Carlton tries to please, but ends up pleasing few. With his ex-wife, Gloria, it’s about sex. She wants it rough and often. But rough is out of the question (“Where does she get these ideas?”) and his often is not often enough for her. They divorced two years ago, and plan to live apart as soon as she finds a job. With his teen twins, Rodney and Teresa, it’s about buy me this, buy me that. He’s not a wealthy man and he’s learned the value of a dollar. But his kids are not sympathetic. You might conclude the poor schmuck is doomed. Could be. In walks Lucky Kushinski, his squeeze from college. In a marriage that’s on the rocks and looking for love in Lomax’s Deli. Carlton gnawing on a brisket sandwich, invites her to sit down. She’s got a goat cheese salad. Looks great. Lucky, not the salad. You weren’t at the 20th, she says. We had a ball. Remember Ty Dickerson? Used to love that guy. Looks like a fat slob these days. Carlton pulls in his stomach. You look terrific though. Carlton thanks Lucky and returns the compliment. As things are wont to do, one leads to another and they’re up in her apartment banging away. Like old times, although he never actually screwed Lucky in college. But he’s sure somebody had. Anyway, they get to talking. He mentions the divorce and that they’re still living together until she can find a job. Bummer, she says. They make plans to see one another the following day. Carlton worries she’ll want to have sex again and him with the drooping libido. But wait and see; don’t prejudge. At work, Carlton puts the memo his boss wanted ASAP on his desk. Three days go by; it’s still unread. Carlton worked on it night and day for a week. It was supposed to be important, but Mr. Bigshot seems to have changed his mind and so the memo sits. And Carlton fumes. But the boss must have his reasons; he is, after all, the boss. Actually, the bosses son, but same thing when it comes right down to it. Carlton tries to think of something else. Lucky. Is it just physical? Or does she really like him? Time will tell. He rings the doorbell and she answers in a white terrycloth bathrobe. Time has told. Boom, they’re in the sack again. He performs well, or so he thinks, what with all the screaming and scratching. They order out Chinese and argue over the last moo shu. Have I told you about my twins? he asks. How wonderful, she says. They’re difficult to handle, he says. They gang up on me. I try to give them what they want, but they always want more. She says she loves twins and did he ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, what they are asking for is not so terrible since it’s probably what their friends have and you know how susceptible teens are to peer pressure. They each want a Porsche. Well, she allows, that is a bit excessive. He tells her about the memo and the son of a bitch boss who hasn’t bothered to read it yet. Some people, she says. You can move in here, she adds, apropos of nothing. Roger’s out of the way. Rehab or something. Until Gloria moves out of the house, or, hell, give her the damn house. What about the mortgage? he asks. No mortgage, Lucky says, we own it free and clear. No, I mean my mortgage. You’re paying whether you live there or not; what’s the diff? Carlton doesn’t like the way she says things like “the diff.” As if a couple of more syllables would be too much of a burden. But nobody’s perfect, he thinks. Nobody’s perf. He laughs. Someone once told him he had a great sense of humor. Rodney and Teresa blow a gasket. You’re moving out? they shout in unison. It’s better this way, Carlton says. Less strain on the family. But what about us; what are we supposed to do? Your mother’s still here. You don’t speak to me anyway, except to ask for money. You probably won’t notice the change. But Mom’s mean and she’s a dork. Well, you can’t stay with Lucky and me, but we’ll get together. You’ve got my cell. On Monday, the boss calls him in. Really pissed about the memo. I asked for it last week, he says. It’s been on your desk for almost a week, Carlton rejoins. Boss sits. Looks like a teaching moment. It’s not enough to do the memo and drop it on my desk, is it? You have to make sure I know it’s on my desk, right? All the while, Carlton is doing his nodding thing. On the way out of the boss’s office, the boss’s secretary, a nubile looker named Hortense, smiles and says they should have lunch. I’m married and in a relationship, Carlton says, but then has second thoughts since, strictly speaking he’s not married and, in terms of office politics, it may be smart to get in good (so to speak) with the boss’s secretary so that memos don’t get lost on desks, if you know what I mean. And so they are banging at Motel 6 when his cell rings and it’s Gloria. I want you back, she says. This divorce shit isn’t working. Come home, I’ll tone down the sex and stuff. Carlton is at sixes and sevens. Maybe more. He doesn’t know which way to turn. Do the right thing, his mother had told him. His father always said, watch out for number one. He’ll do both, he thinks, hanging up on Gloria. Let’s go, he whispers to Hortense. He drops her at the office and keeps on going.