So my ex is over. At my house. For the first time since the first time after a long time. Only three days after the first time after a long time. We shouldn’t be here really. I’m making tea and telling him about how I have a blog now. He’s calling at me from the lounge. His new job pays less but it’s fewer hours and he’s actually really connecting with the kids. That’s great, I reply. I mean it. (We shouldn’t be here really.)
We chatted on Saturday. It was as if relationship ‘us’ had been erased. Smeared clean with a dishcloth. There were stains of feeling but they had evaporated so much so that one more scrub would disappear them for good. It felt like before before. We felt like friends. Dispassionate, yes… it was dispassionate. There was a muted sadness in knowing that something that had affected me so strongly just didn’t anymore. Something must be said of the fickleness of feelings. But we had, it seemed, moved on. We took a long walk and had a great talk, about everything that had happened in the past six months, which was rather a lot. We had cried, worked, graduated, quit jobs, taken drugs, started new jobs, lost weight, put on weight, gone travelling, stayed at home, lost friends and made new ones, and were now, it seemed, on pretty good terms with our jobs, our people, the city, our lives. We exchanged thoughts and music. And then he left to go meet his friend at the airport.
“Are you going to tell them we…?” A smile played around my lips as I leaned against the wall, about to close the garage door behind him.
“Hell yeah, definitely!” Smiling broadly.
I laughed and hit the switch. The door thundered down as he strolled away.
Because of course we had sex.
There really was no question. No one is really surprised. I even shaved and shit. The idea was put forth clumsily and we still had to stumble through a half-grilled conversation that went a lot like, “I’m horny, like, all the time.” “Yeeeeah.” “Should we…?” “Aiiight.” Everyone knew what was going down. So I went for a pee and we chatted through the open door about possible places this could occur. I could hear him wandering through the house while I finished off. “I can’t find anywhere. How about just your bedroom?” I shrugged my shoulders. “Sweet.”
And so it all began. The touching, the kissing, the undressing. The ‘getting into it’. It was all… sort of weird. It wasn’t bad, it was detached. Neutral. It was like fucking a friend. Enjoyable but ludicrous. He came. Although I had a good enough time, I unfortunately did not. It was all finished before it began and so we dressed, chattering like sheepish schoolyard mates. There was no self-loathing, no regret, no guilt. There was… (and my smile fades as I write this) nothing.
But really, I justify, nothing in a good way. It was as if we were forcing romance, when what we had was familiarity and good conversation. It felt as if it was ok that this had happened. We ate a chocolate, hugged and went our separate ways.
It felt good. I felt good.
And now he’s here. On Tuesday. Saturday wasn’t too long ago. (We shouldn’t be here really.) Anyway, we’re overlooking my garden and having a smoke. He’s talking about how he was in love with the idea of love itself and how he was blinded to my lack of involvement in the relationship. I admit I was very cryptic and apologise for not being more honest with him. We talk about how our mutual public school teacher friend now has a BMW and how Kathryn did eventually end up getting married. How his Mom’s been promoted at work. How he may go to Tokyo next year. How I swear a lot more now. “It’s strange isn’t it? How things change…” I softly smile at my 8pm profoundness as my body and brain tussle in my head like overeager teens. My brain thinks we can really be good buddies. I shouldn’t mess that up. But… I feel hard done by (what she said and my body thought). I pout, I actually pout.
And so that’s why I’m on top of him now, I guess. Gripping my beds metal railing. There really was no question. No one is really surprised. The activation of it was sufficiently less clumsy but that didn’t stop me from feeling… silly. I giggled like an inexperienced child through foreplay and felt ridiculous taking my clothes off. The actual sex bit was absurd. Not bad, just absurd. I found myself drifting in and out of the whole amusing situation, enjoying myself nonetheless. But then I toughened up. You’re here for one thing baby, take it or leave it. I reprimanded my indifferent private parts and silently screamed at them to pay attention. I raised my pelvis. I shut my eyes. I grabbed an ass cheek (I think it was his). This is what tonight’s about, let’s do it! And so I did. And it was great. Great… yeah.
And I’m still going. And he’s going. And we’re going… “Come on,” he grunts. “Um, well I sorta did, uh… just a minute ago.” I pant, and then frown as he stumbles over: “No, not you… I…” And so we continue to jump around a little bit and it’s been a good while and now I’m on top of him and we’re trying and… Well. Well, well, well. I stop mid-ride and grin at the ceiling. I grab him by the shoulders and look him straight in his sorry-looking face and I smile. Hard. “It’s good that you can’t come. This means we can be friends.”
He looks shocked, he groans, he laughs.
He stays inside me while we laugh and talk and hug. He protests but I clip it, “Shh. This is how it’s meant to be. We both just needed one more time. You had yours Saturday, I had mine today. And… Now we’re friends.” I smile like a lunatic and climb off him. We lie there naked, chatting about how strange it is, how things change. How there is now this platonically empty space. I get some water. He broaches the idea of casual sex again but I shake my head, nakedly sitting on my chair now, legs crossed. “Nope. This is how it’s meant to be.” He gazes at me, hands on his knees. Blinking softly he smiles. “Well alright then.”
We dress, drink orange juice, make some food and watch an episode of 30 Rock. He gets up first with the credits. We hug, say goodbye and go our separate ways. The garage door thunders down once again. I smile.