My only real complaint is that he doesn't look me in the eyes when he's doing it. Well, the blanket too. It gets stuffy and hot under the wool blanket, diminishing the experience. That nauseating, wild animal stink of wet wool. I'm not one to be a bother though, preferring to let things develop organically, in their own time. He cares for me, I know this. We go on long walks together. The park. Down to the river for a flirty swim among the ancient boulders, worn smooth by the crashing water. It's peaceful, sitting in silence, watching the shadows grow long on languid summer days. Just the two of us in silent repose.
But the silence can be overwhelming at times. Too much quiet unsettles the mind, stirs the demons. Are we OK here? Are other couples this uncommunicative? I've tried to reach out, tried to break the long chains of silence with varying degrees of success. I reassure myself, saying relationships can be like that, quiet storms that build slowly over time. Is this a gentle summer rain or violent supercell lurking ominously? What is it? Is he being honest with me? Honest with himself? We have something together, I know this. I think I know this. Look to what people do, not what they say. Some might think it a stale bromide but it's not, it's a truism of the highest order. Actions do speak louder than words, Sandy is right. So what if we don't have lengthy discussions about politics? Or religion. Or the ethics of America's global hegemony. Or anything of substance really. So what if our relationship is a quiet dance of physical compatibility? Talking excessively can distort emotions, emotions are often better navigated by intuit, subtle actions of love, respect. But, in the bed. The lack of eye contact, this distance between us. Those too are actions, right? This worrying, this grinding mental exhaustion. Constant over thinking. I'm buggered, I really am! And I don't want to harp on it, I don't want to be the goddamn nag. At the baseline, it's irrational to think that any relationship is perfect.
Of course I spoke with Natty about my concerns. We have one of those relationships, anything goes. She's honest. Brutally honest. She's not the type to beat around the bush or equivocate. She comes directly to the point.
"He's a slut. He's in search of a warm hole, you have one. Badda-bing."
And last evening as my face sawed back-and-forth against the flannel bed sheet, ass pointing skyward, I was forced to ponder Natty's insensitive perspective. The thick, meaty odor of my own suffocating breath unable to find escape amid the stank-ass wool blanket covering my head. A toothbrush distraction. Fuck opposable thumbs! And the thoughts, how they just spiraled from there. I'm an attractive lady. I have a lot to offer. I'm kind-hearted. To a fault even! I'm always there, always the one he can count on when he's in a bind. He knows this. Jeff knows everything about me! All my little quirks, all my idiosyncrasies. And I know his. Six years this Spring. Six years!
But the betrayals, they hurt. They accumulate. Seeing him yell nonchalantly, "See you later!" Then, jet out the door, disappear among the shadows making his way next door. Next door! The audacity, the disregard. Disrespect! Actions. He must know I'm curious. He must at least consider the fact that I might look out the window as he marauds across the lawn, ducks under the Rettinger's porch for a lascivious rendezvous with "Becks". Becky, hmph, that filthy trollop! There's your slut Natty! The only girl on the block who would wiggle her ass at anything on two legs. The lack of shame in some is horrifying. And he doesn't bring a blanket! There is no stank-ass wool blanket tossed upon Beck's head. That's what hurts the most. Me, my breath steaming up the window, watching Becks wiggle in ecstasy as my lover grips the porch joists for stability, his fibrous muscles flittering in the pale moonlight to the tune of his carnal thrusts. Actions. And stupid me, waiting by the door, loyal and complaisant, as he makes his sated reentry, passes me by in deafening silence.
Jeff, why can't we find common ground? I know you love me, but why these impossible, heart-wrenching games? I'm tired, exhausted. One minute love is dragging me through the mud, kicking my ass in the worst sort of way. And then, serenity. Stretches of the day one could easily describe as blissful. The playful teasing, the petting, the finely tuned attention to my needs. The specific foods I love, prepared the way I like them! Your undivided attention. And me, nuzzling your crotch playfully, obsequiously. Those times when I miraculously bring your shoes to you when you're frustrated, can't find them. When I see you're having a tough day and I sit with you, my head on your thigh, catharsis protecting us from the world's cold indifference. To just be there, you and I. Everyone needs to feel loved, to feel close.
I don't want to be the neurotic type, I don't! Controlling. Yappy. Our better spirits should guide this relationship forward, foster understanding and compassion. I seek counsel in my friends, you know. Sandy is always thoughtful, always comes to your defense. The way she rolls in the grass, enumerates your best qualities with her undying optimism. And Natty, well...Natty just says you're a repugnant fuckboy and says she intends to piss all over your shoe the next time you attempt a pet. But that's just brusque 'ol Natty. Her hebetic years in the Jersey Shore shaped her defensive posture. She means no harm, all bark no bite.
But alas, this isn't about them! This is our life, you and I! And no matter how I rack my brain, I just don't know where you stand, I can't figure you out. And worst of all, I don't know how to convey this to you.
- Comedy Open Mic - Round 8
- all story images are taken from either pixabay.com or google images (licensed for reuse) and are free to use under creative commons
- original story - content belongs to Daniel Shortell