I love Saturdays during fall. I purposefully did not schedule anything for Saturday because among our friends and colleagues etc there were going to be a lot of afternoon parties and college football game watching.
Early morning, the Writer and I were texting and then I went about my day, making plans to meet up with W to go to a party his firm was hosting. I had a perfect dress planned.
As I started to get ready in the afternoon, I texted the Writer:
Me: Mused that the last time I wore this dress, you pushed it up over my hips. And then realized that applies to like all of them. 4:37 PM
Him: well, yes. 4:37 PM
Him: that cool w/ you? 4:38 PM
Me: Well, yes. 4:38 PM
Him: good 4:40 PM
[sexting, prompted by me happens]
Him: so fucking hot 5:03 PM
Me: So fucking hot. 5:04 PM
Me: Sent you something to your gmail. G rated 5:09 PM
It was a picture of me dressed as I stood in the bathroom, getting ready.
My phone rang.
The Writer: “I know you said it’s G rated, but my mind made it NC-17 immediately.”
We start talking about music and movies and his daughter and feminism and his relationship with his mother, who is a huge influence on his love of film. She’s quite an erudite critic. The whole time I am getting ready, and I realize that I had earlier gotten something on that dress, so I was going to have to wear something else.
This conversation is intellectual and emotional and covers a lot of ground. I also told him about an album with which I am currently obsessed, which is on a label owned by a couple of friends of his from college. The world is a very small place.
Oh, and I admitted to him that when I was bored this morning, I started reading some of his work. His first question: “oh, god, where?” by which he meant which publication or magazine. When I told him, he was a bit relieved. I also told him I liked that his writing is exactly like having a conversation with him, except he often betrays his encyclopedic knowledge of the subject matter.
I do not think I realized before his high-profile event on Tuesday that he is very respected in his field, admired by his peers, and, of course, rather famous, like nationally. I never thought about it. To me, he was a local guy, doing stuff, but I didn’t realize just how good or how successful or how well-known he is. He has actual fans, one of whom is . . . my former tenant FM’s current local girlfriend.
The world is a very small place.
Our conversation is so intense that when W calls, I ask the Writer to hold, which he does, and then we continue even after I get into W’s car (with my apologizing to W with the Writer on mute). We talk for another three minutes until he is sitting in his own driveway.
Now with W who has my undivided attention, W is curious about which guy this is. I remind him of the particulars, including married.
W, during this long dark year, has proven himself as always the most loyal of of my long-time, long-suffering friends.
As I am telling him about my week and the Writer, what I was really telling W is about is how very different I am in my own life.
I have often been the more glamorous or adventurous or interesting date of very wealthy men. I always felt fortunate to be there. I felt lucky to have been the child of enough privilege to have an amazing education, smart parents who loved the arts and music, and the opportunity to get a law degree and to work at things that interested me. My good fortune provided great opportunities.
Lucky, not good.
And when you think of yourself as lucky or fortunate, you feel at your core that you are undeserving of what has been bestowed upon you.
So, that when things go wrong . . . and then very, very wrong . . . it is easy to think that perhaps you never deserved what you had before.
And then it gets worse.
If you are just lucky, how do you become an agent of change in your own life.
I am recently obsessed with the role our own narration plays in our mental health.
If the story I tell myself about myself is that I am lucky and then I am beset by horror, then how do I fix it if I were never responsible for my own success.
And, in my life, I have been on my own the most successful of all of my friends. For a combination of reasons, I walked away from a very lucrative thing, into another lucrative thing, that became a Faustian nightmare from which I have not yet escaped.
But I will.
Because I have begun to understand in ways even I cannot mistake that I was not lucky or fortunate or undeserving. I took opportunities and capitalized on them. I am the partner of those handsome, successful men because I am a woman who captivates them, who brings charm, elegance, and grace to any environment in which I find myself.
BFD used to tell people — including me — long after we broke up that I made him a better, more interesting person. I made him more accessible and more fun.
I bring joy and adventure to LP, who is perfectly happy to lock himself in a studio in a constant reductive state, rather than explore anything about the world around him.
A lot of my journey has been uncovering who I am as the protagonist of my own life. It’s a process of discovery and rediscovery, of uncovering long-held historical lies I have told myself.
And what I have realized is that I am smarter, stronger, better, and healthier than I ever realized.
I have allowed people to dismiss me, to reduce the horror to “she’s crazy,” to disrespect me and my experiences. Because I did not want to or was not capable of defending and defining myself, I allowed others to do it for me.
It is absurd. It is shameful.
So I am with W and I explain most of this to him and he is glad to hear it. I also credit the Writer with some of this accelerated work. He is connected to me and we have very deep philosophical and psychological discussions.
W and I go to three different parties over the course of about 90 minutes and it’s a blast. We even bump into PR, Jr., the very hipster best friend of PR who is at his company’s party adjacent to W. We hang out and have a blast with him and his work colleagues and it’s great.
I am aware of how differently my brain feels, how much more alive and connected I am.
It feels like being me again.
After eating and beer drinking, we drive to a sports bar to watch the second half of the game, where we bump into the Reporter. Well, the Reporter recognizes me as we are walking two floors below and hails me. We join him for a bit, then head to a higher patio for very overpriced beer before starting to convince W we should head east, where the Reporter and I live and where the drinks are much cheaper.
My phone buzzes with a text from . . . the Writer.
Him: sup 8:52 PM
Me: Nothin. Sup with you. 8:53 PM
Him: you home? 8:54 PM
Me: Not yet. Drinking Guinness and talking about racism. 8:58 PM
Me: As one does. 8:58 PM
Him: can u drive or no? 8:58 PM
Me: I can indeed. 8:59 PM
Him: where are u? 9:03 PM
Me: Leaving [sports bar]. 9:04 PM
Me: Where are you? 9:04 PM
Him: fuk 9:04 PM
Him: kid just woke up 9:05 PM
Me: 😦 9:05 PM
Him: i wss gonna see if we could mewt 9:05 PM
Him: but it has been a shit kid day 9:05 PM
Me: I would meet you anywhere anytime 9:05 PM
Him: and i am going to [city] tomorrow 9:06 PM
Me: Sorry sweetheart 9:06 PM
Me: But know I would meet you anywhere anytime 9:15 PM
Him: good 🙂 9:16 PM
Him: was hoping we could see the 950 [foreign movie we both really want to see] but now i dunno 9:17 PM
Me: DUDE 9:18 PM
Me: I would totally meet you for that. I mean. I would meet you anyway but DUDE 9:20 PM
Him: hah 9:28 PM
Him: yeah well 9:28 PM
Him: anothet time it looks like 9:28 PM
Me: Another time definitely 9:28 PM
Him: lil [director]. my hand in yr […] 9:31 PM
Me: That needs to happen. 9:35 PM
Me: In every way. 9:36 PM
Me: And soon. 9:36 PM
Him: or just fuckin since the movie might be eh 10:16 PM
Me: First, we’d love it second, we’d still be fucking. 10:18 PM
Him: where u? 10:18 PM
Me: [hipster bar]. Where are you? 10:19 PM
Him: can u drive? 10:23 PM
Me: Yes 10:24 PM
Him: leave now, meet me at [movie theater] 10:25 PM
Me: I don’t think I can drop a car there 10:26 PM
Me: Lemme see 10:26 PM
[W agrees to drive me 15 minutes north]
Me: Okay. On my way 10:29 PM
Him: if it doesnt work anothet time is cool 🙂 10:29 PM
Me: On. My. Way. 10:31 PM
Him: ok 10:31 PM
Him: [movie theater] 10:31 PM
Me: Yes. 10:32 PM
Me: Making my way north. 10:41 PM
Me: Five min away 10:44 PM
Him: come right on. got tickets. 10:45 PM
Him: in 10:47 PM
Me: Two blocks. Two minutes 10:48 PM
Him: word 10:48 PM
I get out of W’s car, 10 minutes before the movie starts. I see him right away in the lobby, dark jeans, white v-neck t-shirt, dark hair, looking very much like the hip man I adore.
We find our way to seats and kiss hello. He immediately puts down the arm rest between our two seats and I laugh, so he realizes.
We order water and tea and he insists I eat. He’s aware I have an issue, and that I tend to skip food. He was right, I needed food.
We watch the entire movie variously entwined, occasionally kissing, sometimes quite passionately in the dark of the theater. We were towards the back on a side aisle, unlikely to be offending or disturbing anyone around us. At times, I would kiss his neck and he would softly almost inaudibly moan. We were remarkably well behaved. It was a late show maybe a dozen people in the whole theater and his hands never wandered higher than the hem of my skirt, his hand often tucked between my thighs.
It was amazing. Being with this man who I adore, in the dark, with his arm wrapped around my waist and my head on his shoulder. It feels perfect.
W had asked me earlier why I was allowed to have this relationship with the Writer, why was the wife okay with this. Except he asked it differently. Why would any woman — with a man that clearly awesome (smart, funny, charming, emotionally available, sexually gifted) — not keep him “locked down.” What I told him is that if the choice is between never being with him or being with him and other people, you choose to share him.
I told W that LP’s wife would have made that choice, rather than lose him forever. LP wouldn’t have even made that offer, as their marriage was a horror show for him, but I know why his wife would have agreed. It’s why A did with me and why the Software Developer’s gf is allowed to have a girlfriend.
I know sitting in the dark, watching this beautiful movie next to this sexy as hell guy, that I am in a very temporary situation. He’s married. He has children. He has obligations and responsibilities. I am this woman to whom he is intensely attracted physically and intellectually. The intensity is scary because it’s all so raw and so real. It’s too much and burning too brightly. It will have to end.
My hand drapes across his belly as I hold his hand, with his arm locked under my rib cage. This is such a great date.
The movie is gorgeous, as expected, and we’re enthralled with how special this all is. It is a “real” date. We are together, in public, doing exactly the thing I’d wanted us to do and had mentioned to him last week.
The movie ends. I actually pick up the check for the food. It was sort of awkward, but I didn’t want to have him put it on his credit card, so even though money is tight for me, it felt like a very smart move. It was a respectful move. I make him sign it because I couldn’t see it in the dark.
We walk off into the night and he is obviously driving me home. It is after 1 am, so I also know he’s not coming in when we get back to my place. We start kissing passionately in the car and the feel of his lips on mine is still incredible. We start to head south towards my place. He lives far north of this place.
He holds my hand as he drives with his left hand. I forget that he is actually left handed, so this makes me terrible anxious. From time to time, I lean across and kiss his neck.
When we finally get to my house, he pulls up and I ask if he can come in. He can’t.
We start kissing, which progresses to him with his hand up my skirt and later other starts of activities. We know he has to go, we know it’s late, we kinda can’t stop.
Eventually, we do. But we keep kissing as we promise that this week, we will have sex. It is a certainty. We need to have sex.
I kiss him again good night, and text him when I am inside and he responds when he makes it home.
It was a truly excellent Saturday. Getting to see him and the new movie from one of our favorite directors just made it even better.
Sunday, the Writer had told me he was heading to a city about 90 minutes away for the day. I assumed it was for family time. It wasn’t. It was work related. He called me at 2:55 pm as he was driving back. We spoke for a total of an hour and 20 minutes and hung up only when he got to his house.
Our conversation was deep and intense about mostly me — my childhood, which I never discuss, my name, his name, relationships, and our relationship. We haven’t identified what we are doing. We are just moving together down a path. It is a lovely path.
I tell him about what I am writing, that I am sorting some things through. We make vague plans to see more movies, to rent movies, to talk art, and to have sex. A lot of sex.
He makes me promise to tell him if he oversteps, if he crosses a line with me when we are talking. I remind him that he often says things to me firmly, but that when he has hurt me, I have told him. I told him that’s something I am working on and I will let him know when I am wounded by his occasionally careless words. He’s lovely, though. And the space we are in together is safe for us both.
That we are able to spend this time together talking is remarkable. It makes the other time we spend together even deeper and more meaningful. We know each other well, and better every day.
And, more importantly, I know myself better every day. I am growing happier and more confident with each passing day.