Letter to a would-be lover...

Dismantle the paradigm of desire.

I dreamt about you last night. Dreamt that I was in your arms, against your bare chest, my hands feeling your muscles expand and contract as you adjusted yourself on top of me. I had secretly gotten away from the group--I was supposed to be in a meeting--but I snuck out to see you. They all knew where I was going. There doesn't seem to be such things as secrets. Just things that people don't talk about.

These dreams of you haunt me; they're pervasive. My mind is held hostage by you for the rest of the day. They force me to remember the night we both crossed the line. Your hand gently stroking my belly, right where my panty line rested, slowly moving down, exciting me, touching me, making me moan. I turned to face you and we kissed. We'd been anticipating that forbidden kiss for months--talking, laughing, sharing--thinking about what it would be like to kiss one another.

We have that way of looking at each other and just knowing. Since the very beginning we were connected. And now we're connected in other ways. We know things about each other that no one else knows. We can tell each other anything and we know it--it's a powerful thing.

What will happen between us? It's been six months since we were together. Will our circumstances prevent us from ever seeing this through? I hate these damn dreams! My chest is aching--do I love you? Do you ever think of me or am I just an unsatisfied lust fading away into your past?

I'm sitting in the airport in Chicago, waiting to board a flight to San Francisco, and every cell is drenched with desire, every limb throbs and longs to touch you, like a magnet I'm drawn to you, like a dog that knows its way home. It's like I'm living in a new framework since I met you. How can you dismantle the paradigm of desire? How do you tell your cells to dry and move on?

When I met you, my map was made, and I knew in which direction I was headed. But you took my map and ripped it up into pieces--taking the fragments of my future and just wistfully tossing them aside. But you gave me no new map to follow. So now I'm just standing here, waiting, not sure what to do next. The fragments of my future lie scattered on the ground. Should I pick them up or just let the wind carry them away?

Now I'm on my way to California, the distance between my husband and I growing with each passing minute. I'm missing the retirement party to go to a friend's bachelorette party--to celebrate her approaching marriage as I wonder if mine is falling apart. I know you're not going to the retirement party and I wonder if that's because you know I'm not going. Is that arrogant or are things really as they seem? Everyone at work thinks we're having an affair, or, at least, that we had one. See, like I said, there are no such things as secrets. People wondered about us eveyday having lunch alone together in my office. We really had some good laughs then. People aren't supposed to have that much fun at work. You always accuse me of trying to seduce you, but you do the same. You're just as guilty as I am. It's funny when we walk late into a meeting because we've lingered too long over lunch. We make sure to walk in separately so as not to fuel the gossip. I go first, and when you walk in it's so hard not to smile. We're on the edge of hysterical laughter the whole time.

What about my husband, you ask? You know about that. You know that he prefers the bottle to me, that he leaves me alone half the time while he's lost in a hazy oblivion. You know that my marriage is balanced by a weight of hope and a weight of disappointment, slowly tottering back and forth, not sure which one will be heavier in the end. It's true, I accuse you of tearing up my map, of causing me to question my future, but maybe it was him who tore it up and carelessly scattered the pieces around our flimsy house. He probably did it slowly. Every drunk and ridiculous night, he tore off another piece and let it fall to the ground. Now, without my map, I'm not sure where to go. Maybe it'll be me, though who picks up my broken map and sets it on fire. Then I can breathe in the dust and smoke of my future. I can scatter my own ashes where I please.

A lot of people know about us. Mostly people at work. It's not like it was hard for them to figure out on their own anyway. I know I told you that I didn't tell anybody, but I did. I have a big mouth and you know that. Who could keep this in, anyway? They might find it shocking, however, that we were intimate only two days before my bridal shower. They would think I make a mockery of marriage. Maybe I do. But I've never been in this position before. My husband and I moved into our house, and two months later I realized I could be making a big mistake. As I worked on the house, he worked on polishing off his fourteenth beer. The wedding plans were already set, so I just hoped for the best.

Then I met you. We flirted relentlessly--foreplay that lasted months. Delicious anticipation that would keep me up many nights, heighten my senses like a drug, and cause my skin to shriek in delight with the slightest touch. But you told me to forget about us, that nothing could ever come of us. Maybe I should leave my husband, I know, you've mentioned that before. He and I have our good days and our bad days. It's hard to know when to draw a line, when to say that's enough, I can't live like this. It's hard to just pick up and leave. So maybe I'm a coward, and, instead of leaving, I find escape in you. You asked me once why we do this, how we can be so duplicitous, and like I said, it's unfortunately, just so easy.

We can't help ourselves.

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