Monday, February 21, 2011

The Final Days

Lately I have been noticing a book at the end of one of Phil’s book shelves – The Final Days, the story of the end of the Nixon Presidency and I have considered that the participants probably did not realize that they were in the final days until after the fact. So it is with hindsight I can gaze back over the past three months and see what should have been obvious.

Thanksgiving was in Connecticut this year (yes readers, another road trip), an extended weekend in the family home. But of course the phrasing “family home” should be the first hint of trouble. The home has become crowded with the addition of an adult daughter and her child. What was comfortable for three and on occasional fourth is a petrie dish seething with humanity. There is also internal geography – a house with a basement bed / bath where at some point one could say “good night” and wander (or slink as the case may be) down to a spot which is while in the house is not in your face. Now my personal geography is a single bed in the home office with my head as the crow flies being maybe twelve feet from Carrie’s, our doors maybe a yard apart. It is impossible not to be aware of the total lack of personal space boundaries.

Yet with all of the new limitations Carrie and I persevere, dinner, a glass of wine, chatting while the kids float about. The limitations on personal space, the additional children, take a toll but also almost create a sense of fellow travelers in a revolution gone wildly awry. A strange existence where the underlying reality gets lost.

We were preparing for Thanksgiving a few paragraphs ago, a Wednesday night, dinner and a pitcher of Perfect Manhattans – a specialty of the house. Soon dinner is forgotten in an alcohol induced haze and the inevitable happens. First pure sex, the virtual ripping off of clothes, skip the foreplay and become one followed a little later by making love, hugging, feeling, being. It was and it was good. Of course there is always a morning after, one marked more by guilt and recrimination on her part than mine – I do have an awesome tin ear – and further complicated by a child in the next room who admitted to hearing us talking but in reality did connect the dots.

We now move to the land of Rashoman (a movie I actually missed) where the same moment becomes very different in the minds of different participants. I went home and thought of somehow having it all back – not being straight per se but if not a man in my body, a toy wielded by the right person, by her. Somehow a return to a life that has continued in many ways – weekends, dinners, telephone calls, but is also long gone.

I speak to Phil, tell him what occurred, and share my emotions, my misguided dream. Not tomorrow - five years do not disappear into the ether in a blink of the eye. No, she would need time to think about it, time to consider. I have it – I will not have sex with Phil while she has time to think secure in the knowledge that I am only living with him during the week, maybe still sharing a bed, but I’ll skip the bj’s: what more could one ask.

The whole story is too long for one post so I suppose this is as good a time as any to leave off with one thought – can you spell delusional.