Comets Are Named for Their Discoverers

In the weeks leading up to the visit from his other woman, my man buys the following things—an expensive telescope, a fold-out camping chair, a book of star maps—then sets up his makeshift observatory by the toolshed out back.

His other woman has an orbital period of 5.6 years. He told me an easy way to remember is it’s slightly longer than Kowal’s Comet. I said I’d only heard of the famous one, Halley’s. He frowned: “Oh, well, that one’s much longer, about 75.”

Caty’s man, Henry, his other woman has an orbital period of 0.63 years. That’s every seven and a half months. He doesn’t even bring his camping chair inside.

My man won’t tell me what it’s like, fucking a million tiny particles of ice and dust, just that she’s warmer than I’d think, smells cleaner too. Just that it’s a man’s right, I know that. A taste of the heavenly, periodically, allows them to tolerate their otherwise ordinary lives.

We call them the other women because our men don’t have names for them.

I like to imagine she’s named him, though. After herself, or something functional for cataloging. Alphanumeric, or her language’s version of that.

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