My roommate, Murph—a nose-pierced, hinky-toothed blonde from Dubuque, who used black soap and black dental floss and whose quick opinions were impressively harsh (she pronounced Dubuque “Du-ba-cue”)—always added the phrase “in bed” to any fortune-cookie fortune, so in my mind I read them that way, too:
You are the master of your own destiny. In bed. Well, that was true.
Debt is a seductive liar. In bed. Or, the less well translated,
Your fate will blossom like a bloom. Or the sly, wise guy:
A refreshing change is in your future. Sometimes, as a better joke, I added, though not in bed.
You will soon make money. Or: Wealth is a wise woman’s man. Though not in bed….
Dating? What did I know of it? My roommate, Murph, had done all the dating and had essentially abandoned me so that she could now sleep every night with this new guy she’d met. She had bequeathed me her vibrator, a strange swirling, buzzing thing that when switched to “High” gyrated in the air like someone’s bored thick finger going whoop-de-do. Whose penis could this possibly resemble? Someone who had worked in a circus, perhaps. Maybe Burt Lancaster’s in “Trapeze.” I kept the thing on the kitchen counter, where Murph had left it for me, and occasionally I used it to stir my chocolate milk.
-- Lorrie Moore, “Childcare”