much more talkative.

“You’re the new foreman, huh?”

“Yes.  I’m looking forward to working with all you ladies.  Jack say’s you’re a great crew.”

“Yeah, like he would know.  He’s been sucking up to the big boss for years.  Used to be a stock boy, and then all of a sudden he’s a foreman.  He gives all the good jobs to Marion because he’s sleeping with her.  I oughta tell his wife, but it’s none of my business as long as he’s on first and I’m on second.”

I tried to play nice.

“Well, I don’t know him at all.  I’ll try to help you ladies out all I can.  If you do well, I’ll do well too.”

“Yeah, that’s what the last guy said too.  Hey, I gotta eat my lunch.  Do you mind?”

I learned a lot during my first six months there.  The women had all been doing the same jobs for years.  A few, Martha and a couple others, were the last remnants of the “Rosie, The Riveter” era, and they were all proud of that.

I learned a lot more about them as well.  I had to be careful when I walked past Wanda’s lathe.  If I didn’t, she’d pinch me on the ass.  The first time she did it, I jumped about a foot.  Wanda just giggled.

“Told you I’d be fun.”

I learned why Janey dressed like she did but never had anything to do with any of the men in the plant.  Wanda told me Janey liked girls and was trying to convince Barbara, a tall, slender woman who worked in assembly to try girls too.  Wanda said she knew this because Janey had told her after they’d spent the night together.

“If I hadn’t had a boyfriend at the time, I’d have spent more than one night with Janey.  You wouldn’t believe what she can do with her fingers and tongue.  I guess that’s more than you needed to know, isn’t it?  Well, on second thought, maybe not.  You pretty good with your fingers and tongue?  I am too, if you know what I mean.”

Martha proved to be the grandmother I’d first thought.  Every Friday she’d bring in a sack full of cookies or a cake or a bunch of cupcakes for the department.  She was a great cook and a really nice person, once you got past the way she talked.

They were very proud of their quality record.  As Michelle, a still cute little woman of sixty six told me, “During the war, they always told us if the airplane stops running, the men can’t just get out and walk home.  We made sure that never happened, because our boyfriends and husbands were over there fighting.”

Their quality record wasn’t because the women never made mistakes because they did.  There were just enough inspection points that none of the mistakes ever made it through the process.  It was one of those mistakes that let me get to know Lucy a little better, and I think was the start of her beginning to like me.

A lot of aircraft parts, the small ones anyway, were made of stainless steel so they wouldn’t rust.  Stainless steel can be a bitch to machine, and I knew this because my uncle’s tool shop did a lot of work in stainless steel.  It takes the right type of tool with the right type of grind to make everything work.

Lucy was spinning away at her hand wheels and turret one night and had just given a tray of parts to one of the inspectors.  Marsha brought two parts to me along with the gauge she used to inspect them.

“Lucy has a problem.  All these are bad.”

I tried her gauge on the parts and she was right.  The parts were about ten thousands of an inch too short.  I went to stop Lucy so we could fix the problem.

“Lucy, stop.  You’re making bad parts.”

She looked at me with fire in her eyes.

“I can’t be.  I’m checking every ten parts.”

“Let me see you check one.”

Lucy fished a part out of her parts bin, wiped it off, and put into the length gauge sitting on the table beside her lathe.  It measured very nearly nominal.

“See, my parts are fine.”

I looked at the parts in my hand a little closer and saw the problem.  The last operation on Lucy’s lathe was a cut-off tool that was supposed to cut the part to length from the long bar of stock that was fed through the lathe.  The problem was the cut-off tool wasn’t cutting the part off clean.  It left what is called a “tit” - a little pointed bump - in the center of the part.  That “tit” was big enough to feel, but would have been hard to see.  Lucy’s gauge checked the full surface which included the so-called tit, while the inspection gauge only checked the length at the edge of the part.  I showed it to Lucy.

“Oh, God.  I am making bad parts.  I suppose you’re gonna write me up, aren’t you?”

“No.  Your gauge says they’re OK.  It’s the gauge that caused the error.”

Lucy smiled at me for the first time since I’d met her.

“How come you’re doing this?  I’m supposed to look for things like that and you’re suppose to write up anybody who makes bad parts.  It’s a company rule.”

I shrugged.

“Everybody makes mistakes.  You weren’t doing it intentionally, so why would I write you up?  Besides, we make another part that’s the same but a little shorter.  We’ll just set up a machine to rework these into those parts.  All we’ll have lost is a little time.  Let me look at your cut-off tool.”

Lucy took the tool out of the machine and handed it to me.

“It’s the same type of cut-off tool I’ve been using for twenty years.”

I saw the problem.

“You used to make these parts out of regular steel, didn’t you?”

“Yeah.  They changed it to stainless steel a couple months ago.  They said the parts were rusting in the warehouse.”

“Well they should have changed the grind on the tool at the same time.  I’ll be right back.”

I took the tool to the second shift cutter grinder and had him change the angle by a few degrees, then took it back to Lucy.

“Put this back in and adjust your length, and then let’s look at the parts again.”

The parts were fine after she got everything set up right.  Lucy looked at me and grinned.

“What did you do?  The parts are shinier like the old ones used to be and it’s not as hard to crank the tool.”

“I just put the angle on the tool that’s for stainless steel instead of mild steel.  The wrong angle work hardens the stainless steel and makes the cutting edge of the tool wear faster.  That’s why you got the tit left.  It should run fine now for a long time.”

Lucy smiled and went back to making parts.  I smiled too.  It looked like I was finally breaking the ice with Lucy.

Everything went fine for the next week.  I had a lathe set up to rework Lucy’s bad parts, and they all were saved.  Lucy usually smiled at me when I walked by.  Wanda only pinched me twice, and Martha made me a special cupcake that Friday.

The next Monday, Lucy came up to me with a worried look on her face.

“I started on a different part that’s almost the same as the last one.  Can you come look at my cut-off tool?  I don’t want the same thing to happen with this one.”

I’d already told the manufacturing engineer about the problem and he’d changed the drawing on the first tool.  He didn’t check to see if the same issue existed with any others.  This one was wrong too.  I had tool grind fix it and Lucy was happy.  I went back to my desk and typed a memo to the manufacturing engineer asking him to check all tools of the same type and make the necessary changes.

For about three months, Lucy seemed happy.  She had me check a couple other tools for her, and she always smiled when I walked by.  It was right before Valentine’s day that she changed.

She seemed sad, sad almost to the point of tears on a couple of days.  The only time she seemed to smile was when I walked past her lathe.  Even that smile was kind of funny, like she was happy, but wasn’t, if that makes any sense.

I tried to find out what was wrong from the other women, but none of them had a clue.  Martha said Lucy always got that way every year but would never tell anybody why.  She told me not to worry, because Lucy was always back to her old self in a couple of weeks.

It was Friday of the last week in January when Lucy said she’d heard I was a mechanic in the Army and wanted to know if that was true.  I said it was.

“My car wouldn’t hardly start this morning.  I’ll have to take it to a garage, but I won’t know if they’re fixing what needs to be fixed or if they’re going to do a bunch of stuff just to run up the price.  I really hate to ask you, but you’re really good at fixing my lathe.  Could you look at my car and tell me what’s wrong so I can tell the guy at the garage?”

Saturday morning I drove to the address Lucy gave me.  Her house wasn’t much, just one of the typical two-bedroom post war bungalows built by the thousands for the GI’s returning from World War II.  The drive ran alongside the house to a garage in back.  That was typical of those housing developments.  The lots were too narrow for the garage to be beside the house, so it had to be in back.

Lucy met me at the door and said her car was in the garage and she’d meet me there.  I walked down the drive and met her coming out of the house with her coat zipped up to her neck.  She was shivering when she opened the garage door.

“I swear, the older I get, the colder the winters are.  By the time I get from the garage to the house every night, I’m shaking so much I can barely get the key in the lock.  Well, here it is.  I’ll show you what I mean.”

Lucy got in the front seat and turned the key in the ignition.  The starter slowly rolled the engine until one cylinder was under compression, stopped for a second, and then rolled the engine again.  The third time this happened, one cylinder fired and the car started.  Lucy shut off the engine and got out.

“That’s what it did yesterday.  My neighbor said it’s probably a bad starter and it’ll cost me about two hundred dollars to get it fixed.  I only paid a thousand dollars for the whole car.”

I grinned as I opened the hood.

“Your neighbor doesn’t know much about cars.  You just need a new battery.  Starting the car in cold weather works them pretty hard and this one’s old anyway.  See, the sticker says this one is six years old.  I’m surprised it’s kept going as long as it has.”

“How much will that cost?”

“Probably around thirty dollars or so.”

“That’s all…and they’ll put it in too?”

“Well, they’d probably charge you another ten to put one in, but you don’t need to do that.  I’ll take you to buy a battery and I’ll put it in for you.”

It took me five minutes to get the old battery out, an hour to pick up a new one and another five minutes to get it in Lucy’s car while she sat behind the wheel.  I backed out from under the hood and asked Lucy to try it.  The starter spun the engine over only once without any hesitation before it started.  Lucy grinned at me through the windshield and then shut off the engine and got out.

“I can’t thank you enough.  Can I fix you lunch or something, or at least a cup of coffee so you can warm up?  I’ve been sitting in my car and I’m still freezing.  You’ve been out here working so you must be numb by now.”

I said coffee would do fine.  Lucy closed her garage door and then led me to the house.

While Lucy started her percolator, I looked around her living room.  There wasn’t much furniture, but a woman living by herself would need much.  She had a couch and chair that faced an older model TV set, and on one wall was a fireplace that didn’t look to have been used in years.  On the mantle of the fireplace were two pictures.  I walked to the mantle for a closer look at them.

One was a picture of a young man in an Army dress uniform, the same type of picture of me my mother keeps on the wall in the hallway.  The other was of the same man in the same uniform with a young girl in a wedding dress beside him.  The girl was slender and looked a little scared, but it was easy to recognize Lucy’s face.

As I looked at both pictures I was struck by the resemblance the man had to me.  His face was maybe a little more filled out, and my hair wasn’t the standard military haircut, but the similarity was uncanny.  I was so engrossed I didn’t hear Lucy walk up beside me.

“He was my husband. I was eighteen then.  We were married the day after Christmas in 1943.  He was sent to Europe a week later.

Lucy was smiling when I turned to look at her, but she wasn’t smiling at me.  She was looking at the pictures.

“Most people wouldn’t think thirteen days is really being married.  Dave was killed on January thirtieth at Anzio.  I feel like I was married though.”

“Lucy, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t feel sorry for me.  We had a good week together before he left, and I felt married for three weeks after that.  I didn’t get the telegram until then, on Valentine’s day of all days to get something like that.  I don’t think about him all the time like I used to.  It’s only this time of year that gets to me.  I know you noticed.  Julie told me you asked her what was wrong.”

“Well, you seemed happy before, and then all of a sudden you weren’t.  Part of my job is keeping my people happy.”

Lucy turned away from the pictures.

“No it’s not.  A foreman’s job is to get us to make as many parts as we can as fast as we can.  That’s what every foreman does…except you.  You help us get things done and you want to know us as people.  That’s why you asked Julie about me, and I appreciate that.”

“I didn’t think any of the others saw what I was trying to do.  You seemed to get happier once I started helping you out, but the others haven’t changed.”

Lucy grinned.

“You just didn’t see them before.  The last time Marsha made a cupcake for a foreman, she made the icing look like dog poop instead of a happy face like she did yours.  Wanda pinches your butt because she really likes you and she’d like you to like her.  She’s a little forward because that’s just how she is, but she means well.  She never did that to the last guy.  If he’d even have looked at her much, she’d have been in Personnel accusing him of molesting her.  We know what you’re doing and we like it.  

“I like what you’re doing a lot.  The last foreman would have tried to get me fired when I made that mistake, and none of them would have come out to help me with my car.”

I didn’t quite know what to say.  Things had been going pretty well, but I’d just assumed they always had.  I had to say something though.

“I was happy to help you, Lucy.  You’re one of my best operators.”

Lucy smiled.

“You do help me.  You help me at work, and there’s another way too.  Did you see anything unusual about Dave’s picture?”

“Well…he looks a lot like me I guess.”

“Yes, he does.  That first day I about fell over when Jack brought you around.  It was like I was seeing a ghost.  For a long time after Dave got killed, I though I felt him sometimes, like he was there but I couldn’t see him.  I knew you weren’t Dave, but I got that feeling again…well, that’s why I wouldn’t talk to you.  I was afraid I’d do something I shouldn’t do.”

“Lucy, what could you possibly do that you shouldn’t?”

Lucy stepped closer and put her arms around my neck.


She put her lips to mine then.  It wasn’t really a kiss.  It was more like asking if she could kiss me.  I pushed her away gently.

“Lucy, I’m not sure we should be doing this.”

“I know.  That’s why I didn’t do it sooner.  Right now, I don’t care if you tell Personnel and they fire me.  I just need to remember what it was like all those years ago, just once so I don’t forget again for a while.”

I was struggling with my conscience.  Lucy was a very desirable woman and I did feel something special with her.  Most people would say I was just a horny young guy.  Others might say it was her husband’s spirit pushing me forward.  My common sense was telling me not to, but the rest of my mind was telling me I should.  When I didn’t move or say anything, Lucy backed away and looked at the floor.

“I’m sorry.  I must have been a fool to think you’d ever want me.  Just go.  Please, just go.  Don’t try to explain anything, just go.”

I don’t remember making the decision.  It just happened.

“I can’t just go, Lucy.”

She looked up at me, and there were tears in her eyes.

“You can’t?”

“No, because I feel something for you.”

“It’s just you feeling sorry for a crazy old woman.”

“You’re not crazy and you’re not old.  It’s because you’re neither that I feel something.  Come here.”

She was hesitant at first, but once I’d gathered her in my arms, she sighed and melted into the embrace.

“You’re sure?”

“Yes, Lucy, I’m sure.”

As I’d guessed, her hips were a little wider than most, and her breasts weren’t all that large.  Her nipples were the dark pink that drives me crazy, and even just pressing them into my bare chest made them stiffen.  I stroked Lucy’s left breast as she held me close and kissed me.  She caught her breath when I stroked that rigid nipple and than moaned into my mouth.

I kept thinking I should take it slow.  It had been almost thirty years for her, and then, assuming she was a virgin when they got married, the next seven days couldn’t have been very pleasurable for her.  I did try, but Lucy wouldn’t let me.

It was like she wanted every caress, every nibbling kiss, and every part of my body touching hers all at the same time.  I’d stroke her nipple and she’d push my hand down to the thick bush of brown hair on her mound.  I’d stroke there and she’d push my face down to her breasts.  No sooner would I suck gently on her nipples than she’d pull my face back up to hers and try to tie a knot with our tongues.

I knew she couldn’t possibly be ready so fast, but she was moaning and panting with each touch I made.  My fingertip told me I was wrong.  Lucy was wet and slippery when I slipped my finger between her pussy lips, and she groaned and impaled herself on my finger when I found her entrance.

“It’s been so long.  Take me now.”, she murmured after she’d opened her thighs wide.

My cock head parted her wet lips, and I stroked it up over her clit a few times.  Lucy gasped.

“Oh…inside me.  Inside me.”

I tried to be gentle, just easing my cock in a little and then pulling it back out.  Lucy rocked her hips up into every stroke and tried to push my cock deeper.  She finally succeeded and pulled me down until I was cradled between her soft thighs.

“Just stay like this a while, OK?  I want to feel you inside me for as long as I can.”

I did just as she wanted, though I did stroke in and out a few times.  Lucy caught her breath with each of those strokes, and I felt her digging her nails into my ass.  She was starting to breathe faster when she began rocking her hips a little.  I took that as my cue to begin stroking again.

Lucy laid there under me for a few strokes, then wrapped her legs around my back.  She could pull her pussy up over my cock that way, and that’s what she started doing.  I’d never had a woman do that to me before, and it was incredibly erotic, almost as erotic as the little murmured words that tumbled from her lips from time to time.

“Oh God…I remember now…Oooooh…yessss…”

Making love to Lucy was like what most men envision but never quite find.  If she wasn’t using her legs to pull my cock inside her until I mashed her pussy lips flat, she was pulling me down and raking her nipples through my chest hair.  If she wasn’t stroking my back lightly with her hails, she was kissing me and moaning into my mouth at the same time.

Lucy came at least once before I was ready.  It may have been more times, but it was hard to tell.  The first time she grew stiff and began to arch her back.  She was kissing me at the time, and suddenly pulled her face to the side, gasped, then cried out, and heaved her hips into my stroke.  She shuddered like that for almost a minute, then fell back down and began rocking her pussy up into my stroking cock again.  I’m pretty sure there were two more, but the second wasn’t as energetic.

The last one, when I gave up as well, was fantastic.  I knew Lucy was getting close again.  Her body was tensing and then relaxing, and I felt little contractions around my cock.  She started to pant, then crushed me against her heaving chest.  I felt her rigid nipples boring into my chest muscles and then the tightening around my cock.

Lucy gasped, took a deep breath, then gasped again.  What followed is hard to describe because so many things happened at once.  I remember her cry beginning softly, then increasing in both pitch and volume as she put her feet on the mattress and began lifting us both up.  I kept stroking as she raised us higher and higher.  I felt my balls tighten up and the start of the surge just as Lucy cried, “Uh!… Uh! -  Uh! - Oh God.”

After that, I just tried to hold on.  My cock was spurting away like mad, Lucy was trying to keep it deep inside her, and all the time, she was rocking us both up and down with her legs.  I came harder than I remembered ever cumming before.  I didn’t even mind when she eased back down on the bed, stroked my back, and murmured,  “Davy, I love you so much.”

Lucy kissed me just before I left her house that night.  After she eased away, she stroked my face.

“Rick, I called you Davy.  I’m sorry for that.  I was just –“

I put my finger on her lips.

“I know what your were doing.  It’s OK, really it is.”

Lucy didn’t say or act any different at work after that, though the other women thought she did.  They all knew I’d gone to her house to fix her car, and Lucy had told them about me changing her battery.  They all suspected something else had happened.  

Wanda was the first.  I’d walked by her lathe and was careful to stay out of her reach.  She stopped working, and turned to face me.

“I hear you do a good job of uh…changing batteries.  Wanna change mine a few times?  I could sorta charge you back up in between too.”

Martha was a little more direct, but that was just Martha being Martha.

“I hear you changed Lucy’s car battery.  That must mean you’re pretty good with your tool.  My Harry isn’t up to it these days.  You bring that tool over and help me out. I really need to get myself all charged up…so to speak.

Even Janie suspected.

“Rick, I know women because I’m a woman, and Lucy acts like she’s walking around in a dream.  I know that feeling and I know what causes it.  I’m not jealous or anything like that, but do you think she’d ever think about …well, I’m sure you’ve heard about me.  Everybody else has.”

That finally died down after two weeks because Jack had been caught in a hotel room with Marion by the private investigator his wife hired.  That was enough scandal to take everybody’s daily conversation away from Lucy and me.  Nobody could understand it.  Jack’s wife looked like a fashion model.  Marion was…well, let’s just say she evidently really enjoyed eating and as my grandpa used to say, “her face could stop a clock”.  The prevailing theory in my department was that Marion gave good blowjobs.  A couple of guys in shipping swore that was true, and since I knew them, I could believe that.

Lucy still works with me.  I’ve always been careful to not give any of the “good” jobs to her and she understands why.  It doesn’t matter anyway.  No matter what job I give her, she makes her bonus.  There hasn’t been a repeat of that Saturday either.  I guess what she said was true.  She just wanted to remember, and now she does.

I have to go now.  Martha is waving at me from the break room.  I’m pretty sure she has something special for me because somehow they found out when my birthday is and it’s today.  I know Lucy knows.  It was just a barely noticeable touch as she passed me on her way to the break room, but it was there along with a whispered, “Happy Birthday, Rick.”  Then, she walked off to join the others.  

It feels pretty good to know she remembered being with her husband but she also hasn’t forgotten me.  I think she feels more for me than that, just as I do for her, but we both know the difference in our ages means that’s all it can be – just a warm feeling.  I think that works for both of us.  She smiles when I walk by and I smile back.  I’m pretty sure Dave is smiling somewhere as well.  His bride hasn’t forgotten him.  After being with Lucy just once, I’ll never forget her either.