Penelope was not his first love or even his love. She was his wife.
In the morning he would walk with coffee in hand past her bedroom and peek in to see her lying there under mounds of horribly colored bed covers. Ulysses would then shuffle out to the front gate and pick up the morning paper with a grunt that grew louder with each year’s gained weight. Glancing at the above the fold, he would see how the world was winding down. When she awoke she’d find the paper laid next to her, with the articles critical of him clipped out. This warmed her as it said that he still cared what she thought of him.

She thought little of him. As most do their spouses. Any person cowardly enough to accept the terms of betrothal laid them at the uninteresting and tedious altar of ‘true love’. And Penelope could have none of that. What she did love of him was his complete disregard for sense. Some chose to be selective in their senselessness and this trait was called ‘romanticism’. For Ulysses, there was only nonsense. A strict and unrelenting diet of madness, selfishness, and brain melting illogic. This made him triumphant in her eyes, the perfect leader and King.

Penel0pe and Ulysses met in high school when they were bathed in hormones. It was a Tuesday during the weekly high school hormone therapy bath. Of course, like all people bound to get married, they were absolutely wrong for each other. For the first years of schooling together, they would pass each other in hall with their own judgments: Penelope thinking that his shoulders slumped too much and that his gawkish maw could only look forward to being framed in a Haz-Mat suit working on sewage spills. Ulysses thought her hips too narrow and her breasts too little.

It was only when their son Telemachus time travelled from the future and played electric guitar at their school’s “Enchantment Under The Sea” dance that they were magically if not temporal-paradoxically brought together.

Their first kiss happened in health class while they were participating in a ‘buddy check’ colonoscopy.
They laid on the classroom floor in the figure of a caduceus and fed camera cables into each other.
Ulysses’ eyes left the monitor and gazed into Penelope’s face. This is why here polyps went undetected.
“Come on, admit it. Sometimes you think I’m all right.”
Penelope jammed another two feet of cord into his rectum, pinching her hand.
“Occasionally” she grimaced, “maybe…when you aren’t acting like an ignoramus.”
“Ignoramus? Ignoramus? I like the sound of that.”
Ulysses began to massage her tender and puckered sphincter.
“Stop that.”
“Stop what?”
Penelope’s face flushed with anger.
“Stop that! My b-hole is dirty.”
“My hands are dirty, too. What are you afraid of?”
Penelope looked into his glazed and bloodshot eyes. “Afraid?”
Ulysses loosened up and, using his dextrous rectal control, sucked in another foot of fiber optic camera.
“You’re trembling.” He said, just over a whisper.
“I’m not trembling.”
“You like me because I’m an ignoramus. There aren’t enough ignoramuses in your life.”
“I happen to like people who are not douchebags.”
“I’m a person who is not a douchebag.”
“No you’re not, you’re…” But her words were silenced by his lips.
They kissed deeply, gently, full of ridiculuous teenaged tongue action.
Just then the Health Teacher Droid stepped over them announcing: “Children, children! Remember to isolate the reverse flux power coupling!”

She gave him the best years of her life. He gave her cold sores.
They shared in the best and worst life had to offer. The best: wealth and fame. The worst: culturally expected monogamy….That is at least for the first year of marriage before Ulysses found the most honest joy marriage had to offer–cheating.

Penelope knew that he had his ‘dalliances’. Everyone did. She appreciated that he tried to hide his mistresses in the same way she appreciated his saying “sorry!” when he heard her fall into a toilet whose seat he’d neglected to put back down.
He thought of her as a Queen: nice to bring to parties and show off to dignitaries.
She thought of him as a pet turtle. No fun to be around and the possibility of being killed by his poop salmonella.

It was the voting block’s expectations of a nuclear family that had brought them together, but in the end, it was their devoted love that kept them together.

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