Monday, October 22:
I’ve had some interesting conversations with my analyst recently.
I was telling her about the Mathematician.
“He’s a really good guy. Educated, hard worker, handsome, responsible, loves his kids. He’s very transparent. Gentle. Makes money, too! I don’t know why he doesn’t have a girlfriend,” I said.
“Yes. Why doesn’t he have a girlfriend?”
Beats of silence. Excellent question.
“You know, I really don’t know. He says he’s too busy with work and kids.”
“He doesn’t want to be with someone because he’s too busy? He’d rather be alone because he has children? That sounds like an excuse. And you’ve seen him every week and spent the night with him twice, and he hasn’t tried to have sex with you? For a normal man, that would be very difficult.”
The Mathematician doesn’t have a girlfriend because he’s married.
How could I have been so shockingly gullible…?
* * * *
I feel like I’m frozen. For two hours, I have been staring out the window at the falling snow.
Then something happens inside and I make an awful crying noise, like a dying animal, and my eyes start to leak. The front of the camisole I’m wearing is wet. I’m going to throw it out.
How could he do it to me.
I clamp my hand over my mouth. I always do that when I’m freaked out.
I let him in to my home. I let him in to my life.
* * * *
Last night he stayed in the city because he had a presentation. I went to Victoria’s Secret and bought a lacy new bra and underpants. I bought it in blue because blue is his favorite color.
Met him at his hotel room. We talked about my class and his presentation and goofed around. Everything was happy. Then we had sex. For two hours.
I went to bat for that man.
Then we were cuddling in bed. I screwed up my courage and said, “I really care about you. How do you feel about our relationship?”
I really care about you too this relationship makes me very happy
“Well I want you to know that I’m not with anyone else right now and I’m not looking for anyone else while I’m with you,” I said. “I’d like to be your girlfriend. How do you feel about that?”
I already think of you as my girlfriend and have thought that for some time and you are so smart and beautiful and blah blah blah
I squirmed around in a frenzy of joy and anxiety. Then I picked up a pillow and hit him with it.
“WHY DID YOU NOT TELL ME THAT SOONER? I was feeling all insecure!” I laughed
“I’m sorry! I haven’t been in that many relationships!” he said.
Then we cuddled some more.
“Is there anything you would like to change about our relationship? Anything that I can do differently?” I asked. “How do you feel about me working at the Studio? I get the impression that it makes you uncomfortable.”
“I don’t like it but it’s how I met you, so what can I say without being a hypocrite? If you work there because you have needs for that, I wish you’d let me fulfill them for you.”
Perfect answer for me. We snuggled some more. I felt so happy. I felt like my future was so open. I was proud of myself, that I’d managed to achieve this with a man. I haven’t had a real, loving relationship in years.
“This means that we’re boyfriend and girlfriend now, right?” I asked again.
“Right,” he said.
* * * *
Then this morning, around 5 PM, I woke up and used the restroom.
Then I stared at his profile like a psycho. Because I was in love.
Then he woke up and said, “Good morning, girlfriend!”
We were hugging. This motherfucker actually let me give him a big hug and put my leg over his body.
Then he started talking.
I don’t remember the start of the narrative, because it was the crack of dawn (before dawn, actually) and I was still half asleep.
“…the very first time I saw you at the Studio I told you that I didn’t do this often because my wife….”
My body didn’t move at all, but everything changed inside. I felt like I was going numb.
“Wait, wait. Are you telling me that you’re married? Not divorced, but married?”
Divorced. And re-married.
I rolled over on my back and stared at the ceiling like a clubbed fish. My face felt made of wood. A clubbed fucking fish. I cannot describe the sensation, or lack of sensation. It was awful. It was breathtaking.
He was babbling about being married for health insurance and how his wife was basically a roommate and they didn’t have sex and he knew it was wrong to let me think that he was not married and blah blah blah blah blah blah
I just laid there, staring at the ceiling. Stunned. Clubbed fucking fish.
Then he started hugging me. ” I understand if you never want to see me again but I hope you don’t go everything I told you was the truth I put all my cards on the table now.”
He wants me to absolve him and tell him that he wasn’t so wrong and that everything is okay. Now he passed the responsibility to make him feel better on to me, I realized. That was the first flash of emotion, breaking through the ice. The emotion was anger.
Just like my father. Just like my fucking father: I broke your heart, but love me anyway. I can’t help it. You didn’t stop it from happening. Fix it. You owe me. Don’t be angry with me. Yeah, that’s my father, Franz Adler. Franz Adler–alternately a degenerate junkie or a pitiless killer. Always, always a black hole of entitlement.
“I have to process this. It may take a while,” I said. My voice sounded dead to my own ears.
“Okay,” he said, concerned, trying to spoon me.
“Why did you lie to me?” I asked. I couldn’t think of anything else.
“I was selfish and didn’t want it to end.”
I nodded. I got up and went to the bathroom. I unwrapped the bath soap and took a hot shower. I scrubbed all over. I scrubbed everywhere twice.
Then I dried myself and put on lotion. I touched the bathroom door handle and took my hand away. Touched again. Took my hand away. I thought: You will not cry in front of him. WILL NOT WILL NOT
I strode out and turned on a bedside lamp. Then I got dressed: socks (and he laughed at my socks the night before, because they were bright electric blue), underpants, skinny jeans, camisole. My boots.
He was sitting up in bed. He didn’t say anything. I didn’t look at him.
I gathered my stuff, piece by piece, and put it in my bag. I omitted the things he’d bought for us last week at Purple Passion, and the new blue lingerie I’d purchased at Victoria’s Secret. I left the condoms and the lube in the drawer.
I put on my coat and my scarf. I stared out the window at the snow.
“In your future life, I heartily advise you to never do this to another girl. It’s awful. And in the future, if you want to come to the Studio, you call first and see if I’m working that day. If I’m working, I don’t want you to come in. I never want to see you there. Will you do this for me?” Dead voice. I wouldn’t look at him.
“Of course,” he said. He was sitting on the edge of the bed. He’d put his boxers on.
I picked up my bags and went for the door. When I got here, he came up behind me and hugged me.
I dropped my bags. I let him hug me. I was a statue. So far away.
“I’m sorry that you’re unhappy,” I said, and yes, I actually said that. I didn’t really FEEL sorry, but I went through the motions. What a fucking masochistic codependent I am. Take advantage of me and then I feel sorry for the pain you feel when I leave you, asshole.
“I don’t want to lose you,” he said. “I’ll always be there for you.”
Miss Margo finally revived enough to feel a little emotion again. I didn’t tell him what he deserved to hear–not really–but at least I told him something:
“I won’t be with a married man. You ought to fix it or leave it. Don’t ever do this to a girl in the future. I really, really liked you. I need a partner. A life partner.”
THEN I looked at him. THEN I made eye contact for the first time since he’d dropped the bomb on me an hour ago. He looked miserable, but so what. WHATEVS!
You will not cry you will not cry you will not cry I told myself.
“I was in love with you, Mathematician,” I said. He needed to know. He needed to know the consequences of this bullshit. He needed to know what he cost me.
“I’m in love with you. The feeling is mutual,” he said.
I picked up my bags and walked to the elevator. Got a cab–the cabbie was talkative and cheerful the entire way, when I just wanted to be quiet.
I took another shower and fed my animals and stared out the window for two hours.
Then I wrote this.