Anxiety grips my soul again as I lay staring at the ceiling. My senses heighten bat-like as my sonar detects distant cars, fleeting moments of anticipation quell my resentful fear in the hope they’ll pass along my road but the pain thickens ten fold as the silence and endless darkness returns.
Once in a while the low grumble of a 2am taxi grows and the headlights play strobe-like across the far wall. I jump out of bed and spy carefully through the pleats. As another taxi continues its journey I double over and press my forehead as hard as I can into the windowsill, failing to crush my brain into numbness, letting out the loudest silent roar. ‘Where is she’?!
But I know where she is because I’ve driven her to it. She’s doing what I used to do. The escape from the reality that I’ve selfishly created for her. Through my lying and cheating I’ve looked for another to meet my needs, in dirty hotel rooms, dank corners of seedy car parks, across the back seat or the front, those needs never met. But still I disappeared again and again into the solace of another and another and another. It’s so easy these days, literally on tap.
And after every misdemeanour I returned crawling and remorseful, begging forgiveness. ‘It meant nothing, it’s you that I want, I’d do anything for you. I made a mistake. Take me back’. And she did time and time again. But little by little the trust eroded, from the inside out as it does, first the soul then the face, hollow, hopeless, lost.
And now she’s out there doing the same, and not even for revenge or a good time, but an escape from me, from us, from herself. The terror that she may not come home tonight toying and laughing in my psyche. But I never returned, she’d been through this torment many a time, but that doesn’t matter now, this is happening to me! This is different! I’d been behaving myself for a long time now, I didn’t deserve this!
And wait, a taxi, stopped, it’s her! Relief washes over me, and my selfishness flips from self pity to lust. I pretend to sleep as she creeps through the murk. I can smell it on her from here, a stark reminiscence of my old forays. My stomach rolls but the musk turns me on even more. I know what she’s like after one of these jaunts now. Her own guilt and her body now loosened. Neither of us will want to but we won’t be able to help ourselves. She climbs into bed and the odour envelops me, juiced from her nights recklessness, soiled. I feel sick but the anticipation is sending an unbearable electricity through every part of me.
And we fuck. A soulless, loveless, meaningless, sordid release. A moment to forget the current hideousness of our situation, and not even a backwards glance, or flicker of the flame that used to burn. That died out long ago. And afterwards as I stare up at the darkness above me and contemplate the abyss within I realise that the spark had extinguished long before I strayed and I’d been imprisoning her for my own needs, for when my other escapes had failed.
And the hamsters wheel of life’s monotony continues over weeks and months and years. Like 2 ghosts from different eras haunting the same house we pass by and through each other. Communicating only through the seances of children’s activities and the crystal ball of each other’s purposely increasing employment. The non face to face coupling after one of her ever increasing elopements the only respite. And my resentment grows. Why is she continuing to do it when I’ve stopped?
Ensuring she know about the martyr I’ve become I make sure I pour molten guilt over her after each escapade. Yes I’m a crap inattentive partner, her fault now not mine. I’ve had enough. I scour the internet for other pleasures but it isn’t the same. Recent years had seen newly accessible releases, used behind closed doors when she is out. More easily hidden yet not the same, unfulfilled I plan my return.
This internal unrest can be tolerated no longer. The decision has been made, war declared on my discontent self, I press the ‘fuck it’ button. Instant silence descends and all thoughts of ensuing chaos and consequence dismissed. I’ll make sure this is going to be a good night, nothing cheap down hidden back alleys, or behind hedges in the remotest of parks. A decent hotel booked and no expense spared on the most expensive companions I could find. 3 of them…
I sit opposite contemplating them. Beautiful. Teasing myself by waiting. Convincing myself it will be different this time. Knowing that it won’t but not giving a fuck, that will be tomorrow. And in this moment I truly believe in the power of now, Ha! I run my hand down the side of one, such a wonderful shape this one, tall, slim, elegant. I run my tongue over my lips, my stomach flipping, wonderful, nervous butterflies of anticipation roller coast through me. And I dive in with a thirst never before felt.
Afterwards, as we lay empty on the rank bed-sheets I regard my current mistress, those gone before and those yet to come. They go by many names. They come in many shapes and sizes. In many different colours, but it doesn’t matter to me, they are all the same. They are there to be used, abused and discarded in the same way. And this one’s name is…