Forgive me. I am distracted. Sense may not be completely made, mostly because I’m still in the process of making it.
Last night, I did a shamus on Donny’s phone and I found an improbable name programmed into his address book. My spidey sense was tingling, a sense invariably impregnated with a nail-biting frisson, One does not ferret about in the detritus of a lover’s world and have one’s worst suspicions confirmed without some small pleasure. One has a strangely displaced sense of solipsistic shadenfreude. One feels joy at one’s own dear heart catastrophe. It is a peculiar fucking sensation indeed.
Last night, spidey sense tingling, ferreting about, I found the improbable name “Ebony Jacquelyn.” “Ebony Jacquelyn” is not precisely the implausible name in question, but it’s close enough to the one I found to raise legitimate credulity in anyone reading this. I knew, knew immediately, knew uncontrovertibly that Donny had been talking dirty with this woman, that he had lied about his availability to her (or to me, if in fact he’s in his heart single), and that he wanted me to find this piece of evidence and cold hard bust him.
I didn’t bust him, not immediately. Immediately, I had sex with him. Long, elliptical and theatrical sex that I interrupted about twenty minutes in with a conversation that would allow him, with no pressure attached, to tell me what had been going on, should he want to unburden his bosom to me.
He did not.
Donny and I have not shared an uncomplicated history. No smooth sailing, our love. It has felt a lot more like one of those off-road endurance trials. It took me just under a year and a half to commit to us. And I take full responsibility for it taking then another six months for me to sometimes choose behavior that wasn’t occasionally dramatic, that wasn’t at times histrionic, that wasn’t from time to time dictated by my history of abandonment and all the attendant cut-and-run habits that a lifelong history of abandonment usually engenders. I have, to my credit, been standing very still for almost the past year. My posture has not embodied a static, stagnant stillness; rather, it has been the Zen quiet of the meditating. I have waited without waiting; I have been patient without condescension. I have been a woman committed to her love.
Donny, however, has not shared my lotus composure. Instead, I’ve seen a subtle relaxation of his Heismann stance, a bending at the elbow, a welcoming in with his arm. He has slowly relaxed his posture of resistance. When we grew too close, he used to just dump me. Then he would act tetchy, show up late, cancel at the last moment, and be resentful of our time together. He would mistreat me in small doses, just enough to keep me on edge. The next stage was his chatting online with the phantom females, a practice I don’t love, but after discovering his having done it over and over again, I told him that I’d endeavor to be ok with it as long as he didn’t actually talk to them or meet them. I considered it a symptom of his intimacy issue that given enough time and space and therapy would just go away.
Apparently, not so much.
So my spidey sense was tingling. So I ferreted. So I found. So I fucked Donny, and every time he said to me, “Your pussy feels so beautiful,” I thought, Really, more beautiful than Ebony Jacquelyn’s?
“I love fucking you,” he said.
Really, I thought, more than you love fucking Ebony Jacquelyn?
We’re fucking and EbonyJacquelyn, EbonyJacquelyn, EbonyJacquelyn ran through my mind.
Donny between my legs and EbonyJacquelynEbonyJacquelynEbonyJacquelyn.
Donny above me, his bare thorax bobbing up and down framed by my juicy thighs.
After an eternity—not pink, not floating, not sweet, but rather churlish and charred around the edges—I came, and somewhat later, Donny did too, leaving a lavish load of jism on my sternum and at the hollow at the base of my throat. We showered. I left the shower first. I turned on his phone. I checked when he and Ms Jacquelyn had talked. Wednesday night at 10:29, Donny called me. 10:34, he called Ebony Jacquelyn.
I walked to the bathroom. I asked him if he was having an affair.
“No,” said Donny.
Then who is Ebony Jacquelyn, I asked.
She is, as I knew, a chat buddy. She, he tells me, lives in Brooklyn. She thinks, as I knew, that Donny is single. She has been lied to, and so have I.
My schadenfreude dissipated in the fluorescent light of his resigned acknowledgment. We talked, and I felt at turns angry, frustrated, bored, loving, annoyed and exhausted.
At this point, today, I am a bit raw with not knowing how to feel. I know that this symptom with the incredible name is a sign of his struggle with intimacy, with his fear of disappearing into our union, with his anxiety about being dependent on me, with his haunting worry of loss, with the devil of his feeling inadequate. With his worry about commitment. With all of that, and more.
I know all that, and I feel compassionate toward this man I love so much, and I also just don’t care. I know only that I don’t want any spidey tinglings. I don’t want to ferret, no matter how pleasurably. I don’t want my assumptions validated, however gratifying. I don’t want any Ebony Jacquelyns.
And beyond that, I just don’t know.
PS. A few readers have written me to point out an unusual number of typos in this post. I wrote it in a crimson emo rush. I think I've caught all of the errors, and if I have not, let's just please forgive and forget them.