by Giselle Renarde
Here's me in bed. I'm twenty-two and tiny and tight as they come.
Here's me in bed with my ex.
Except the year is 2002, so he isn't my ex yet. He isn't my boyfriend, either. He's the man whose mistress I am. That's the best way I know how to describe him. You remember this guy--he's fifty-three and married to somebody else.
I'm the best he's ever had.
I love hearing that, and he tells me all the time. It's nice to get my ego stroked. It's not a favour I really return--except by sleeping with him every other day, I guess.
We've been at it since just after 6. Did you know they have one of those in the morning now? I never did, until he started letting himself into my one-room apartment, undressing at my kitchen table, then slipping between the sheets on my Ikea futon.
He joins me in bed just after 6 in the morning because 6 in the morning is when he usually goes to "the club." That's what he calls his gym. If he comes to my apartment (which is conveniently located only blocks away from "the club") instead, then his wife never asks where he's been. And if she never asks, he never needs to lie. It's like he isn't even cheating at all.
Almost like I don't exist.
But if I didn't exist, how could I wrap my little hands around him? How could I take him in my mouth? How could I roll with him in the muddled sheets while the cat runs and hides in the closet?
I'm here. I exist. And I'm sure his wife knows, because I hear wives know these things--even if they don't know they know.
But I don't think about the wife while I'm sucking her husband's cock. I'd probably feel guilty, if I did.
The sun hasn't even come up yet and we've already got one good fuck under our belts. We'll probably get another one in before he leaves, or maybe half of one. He doesn't usually finish the second time. After all, he is pretty old.
I feel tiny in his arms, and warm and precious. He traces his fingertips up my spine and down my side. He touches me everywhere and it feels so good that I simply enjoy the sensation. I never reciprocate. I don't consider that he might appreciate those tender touches. It doesn't even cross my mind.
And then he asks me, "Were you ever abused by your father?"
I don't know how to answer that. I don't know what he means.
He says, "Did your father ever... touch you?"
No. No! Why would you even ask me that? No!
"Well, sometimes the memories get buried and you only remember later on, in adulthood."
He's asking if I was sexually abused as a child, and I find the question shocking because it's so far from my experience. My father was a mean drunk who was abusive toward my mother, but even that abuse was rarely witnessed by us kids. My sister likes to say we were emotionally abused, and I'll concede to that, but never anything physical.
My father is far from my favourite person, but I guess there must be a trace of care left in my heart, because I don't want people thinking he's a child molester. My best friend was sexually assaulted throughout her childhood. It's a life-altering torment I'm relieved not to share.
But this man in my bed thinks he's on to something. He gets all Jungian on me. Freudian, too, and he only ever brings out Freud in desperation.
"Because, really, a young girl like you who's sleeping with an old man like me... well, you're obviously seeking a father figure."
Okay, I'll concede to that if you don't make me think about it too hard. This relationship starts to feel like a boot-sucking quagmire once you really start to THINK about it. But that's just psychological icky-ness. What's it got to do with abuse?
"Well, it's just that you seem to ENJOY sex so much."
Yes. Yes I do.
"You're so EAGER, and you're GOOD at it. You want it just as much as I do--maybe more."
"So I'm not sure it's natural for a woman to crave sex quite the way you do."
"Behaving in an overly sexual manner is a classic symptom of child abuse."
In children. I'm twenty-two, in case you haven't noticed. Hormones have kind of taken over. Sex is my God now.
"You say you weren't abused, but maybe you've blocked it out. It'll all come back to you, one day."
Doubt it, old man. But I'll always remember this conversation.