We were riding our bikes fast down a dirt path lined with oak tree leaves, leaves that fell in autumn and will remain there until they become a part of the earth. There was a right-handed slope to the trail and my bike drifted into a gulley, making me yell out to A in front of me, “Move to the left!” My efforts were too late as his bike had drifted even further than mine did and when he hit the bottom of the hill, he finally lost control and fell hard to the ground, the wheel spinning, his leg under the core of the bike, his body sprawled in the leaves. He lay there and cried pitifully.
I jumped off my bike and ran to him, pulling his bike off him. I was concerned slightly about his ankle. I’d forgotten my cell phone and we were far away from any easy help, being well into a ten-mile hiking trail near Bonelli Park in San Dimas. We’d done most of the ride before, but never this far.
He looked up at me and just cried. He got up though and I saw there were no problems other than wounded dignity and mere minutes later we were speeding along the trail once again, up and down, whooping it on the downhill, huffing it on the uphill.
I was relieved to be there.
The past few days haven’t been good thanks to some drama affecting me – I sit here now, the day over, very sorry about a relationship that was once simple but is no longer that way. Simply put, I wanted to tag along with my brother and sister and their respective families on a weekend jaunt to the mountains when I discovered that my brother had built this annual trip into something far greater than he ever let on. He said to me, “Don’t take this personally, but I won’t go if you go.”
I was deeply hurt, taken by surprise, but I conceded. He’d been rather mean about it, both he and his wife. For weeks they'd been making jokes at my expense, saying they didn’t want me on the trip because they didn’t “like” me, saying these jokes often and as long gags, without telling me they were serious, that there was truth to their "jokes." My sister was hurt too at the awkward snub not knowing about this exclusion that he so learned to covet, that he never shared openly.
I sit here now in complete confusion. He hasn’t returned my calls, he’s not speaking to anyone, all because I thought it would be fun to spend some time with the siblings, me being free of my uptight husband and demanding kids. How fun, I thought, to kick back on the porch under the stars, chatting late into the night, glasses of wine in hand, with both Brother and Sister. This thing has turned into a nightmare.
I lost a beloved Aunt in a similar fashion – lost her to her problems, to my supposed insensitivity. We don’t speak anymore and it’s terribly painful. She won’t budge. No amount of kindness from me will bring her around. Again, she’s gone. I suppose I should look in a mirror and ask myself why. I know that the very challenging situation we have with our children has made us reclusive. I sometimes won’t call anyone for weeks and weeks simply because we’re working so hard at maintaining a schedule for the children and working so hard at keeping sanity within arm’s reach. I’m sure I’ve made bad choices in behavior. I give that I can be self-absorbed at times. I try not to be. I reach out…but I’m often pulled back into my cave with the hard work of my family life.
So…I’m confused and shocked and left speechless. My brother is someone I’m unsure of now.
I look at the time and cannot believe he has nothing to say to me. I’ve completely given him his coveted weekend – I got it, I’m over it. However, there’s obviously something more than I’m not able to grasp. If he didn’t completely disregard our childhood I’d blame it on unspoken wounds. Perhaps he’s angry at me for being an abandoning older sister. That could be true. We weren’t close as children. I bonded myself to my sister. We might have built an impenetrable wall without realizing it. We did so to protect ourselves from my parents. Perhaps…without realizing, we kept him out, too.
I don’t know what’s up or down. I do know that tonight, I’m not feeling the love. I’m feeling definite rejection, definite hostility. I’m stunned.
In this current low mood of mine, the mood that makes me look inwardly and into mirrors, I’ve decided that I’m tired of the celibate lifestyle. Yes, yes, I married and made all those vows about for better or worse and all that rot but really, am I expected to whittle away the last of my able years as an untouched woman? I think not.
So, I’ve decided to take on a lover. The lover should be taller than me, but at this point in my life with all my imperfections, I’m not going to be choosy. So…as long as the lover is not under 5’2” in height and is less than 5’2” across, I’m good. The lover does need to think I’m sexy – the lover should actually want to have sex with me. This is a must. If I wanted a lover who didn’t want to have sex with me, I’d continue on with the status quo.
And yeah, as you can probably tell, this relationship will be purely physical. Sure, a common interest in James Joyce and Joyce Carol Oates and films about heroin addiction would be nice, but not a requirement. I’m not interested in running away to the Dominican Republic for a quickie divorce and definitely don’t want an equally quickie marriage. NO COMPLICATIONS, that’s my new motto. I guess one could say I’m into the bootie call. My call, though. Don’t harass me for attention because I won’t give it to you if I’m distracted with the kids. But don’t ignore me either. Leaving love notes on my super-duper-secret yahoo e-mail account is fine. That I’d like.
Moving on, the lover can’t mind the bumps and softness and grey hair. He needs to find me fairly attractive – yes, the lover can want to have sex with me but he needs to be turned on by my 42-year-old self. He also can’t mind my driving impulse to call all the shots. Look, I have a busy schedule to keep. I take M to swimming lessons in the a.m., there are drum lessons for J at noontime, and bass lessons for A in the evening. We have an agreement to go swimming every day at the pool and do lots of mountain bike riding (see above). We’re also trying to teach our dog to walk like a regular dog on a leash as opposed to some crazed, wild animal, which requires walks/pulls twice a day. So far we’re making these commitments work. I’m also trying to get the family on a healthier diet, so I’ve got to be around for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Fact is, we can’t talk on the phone or chat on the computer or meet very openly for obvious reasons. Discretion is the name of the game. I think I can swing the occasional drive out to wherever the lover is on a Friday night. But it has to be at the lover's place. My house obviously is unavailable as all five of us are here...well...constantly. Can’t afford motels and can’t get caught in a car. Can’t do Saturday night because that’s the day I go out on dates with the husband.
So…I’m thinking that the best we can do is the lover e-mailing me at my yahoo e-mail account which is “sxymama4bootycall at yahoo.com”. I make no guarantees that I will respond. This will be training for the affair.
Okay, that’s my advertisement. You don’t like it, not my problem. Now…buzz off because I need to cuddle on the couch with D.
I’m looking up, now. I’m choosing to laugh and enjoy the muggy Los Angeles weather. Tomorrow I’ll call my grandmother, chat with the sister, watch the soaps, and fiddle with my short stories. I’ll cook for the family and vacuum the carpets and mop the floor and forgive D and myself for things beyond our control. I’ll work with Sassy and swim with the children in the cool water.
I’m tired of the pain, I'm just going to love.