Sunday, March 11, 2007

An Extrapolation

(No, this is not based on true events.)

Though we had long since wandered away from our one time notion of having a little fun together, Young Guy still frequented my home along with the rest of my kids' friends. It must have been a little on the awkward side for him: no hope of a relationship with Beautiful--the one he truly longed for--and no longer the thrill of clandestine flirtation with me. But, with no family of his own, he continued, intermittently, to join us in our family life.

He was here that Sunday afternoon.

We had a houseful on that cheerful day. Number One was home for spring break. Both sets of grandparents, several aunts and uncles, plus Beautiful and FT, all here to catch up with Number One. Little Guy and the neighborhood kids were in and out of the house as well. Nothing else to occupy his time, Young Guy used the occasion of Number One's visit (though in the secret chambers of his heart he was sharply jealous of Number One) to hang out with our crowd.

The family had eaten and talked and laughed and played games. Clucking over my brood had made a replete and blessed day for me.

As evening meandered in, the party broke up. Extended family went on their way, Little Guy and retinue retired to the neighbor's trampoline. Mister, as always, had promised to help a friend with some perpetual automotive project, while Beautiful, FT and Number One made plans to gather their mutual friends and go bowling. Young Guy had been invited to the bowling party, but, not chummy with the rest of the invitees, he declined.

One minute the house was buzzing, the next, abruptly silent. It was just the dishes and me. And Young Guy. Suddenly feeling let down, as I noticed he always did when the quiet hours came and he was left alone, Young Guy stayed awhile, employing the excuse of helping me clean up.

We talked comfortably while clearing the table and laughing at the mess my crew had thoughtlessly left behind. I was standing at the sink chattering on about some trifle when I felt his hands at my waist. He turned me around to face him and, having never done it before, leaned down and kissed me.

It was the kiss I had waited years for. The kiss I had irrepressibly hungered for. Eternal moments ticked away while we lived out what we both had imagined thousands of times.

In declaration of his true intent, he pulled my hips into his, the path of his thought unmistakable.

Could I? Was he worth the risk, this boy with the soft yet insistent eyes and that unassuming mouth--the mouth that gave away all the secrets his falsely cocky voice tried in vain to hide? Everything that is my life swirled around in my head. Each component asking its own questions and presenting its own evidence. Wishing desperately just to melt into his hands and his scent, I instead stood weighing the outcomes.

We could so easily have sneaked off to his house. Nobody would ever have known the difference. One quick call to Mister's phone, one casual lie, and nobody would ever have questioned my absence.

Standing there, my heart pounding out a rhythm it hadn't played in over 20 years, I yearned, as he had suggested so long ago, to close my eyes and let go . . .

Verdana and Shaniqua, viewing it it from Mister's perspective and defending his honor, forcibly held Sexy Girl back. Kicking and screaming, Sexy Girl begged to be left alone with Young Guy--just this once. Verdana and Shaniqua were unmovable. Sexy Girl waged a valiant and monumental battle, but Verdana and Shaniqua were resolute. There would be no betrayal of Mister. Not the Mister who would walk to the ends of the earth for his family. He deserved better than that. Sexy Girl raised one last unflinching offensive, using every manipulative, cloying tactic in her arsenal, but Verdana and Shaniqua, the might of virtue on their side, would not give. Destroyed, Sexy Girl acquiesced.

I had a detailed, carefully worded explanation drafted in my head. Pushing him gently away, all I could choke out, Sexy Girl's acid tears blazing trails down my cheeks, was, "I can't."

He searched my face, looking for just a quiver of unsteadiness in my resolve. I could not bear to hold what had become his fiercely bitter stare. Involuntarily, I looked away. He didn't speak a single word. Not a question. Not a plea. Turning his back to me, he walked away, leaving Sexy Girl nothing but to keen her own piteous, silent dirge for all that was and all that could never be.

I had come so close to eating that forbidden cake. The stolen taste of icing alone was nearly enough to shatter my will. But I do not regret having stayed true to my Mister and to a vow taken long ago when I didn't have any real sense of what I was pledging. Nor what I was giving up.


whitenoise said...


Actually, that bears repeating....


And, maybe for good measure, I'll throw in a:

Heavy. ;-)

I guess it's because I normally don't have these sorts of conversations with females that I find the honesty searing...

I've always known that your team must experience that sort of barely-contained lust, but I don't think that I've ever heard a woman admit it.

In my line of work, temptation appears from time to time. I've never succumbed, and although I'd like to say that it was because of love and fidelity, honesty compels me to admit that it was probably fear that held me back.

Fear of getting caught. Fear of catching something. Fear of becoming entangled in something from which I could not extricate myself.

It's not easy being human, eh? ;-)

Kristin said...

Thank you, whitenoise. You have no idea how encouraging your words are.

Fear. Mmm hmm. And Fear's equally heavy handed associate Guilt. I know them both well. Probably for the best ; )

So yeah, being a pilot, I'm sure you have faced your share of temptation--and you have the perfect means to carry through too. Whatever reason you haven't succumbed, from one wanton person to another, I give you a hale and hearty Wow yourself! ; )

Mary said...

I'll echo Whitenoise.


I love this line, Kristin:
"But I do not regret having stayed true to my Mister and to a vow taken long ago when I didn't have any real sense of what I was pledging. Nor what I was giving up."

As I get older I'm so much more aware of the fact that the wisdom I've gained has come at the price of the comfort I held so casually when I was younger.

It's interesting that Whitenoise mentions "fear" in his comment and you offer the addition of "guilt". I'll add one more: "obligation". All components in the complicated weave of relationships and self identity.

whitenoise said...

It's good piece of writing, Kristin. And, I'm not saying that just because we're friends. ;-)

CheekierMeSly said...

Once again, your ability to articulate what is often felt but seldom communicated astounds. Good. on. ya!

Once lust's bloom fades in a long term relationship - as is its wont to do - it's inevitable that barely-contained lustful experiences occur. As long as you're a sensual person, anyway. "Our team" certainly experiences them.

The wanting. The yearning. The hours spent what-if-ing. The fantasies only realized in our pointy heads, thoughts stolen in idle moments of routine tasks and regular life. Actions taken alone.

Low impulse control, narcissism, a lack of real love for one's partner - these easily lead to action in uncontained lust. But the wants and needs unsatisfied by a partner - the possibility that they can be met in somone else - someone other, someone new - the promise of that can undo a mortal.

Yes, the action is just an escape. A temporary respite from whatever finds us unfulfilled, unwanted, unjoyed in our lives. We *know* this, intellectually. We want to walk the high road, to make the tough decisions and DO WHAT'S RIGHT.

But that low road is dark. Dirty. Sexy. Frightening. Usually unbidden, but we can't see our own siren's call beckoning as a bright light on that low, dark road. That call seeking out a vessel of containment.

Crossing lines is messy and painful. Coloring inside the lines can be limiting and painful. Fear, guilt, obligation abound. Feckin' being a human can suck!

Kristin said...

Wow, Cheek--there is *nothing* to add to that. I think you hit every single note.

This is why God gave us chocolate--to take the place of that which we really shouldn't indulge in. Today I think I'll be needing several pounds . . .

CheekierMeSly said...

Indeed. Chocolate on Dairy Queen dipped cones is one of my favorites. And hot cocoa, tho' that season is closing here in Hotlanta (79 degrees today!). Time to stock up on chocoholic alternatives. Fudge bars, anyone?