Desperation for an Affair)
Jean didn’t want any vague spiritual romance, she wanted a long and lasting and pleasant affair-like so many other folks had, or at least so she told herself, believed. She wanted something different, even if superficial, even if vulgar, perhaps without emotion-but was that really possible?
She didn’t know or indulge much thought in this area-she just went looking, shopping as they say. She blamed her separated husband for her menace way of thinking, and motivation. On the other hand, perchance this was exactly the right medicine she needed, the optimum therapy, the one no one prescribed, a natural medicine, one that come out of the jungle, and cured all. She needed romance, yes, that is what she pondered on, what she really needed, wanted, to be loved the way she wanted to be loved, a romantic love, something that was not really possible before, or seemed impossible, or became impossible, who’s to say-it just didn’t develop, happen.
Thus, once looking around, looking around at all the people that did as they pleased, seemingly with no price to pay, no penalty for it, she felt, ‘What the hick, if I don’t like it, I’ll simply withdraw from it’… and she found herself the right guy: the right specimen of a man: tall, sandy hair, broad shoulders, lean, an older man, appealingly educated, sensitive, yes even a little vulgar, but so what: aren’t most men vulgar anyhow? Their lips tightened against each other the first time they met, enmeshed like white on rice. For once she was smiling.
Henceforward, her mind, and her thoughts were clear as new church bells for once: she even had a sense of being un-cuffed from this old madness. She knew her greatest sin was to delude herself, but it felt good. Perhaps it would be a long hard lesson, learned at its end, but it wasn’t at its end, it was at its beginning, and it felt good, and that meant the entire world to her.
“Do you like what you see?” she asked him, the first time they made love, per near every time they made love together, thereafter.
“Very much,” he replied, told her as he pulled her closer. She pushed away and cried. She could be offensive, more accurately than nice, and she had been at this moment, more so than he had expected. Her smile left- it would return in a moment; it was again, the first night, as often it would be throughout her desperation for an affair, always the first night-old behavior repeated.
“I suppose my mother was ill, and I’m ill by heritage, so there we are, and my ex-husband was a drunk, is a drunk, like my father, does that satisfy your curiosity?” she manically responded.
He narrowly knew what she was talking about; he went to kiss her again… Seeing that her remark had meant moderately little to him, she burst out laughing away the flat effect; although without saying, he noticed after all was said and done, she was a slight problematical: exactly how much he didn’t question, not at this juncture anyhow.
Whatever this new lover said was becoming-in the weeks and months to follow, her everything; her separated husband a ghost in the background. If anything, one thing was clear, she had a thrill of delight in thinking of herself in a new way.
He struggled the first night with her likened to every night he made love to her-even while in his strange vulgarities, like a decapitated animal, she sank deeper into the moment, more conscious of the fly navigating overhead, near the ceiling than him, as she lay arms spread out wide on her back on the bed-the kids sleeping (also deeper into her mental illness she sank, holding back only an inch of falling deeper into the pit, failing her desire to be more than what she was, or could be… )-even to the point of asking her estranged husband, near this strange affair’s end:
“Is sodomy wrong for a man to want to do with a woman and for a woman allowing the man to do this so called pleasure to her? Is it a part of love making?”
What could be the answer to such a question, other than, a reverie? So he thought, plus, he knew she knew the answer; then what was she looking for-absolution? He was not a priest.
The estranged husband knew she had forgot about who she was with this fellow, that she had a foretaste of his vulgarities already, that she was slipping backwards, that the romantic experiment was not going as either one of them had expected. Although he felt nameless in all this, he knew that this was just the hum before the storm.(The affair would last three months, and then she’d end up in a psychotic ward; as for the guy, he made it up to visit Jean in the hospital, but he just couldn’t make himself go through those iron doors and comfort her: the very thing she was waiting and longing for.)
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