Fifty-six percent of men say the words, “I love you,” for the first time by accident. According to a study published in March in Britain’s Daily Mail, for over half of men the words just slip out of their mouths.
Twenty-three percent of those surveyed blamed alcohol. Thirteen percent said it because of sex. Eight percent reported saying these three words, “Because she was crying.”
Like Joan Baez sang, this makes love sound like just another four-letter word.
The night I threw my soon-to-be-ex-husband’s clothes into boxes and hauled them out to the garage, this song from Marianne Faithful’s album, Broken English, blared away on my sound system.
When I stole a twig from our little nest
And gave it to a bird with nothing in her beak,
I had my balls and my brains put into a vice
And twisted around for a whole fucking week.
Why’d ya do it, she said, why’d you let that trash
Get a hold of your cock, get stoned on my hash?
What did I write for Alan that wasn’t meant for anyone else’s eyes? What am I willing to share with you, now that he and I are divorced?
The other side of me, the side you don’t know. The erotic side.
Before the birth of The Diary (and of the Vixen Divorcee), I wrote stories intended for Alan’s eyes only. Stories of sexually explicit fantasies based on places he and I visited during our days of marital bliss. Stories the likes of which will never appear in the pages of The Diary. Stories I’m willing to share with you privately, now that he and I are divorced.
Yours could be the first eyes other than his to read one of these elegant fantasies.
Brenda and I are standing on the edge of the dance floor, close to the band. Our friends are gathered in a knot around a table, off to the side of the bar. They’re the senior citizen contingent in The Rec Room, this group of 55 – 70-year-olds eating the cake Ellen brought to celebrate her husband Gary’s birthday. They want to chat with each other, rehash the old days and catch up on the new. We’re all here because Gary
loves music, especially the blues, and a good local blues band is playing.
But Brenda and I want to dance. We always want to dance. I’m thinking opportunities tonight are bleak. None of our old codger friends want to do anything more active than move their mouths to talk and lift their plastic cups to their lips to drink beer.
Everyone else in the place looks to be well under 30. They’re playing drinking games that involve flipping empty plastic cups or passing full ones boy to girl, girl to boy, without using any hands.
So here we stand, nodding our heads and shaking our hips to the rhythms of these young musicians. I can’t read Brenda’s mind, but I’m guessing she expects some young blade to ask her to dance. After all, she’s light-bulb-bright charismatic, confidant and has a history of affairs with younger men. Guess that makes her a cougar.
How I hate that word. Makes her sound like a predator. She’s not. She’s attractive, successful and fun.
Brenda and me, just hanging out around the dance floor.
Anna wore protective armor her first night out without her husband.
Since she’s a woman of means and position in my town, by the time the Fine Arts Ball rolled around, everyone knew the messy story of how Pat dumped her for his secretary. Who would get the Tuscan villa, which top divorce lawyer would have the guts to incur Pat’s wrath by taking her case, how big would the settlement be; these were the questions occupying the minds of the Vanity Fair folks that night. Would she even show, wondered the men and women gathered in the ballroom.
Alan kept this CD in his car. When we drove long distances, he’d slip it in the player. We’d sing along, loudly and off key, glorying in the passionate imagery of the lyrics and the pain and purity of Sinead O’Connor’s voice. We’d sing happily, united in our love of the song. Her pain wasn’t ours and would never touch us. Or so we thought.
Until the day arrived when we sat together in the office of a marriage counselor. The
day when I knew our marriage was beyond repair. The day when he was still in denial.
We were living apart, hadn’t seen each other for a week. I turned to him and said,
“This is the last day of our acquaintance. I’ll meet you later in somebody’s office.”
That was it. We met later in somebody’s office to finalize the details, but those two
sentences marked the death of our marriage.
I never imagined until that afternoon how perfectly Sinead O’Connor expressed the end of my love, or what solace I would get from blasting out those lyrics in the home where I now live alone.