Monday, April 25, 2011

The Adulterers' Manual

by Riccardo Berra
(c) 2011, "Love on the Edge" no reprints, all rights reserved

You meet by chance in places your spouses don't want to go to with you. You never thought you'd even like somebody like her, right up to the startling moment you fell and fell hard. She is so flustered and disorganized that it would irritate you if you weren't already so hot for her. Sometimes you're desperate for things you never thought you wanted. It's only now that you realize how many times you've felt this way before and never had the courage to act.

He is so cocky and self-assured that you're certain it's an act. You don't care. You'd forgotten that just talking to a man could be so heartbreakingly erotic. When he offers you a ride home, you tell your girlfriends a breathless story you hope they'll never see through. By the time they see you leave together, you don't care anymore. He says it's not out of his way. You know it is.

A light rain mists the windshield. You fumble to turn on the wipers. You fiddle with the radio and when there's nothing worth listening to, you make small talk instead.

His car pulls off into a dark, deserted park and you say nothing. He could be a killer or a rapist, but you're already wet. Your body has decided. Cars fly by on the road you just left; their slithery whine of wheels and engines on wet blacktop fades as he kisses you for the first time. Your cunt aches with an open poverty you've never felt before. He tries to take you standing up; your panties stretched just above your ankles, your knees shaking with the twin terrors of discovery and desire. The car is warm against your bare ass.

Her breasts are small and pearly white with hard nipples clearly outlined through sheer black lace on this moonless night. You can't do it though you want her more than anything, more than any woman you've ever wanted. You become afraid that she'll think you don't and that it will be over before it begins. The irony of it is enough to make you weep.

It will take eight years, hundreds of afternoons and evenings and three stolen weekends, always in your bed, never his, until you return to this place and discover that the very best way to do it is in the back of his car, like teenagers, with him standing outside and you kneeling inside, your stockings and panties peeled down about your thighs, your face pressed to the butter-soft seat surface that smells faintly of leather soap and orange soda.

The back door is open. Lightning ribbons and crackles across the sky. Your mouth is bone dry, but you lick your parched lips and force your tongue between her thighs like a dog lapping at a water bowl. You remember the first night. The night you couldn't. History could very well repeat itself, but this moment of déjà vu anxiety vanishes the instant her tiny opening yields and you feel yourself start to slide inside her. She is always so warm, so wet, so giving of herself to you. You straighten up and stare at the roof of your car. You no longer see what you're doing, but your hands are clamped assuredly to her rounded hips and your movements become firm and assured.

By the time it starts to rain again, you feel the final swell of him inside you. You bite your lip, your bowels quiver and you rejoice. You know that he will, to the second when he will come. The rain tattoo bouncing off the car's roof, its long rivulets streaking the rear window, reassure you, make you feel warm and dry, safe and protected inside, even if you really aren't.

Your eyes move from the car's wet-shiny roof up into the impenetrable sky. Your hair is plastered to your forehead as headlights approach from a distance. It doesn't matter. Nothing else matters. There is no certainty in life, but that nothing will alter this moment. In a less-exposed setting, you'd be happy to hold her, kiss her reassuringly and linger inside her until your breathing slows. But before the heat of this moment can fade, you pull out and pull up her twisted panties and stockings. You wonder if they're bunched as you close the back door and zip your fly. She'll have to make the final adjustments. You return to the driver's seat and start the ignition as she scrambles lightly from the back into the passenger's seat beside you. Your fingers lift matted strands of hair off your forehead. You drive for some minutes before either of you speak.

She's the first to break the silence. She says she won't wash down there, that she'll keep you inside her tonight. This never fails to arouse you again.

He kisses you in an unlit alley around the corner from your apartment before he leaves you at the entrance. You're tempted to watch him drive away, but you don't.

Driving, you play the radio and try to clear your head, but all you can see is her, alone, small and abandoned by you in such a large bed, maybe in the white linen shift you like so much or the old red cotton tee-shirt you don't like.

You wear the white shift and no panties to bed on these nights. Two fingers dip into the wet trickle of him seeping between your thighs. You measure the sting you feel down there against the sting in your heart. One cancels out the other.

At the next red light, you linger, fingers tapping on the turn signal. Her husband is out of the country. Your wife has taken her sleeping pill and wouldn't know if you came in at one or three this morning. You ache to turn the car around, but when the light changes, your right foot moves of its own volition from the brake to the accelerator. You continue home. Even though the two of you routinely break every other rule in the book, your lawlessness has its own unwritten but immutable codes. This is one of them.

Nobody you know would ever suspect all the ways that you are tied to him and he to you. Your husband says he's the only one of your male friends that he can stand. You are his wife's closest confidante. You live your lives in tidy boxes and don't want anything to change. You patrol the perimeters with the vigilance of soldiers and spies. Other men flirt with you and you reciprocate. Your husband gets jealous, but your lover never does. In fact, he encourages it. It's all an elaborate bit of theater for an audience who only think they know the two of you. It's not that it doesn't matter. Of course it does. There are two spouses, two families, two aging mothers, two dead fathers, six children, three grandchildren and a wide, increasingly intersecting circle of friends--all at stake. The guilt, though at first overpowering, never really was a barrier. Nor has it ever completely gone away; it just became irrelevant over the years.

There was an afternoon, her in a floral summer sundress, standing at the entrance to her bathroom while you stood on the other side of the door begging her with desperate whispers. It had been nearly two months since you'd last touched her. Your daughter and hers are glued to the television only three rooms away. Finally, you wear her resistance down. She thrusts her butt at you and with two long finger lifts her skirt and pulls her panties aside. You spit on your hand, rub your cock and take her anus.

His left hand snakes under your dress and cups your vagina. He pushes two fingers into you and though you are dry in front and barely wet in back, you thrust your hips defiantly against him, vigilant all the while he takes you like a whore. You urge him on, whispering for him to fuck you like the whore you are. You tell him that you like it. Any second now, a little girl could come tearing around the corner and down the hall. But what would she see? This is one of many times that you hide in plain sight.

A week later you'll return to her apartment. You'll give the girls twenty dollars and send them down to the convenience store around the corner. She'll kneel at her bed's edge as you pull her jeans and panties down her hips. You'll thrust into her so hard that it takes her breath away. You'll wet your thumb and slide it up her ass to the second knuckle as you fuck her vagina.

You call it his signature, a sign that you are well-owned and all your holes are his. Never once, in all your years of marriage, has your husband taken you this way. By the time the girls return with their unhealthy, salt and sugar snacks, he'll be drinking tea at your kitchen table. These are the kinds of risks you take. You seize opportunities, but never the same risk, the same way, twice. This is another of your unwritten, unspoken rules.

He tries to break it off with you one thick, sultry midsummer evening, but in the end he can't. You cry so hard. You flee to the bathroom; your sobs echoing off the cold tile. You've cried this way before, but never in his presence. You flush the toilet and try to dry your eyes. When you emerge, you tell him you'd rather be with nobody till the end of your days if you can't be with him. He squirms on your bed; his face looks stricken by the light of the half-open bathroom door.

You hold her until her sobbing stops. You hate yourself for making her cry this way. You hate yourself almost as much for giving in. You tell her over and over that you love her with all your heart and didn't mean it. You hope she believes you as you slowly unbutton her blouse and push up her bra.

You unfasten the bra for him. It falls forward on your lap. His tongue finds your nipples as you lift your bottom and shimmy out of your skirt and panties. He sucks as if he could nurse out all the pain and regret from your breasts. When you're not with him, it breaks your heart. When you're with him, it breaks your heart. It has always been so. This could all vanish tomorrow.

Both of you have always known this. 

(c) 2011, "Love on the Edge" no reprints, all rights reserved

1 comment:

  1. Ricci,
    This reminds me of our last meeting in the parklands near the Hudson river, when my relatives were staying longer than I anticipated. How desperate I was for you, for us to be together. I would have jeopardized anything for a moment of intimacy with you, and now,yet again, tonight I feel just the same. I do not know when we will be together again but your Apostrophe never fails to help me feel connected to you.
    La tua Vi