I’ve Been Addled Before

I touched his knee, that’s all.  It happened accidentally, quite innocently.  I leaned forward toward the driver, Trevor, to make a suggestion, he spun the steering wheel, the tiny Fiat swerved and I reached out to get my balance.

My hand landed on the knee of the tall, blonde, handsome executive crammed in the back seat next to me.  That’s how it started.

I was a 35-year-old kept woman, living in Paris, this last time a new man addled me with his testosterone.  (Refer to Addled by a Drug to read about the most recent time.) My role that night was corporate wife; a role perfected over a year of living in the tony 16th arrondisement while my then-husband, Alan, worked out of the European headquarters of his multi-national employer.  Not bad duty for either of us.

Bill, the handsome blonde, was a newly promoted VP, in town to check out the project of Alan’s colleague, Trevor.  Since this was Bill’s first trip to Paris, Trevor recruited us to help with his social duties.

What ensued was, just as Ernest Hemingway described it, a moveable feast.  We started with aperitifs at the bar of the Ritz Hotel on the Place Vendȏme, next door to Cartier and around the corner from Maxim’s restaurant and René Lalique’s shop.

For the main course, I picked Le Train Bleu.  Who would imagine that one of my favorite places to take visitors would be a train station?  But like so much in Paris, this station restaurant expressed the Platonic ideal.  Situated above the tracks of the Gare du Lyon, the restaurant has large arched windows so you can watch the trains arriving and leaving and know when it’s time to pay your bill, grab your bags and board your train.  The décor is original Belle Epoque, with brass railings and walls and ceiling decorated with frescoes depicting the destinations of the trains departing below.

Can you believe it, this is a train station restaurant?

 

The final stop was Les Deux Magots on the Left Bank.  Just like Hemingway and Faulkner, Camus and Sartre before us, we sat out on the square, sipped our coffee and watched the crowd gathering around the mime artist.

The place was packed the night we were there.

Sometime between leaving Le Train Bleu and arriving at Les Deux Magots came the moment in the crowded car; the swerve, my lurch, my hand touching Bill’s knee.  His entire body stiffened beside me and I felt an electric jolt shoot from his leg, through my hand, up my arm and into my head.

The electric jolt pushed the air right out of my lungs.  When I regained my breath I leaned back in the seat, turned to him, smiled and said, “Sorry.”  Inwardly I thought, “My, my, isn’t this interesting.”

I also wondered what had brought this on.

Seriously, until that moment, I was oblivious to any dynamic between us.  My role that evening was clear; keeping the social gears running smoothly.  I was unconscious of doing anything to provoke a  response from this attractive bachelor.

True, I was naked under the soft white angora sweater.  True, under my leather skirt a garter belt held up silk stockings.  But Bill couldn’t know that.  That attire was part of my plan for Alan and me, later that night, after Trevor dropped us at the door of our apartment.

Unless, just maybe, my anticipation of  private moments telegraphed subconsciously to this receptive male.  Who knows.

Whatever triggered his response, he confirmed a month later that I hadn’t hallucinated it.  That’s when he addled me.

He was back in Paris, heading out to dinner with Trevor and Jean Paul, head of the Paris office.  Neither Alan, nor I, had any part of this visit.  No reason for either of us to see him.  Yet, through Bill’s machinations, he, Trevor and Jean Paul landed in our living room for before-dinner aperitifs.

Bill and I were the only ones in the room who knew why he was there.  He bombarded me with his testosterone the moment I opened the door.  Imagine being addled by a man’s desire as you sit across from your husband and his boss.  I can only guess how I behaved; probably overly bright, overly talkative, trying to cover up this current passing between the two of us.

I lost control of the situation during the leave taking ceremony at the door.  Honoring French custom, I exchanged kisses on the cheek, first with Jean Paul and then with Trevor.  Then I turned to Bill, he bent toward me and I positioned myself to plant that impersonal kiss on his right cheek.

I have to take some responsibility for what happened next.  I could have pulled back, shortened the encounter, minimized what was going on. But it felt too darn good.  I fell into his kiss.  At the crucial moment he turned his head so my lips landed right on his and I fell headlong into the lush, rich desire of that kiss.

My husband standing behind me in our apartment, his boss and colleague standing behind Bill in the hallway, and what did I do?  I strained my body up to meet the lips of this highly desirable guy.

After I closed the door behind the three of them, I turned to face Alan.

He cocked an eyebrow, said, “Well, Georgia, now I get the big deal about cocktails at our place,” and enfolded me in his own embrace.

The Perfect Kiss

Is this Alan and me or Bill and me? You choose

 

In the ensuing month, several messages passed from Bill to me, delivered by Trevor.  I was invited to call him when I was home in mid-December, a few weeks before Alan arrived for Christmas.  The last time Trevor played courier, he asked, “What’s going on here?”  I didn’t say a thing.

I never placed that call.  Why would I?  I loved the man to whom I was married.

Now, the story is different.  I’m single.  I googled Bill last night.  He still lives in the same city I do.  He’s retired, now.

And, he’s married.  Darn.

What should I do?  What would you do?

 

17 thoughts on “I’ve Been Addled Before

  1. Contact him. UR now single and thus, are “cheating” on Nobody. What he chooses to do is up to him. Otherwise, it might be a Missed Opportunity u might regret. What is the worse case scenario here? He says No, I’m married. Then that is that and u will have lost nothing.

  2. I love these chapters of your life. Truth be told any of us with the slightest perceptions knew when we were in similar situations to yours. In a strong relationship they can become “kindling” on the fire of the passionate romance with our life partner. But in disconnected relationships they are sources of great frustrations and possibly lead to events and feelings that lead to the end of a relationship.

    I would proudly reach out to this guy and see where things go. You have absolutely nothing to loose, and at a minimum you will throw some “kindling” on the fire of his passionate romance with his life partner. What a nice gift that would be.

  3. Breath-taking in fact and memory. I would contact him if only to see how he had changed (and he surely will have) and to see if that electricity still lingers. From there? Well that really depends, doesn’t it?

  4. Hi Georgia,

    First, thank you for bringing intelligent writing to the Blog world; a world too full of trite stories packaged in bad writing.

    Now on to your questions. I certainly can not advise you on what to do, as I really do not know you. I can however relate my small adventure. Faced with almost similar options I choose to pursue my seducer. I went into this with the knowledge that 1) I did not want to “win” him over and ruin his marriage, 2) at the time I was in need of intimate attention, 3) our story was unfinished and 4) he was and is drop dead gorgeous!

    After several “dates”, we took the leap and spent a wonderful, sexually erotic weekend together. There was no talk of his wife or his marriage. It was just us and the rest of the world faded into oblivion. It was all I thought it would be. He was attentive, soft, gentle, caring and a great lover.

    He wanted more, I said no. Why? I personally do not believe in sexual monogamy but I do understand that social monogamy is real and many do strive to achieve it. I felt that by continuing, I may have been violating a social and maybe a spiritual bond between him and his “partner”

    It was a fun adventure and it completed the drug addled story. We still meet for drinks and yes I still melt when he touches my hand. All is right with my world.

    I have noticed many of your readers leave interesting links. Here is my contribution. I shall continue to read your words and dream my dreams.

    Thank you Georgia
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/07/27/ryan.promiscuity.normal/index.html

  5. Georgia, I love this blog! I’m enjoying it so much! I don’t know what to do with this situation. Part of me says, “Integrity. Don’t contact him.” The other part of me says, “CONTACT HIM!” Guess it’s only a call that you can make. Can’t wait to read what you decided to do!

  6. Thanks to Merry Mary for providing the link to a thoughtful article about a emotion-laden topic; fidelity.

    Thanks to all of you for giving serious consideration to my dilemma. It’s been decades since I’ve seen Bill, can’t even think what my excuse would be to to contact him. Now Alan, on the other hand, would have lots of reasons to talk to him. There’s an interesting twist on this scerario: get my former husband to call him and idly sound him out on his interest in connecting with me.

  7. Georgia – You are so human. Alan is so human. Sex is sex and love is love. Plain and simple. Humans are a complex bunch, with self-imposed rules that only make life that much more difficult. Only you can know what you want, when you want it. Just know this: Life and love are what you make it. If you only live once, then go with your heart. If Alan is gone, what harm can there be in exploring? At the end of everything, you’ll only curse yourself for not giving every avenue a fair shot… right?

  8. Great idea to ask us to revisit your posts and jump into the comments. What would I do??? If I was just looking for a sexual encounter and not a relationship I would look him up and meet somewhere safe. His being married only matters if you are looking to settle down. Remember, 60% of married men and 40% of married women are not monogamous. Could be fun, could be a waste, really doesn’t matter if the rules of engagement are made clear. That way no one gets hurt.

    Thanks for the new year suggestion. I love your blog.

    Cathy

    • Hi Cathy: Thanks for chiming in. I hope you comment often. I’m glad you’re enjoying The Diary of the Vixen Divorcee.

  9. It appears we have several different views on fidelity, marriage and monogamy. Please allow me a moment of your time to sound off.Up until my first act of infidelity, which did lead to divorce, my belief on the subject was that women were hardwired and generally monogamous by nature, and that men… well, not so much. In my case it was me and not my husband that disappointed the believers of monogamy and so I set out on a journey of trying to understand the nature of the act of monogamy. Following is what I have gleaned out of my study of monogamy.
    After way too much reading I can boil the conclusion of my research down to; there is simply no question whether sexual desires for multiple partners is ‘natural.’ It is. Similarly, there is no question of monogamy being ‘natural.’ It isn’t.” OK, so what does this mean.
    I first looked into the difference between social monogamy, the ability to share a one-on-one relationship based on social norms: living together, nesting together, foraging together and having sex together, and sexual monogamy. When it comes to sexual monogamy, the findings offer the following perspective. Research using human DNA technology is now used to test parenthood in animals, as well. The results are surprising. Both male and female animals in nature practice sexual sharing with multiple partners, even in species previously believed to be socially monogamous. Like talk, sperm is cheap, so generally, males of the species like to ensure that their seed is spread around to guarantee that their lineage survives; they partner with many females. Females, to ensure that they produce the strongest offspring possible, engage with multiple partners, too. Hmmm. Social monogamy, yes. Sexual monogamy, no.
    The research shows that sexual monogamy is much more an ideal than a practice. Across the species range, from birds, who have always been considered mates for life, to chimps that closely resemble humans, sexual monogamy is not the norm. Researchers have found that between 10 and 40 percent of all bird chicks were fathered by males who were not the mother’s social mate. Research also shows that females are equally likely to engage in extra-pair mating. The reason is the same: evolution. Wanting to produce the best possible offspring, they each adapt their own ways to achieve this.
    Scientists have studied 5,000 species of mammals and found that only 3 to 5 percent are known to form lifelong bonds with one mate. Among this small group are beavers, otters, wolves and foxes. And even the species that do pair and mate for life occasionally have flings on the side and are quick to find new mates if their old one dies or can’t perform sexually any longer. So much for forever.
    There are three types of monogamy scientists now refer to based on their animal studies.
    • Sexual monogamy: the practice of having sex with only one mate at a time.
    • Social monogamy: when animals form pairs to mate and raise their offspring but still have flings on the side (“extra-pair copulation” in science talk).
    • Genetic Monogamy: when DNA testing confirms that a female’s offspring all come from one father.
    For us human beings, social and sexual monogamy generally go together. But not always in other species. Studies now estimate that 90 percent of all birds are socially monogamous, living and raising young together but frequently having sex with other partners.
    As scientists continue to uncover clues about why certain animals stay loyal to a partner, the underlying reason for monogamy remains an open question. The most commonly accepted explanation is that monogamy evolved in situations where young are more likely to survive if both parents are involved in raising them. This might help explain why humans tend to be monogamous; human children do take a long time to mature.
    By nature it seems that humans are naturally polygamous. Although polyandry is rare, polygyny, is widely practiced in human societies. Humans, in fact, possess certain characteristics typical of non-monogamous species. Monogamous species are also monomorphic, meaning that both males and females are the same size. Polygamous species are dimorphic: the male is larger than the female. Guess what comes next. Human males are typically 10 percent taller and 20 percent heavier than females, and it seems that humans have been mildly polygamous throughout history.
    So what did I learn? I learned that monogamy is difficult. Because it is not natural for humans, and because our instinctual desires have a tendency to lead us astray, we have a responsibility to put in a conscious effort to practice what we have committed to. Monogamy requires work. If we continue to admit that sexual monogamy is not natural, it’s easier to be led down the path that often leads to infidelity. Adultery is undisputedly a hot topic, an emotionally charged issue to those who don’t bring the biological perspective to understanding it.
    I would like to leave you with the following:
    I have come to believe that monogamy is possible, because, in fact, it is altogether within the realm of human possibility. But since it is not natural, it is not easy. This is not to say that monogamy isn’t desirable, because there is very little connection, if any, between what is natural or easy and what is good.
    I believe in monogamy, and one partner at a time is achievable. But I am not convinced, based on my own personal experience, that all of us are meant to find one mate to last our entire lifetime, although I have great admiration for people who do successfully mate for life. I’m curious to hear more on what side of the monogamy fence your readers live.

    • Hi Jen: First, let me confess, I had to dig out my dictionary to find out what polyandry and polygyny are. I doubt I am the only reader who will need help with these terms, so let me share what the dictionary told me: Polyandry is a relationship where the woman has two or more husbands. In polygyny, the man has two or more wives.

      You and I are alike in that our marriages were laid low due to infidelity. Hence, it is a topic that has occupied both our minds. You have put much more time and research into your thoughts than I have, so you have facts as well as emotions behind your conclusions. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I can guarantee you that your words will be swirling around in my head tonight.

      I am reserving my own muddled opinions and murky experience for the future. I am, however, hoping, like you are, that other readers will join us in this dialogue.

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