But now, finally, I was having sex, on my futon sofa, the kitchen countertop, the dining room table, the streaky Saltillo-tile living room floor, the blanket spread on the rough carpet of an empty apartment belonging to a former lover of his, the hotel bed with its limp, worn coverlet and sheets.
They were so much more pleasurable than the reality of my still living with my parents at age 20, still sleeping in the same bedroom as I had since age 12, still surrounded by the same stuffed animals that I had tucked under the covers since age 5.
I was bewildered by the lack of anything remotely resembling romance in my life; yet at the same time, I thought how could it have turned out any other way?
I rarely took the elevator because I wanted to prolong the jittery expectation and breathlessness that accompanied his opening the door.
Then came the florid compliments, the praising of my dress, my body, which was so different from that of his soon-to-be-ex-wife, my appearing years younger than 37, 38, 39.
I ask them questions about their marriages, about their kids if they have any.
I feel like a voyeur when they talk about their wives, which they do, sometimes reluctantly, sometimes more volubly.
But "dead end" means coming to a stop, executing an awkward three-point turn or pulling into a stranger’s driveway to back up and then exit the same way you entered.
You passed that mailbox just minutes ago, that yard, that house. Maybe so, but like a grandparent whose delight in her grandchild is intensified because she knows the child will be leaving and become someone else’s responsibility, I am content to see the man walk out the door. Let him and his wife communicate with the verbal shorthand that comes only with years of familiarity.
Tom glances at my Frye biker boots, which I’ve left lying on the living room floor rather than neatly standing side by side in the hallway as usual. ” he asks, and I know the untidiness displeases him. * * * These relationships are hermetic ones; they exist, bubble-like, in the confines of an apartment, with occasional excursions into the larger world: a bar to watch the U. play Germany in the World Cup, Les Halles for dinner, Chevys Fresh Mex for lunch.
Are they relationships with no future, ones that will end in a similar manner, with the man remaining married and me single? What if I don’t want to embark on a long journey, one with changing scenery and a companion who remains the same? The term "dead end" gets used often when referring to affairs with a man who is married and has no intention of leaving his spouse.
With Tom, the excitement is my opening the door to his slow smile.