With Carol and kids gone camping, I was desperately alone. On Friday afternoon, I needed to leave the house but I had no plans. I reconnected with an old friend on Facebook, who said we can meet up later.
In the meantime, I went out to a local music festival. I really enjoyed the distraction. Every woman near my age that walked by, I would look at her left hand to see if she had a ring on it.
I was always looking to see if women my age were not married. In fact, I signed up for a dating app almost immediately after my separation. I just needed to see that there are women out there looking for love at this age like I would be soon.
Just before I went out on this night, I actually made a real account with photos and everything. It felt good to see women were looking at my profile and even sending a few notifications, which I’d never see since I didn’t have a paid membership.
My good friend, Brad and his girlfriend met me at the festival and we had some beers together. He asked how I was doing and I told him, “I’m doing just fine. I’m completely dead inside. There’s nothing in here anymore.”
He was visibly distressed over my words. I said goodbye to him and went out to meet my old friend, Alex.
I told Alex why I was out and trying to be more social in life. He decided then that it must be a drunken night to remember. Well, I can only remember the gist of it.
There was a karaoke bar. Lots of beers were drank. Alex knew a lot of people and I talked to many. I told a few of them too many personal details.
I elaborated on my history and issues with Carol to Alex. Alex spoke of his relationship issues and I even dared to ask about his childhood and how he came to know he was homosexual. It was a real drunken bonding experience. I haven’t had one of those in a long time.
We tried to find a song to sing at karaoke. Thankfully, we couldn’t find one. I danced with a woman who was a friend of Alex’s friend. Then the bar closed and a group of us went out looking for something else to do.
We found ourselves exploring a hotel and even going so far as to climb a gate in a stairwell to get to the roof. There was conflict over a mutual friend of two people and a conflict between a guy and a girl and their on and off again relationship. Tears were shed, personal belongings were broken, people left, the remaining people calmed down, and eventually we made our way to Alex’s house, the final stop of the early morning.
There were four of us now: Alex, his friend Heather, the woman I danced with (Tiffany, I did not learn her name until the next evening when Alex finally found out), and myself. On the cab ride back to Alex’s, I put my arm around Tiffany, though I can’t remember what led up to that point where I thought it was a safe bet that she’d want me to do that.
At Alex’s house, we all listened to music and played weird stuff on the TV. The drunken talk continued, and though the details are hazy, I definitely remember Tiffany admitting that I’m good looking. That was nice to hear. Next thing I know, we’re snuggling on the couch together. All I know is that I was laying there and at some point she decided to join me.
Tiffany wanted to go to sleep but she said the couch wouldn’t work. She wanted to use Alex’s bed and she sent all the signals that even in my drunken state, I could interpret clearly: she wanted me to join her.
My anxiety went through the roof. I told Alex, “She wants to have sex and there’s no way I can perform. Not now, not at this stage in my life.”
“Look, I don’t want you to have sex on my bed, okay? Well, it’s okay if you do but, yeah, I’ll tell her I don’t want you to,” he said, or at least that was the gist of it.
I made my way upstairs to the bedroom. I told Tiffany, “Look, I can’t do what you want me to do.”
“I don’t want you to do anything but come to bed,” she said. So I did.
“See? We’re just laying together,” she wrapped her arms around me and drew me closer, “just holding each other.”
“I’m sorry I’m disappointing you,” I said.
“You’re not, I don’t expect anything of you. Just relax.”
Her lips met mine. I did not resist. I was starting to become overwhelmed in my sadness and I wanted this, to feel the lips of another on mine for the first time in 16 years. Our tongues caressed then it ended a gentle bite of my lower lip.
We kissed more with some touching involved then I stopped.
“I’m sorry. I’m just so messed up right now. I can’t do it. I’m just… so goddamn hurt… and depressed.”
“Why? What’s making you feel this way?”
“I can’t. It’s just too much to handle. I don’t want to get into it. It’s making me too upset.”
She continued to probe for answers. She was good at this. Two other people had crying breakdowns during this drunken night and she was the calming presence, the one in control, the nurturing one.
“Please, stop,” I said as she soothingly brought out my story and my emotions. She continued until I was in tears. I was angry and embarrassed at this.
She went on to tell me about her failed marriage, that I should forget about my wife since she doesn’t respect me, and that I need to focus on the here and now and that is us, together in this bed. Was it sincere or was she just trying to talk me into sex?
We made out some more until she saw it wasn’t going to go further and turned around and fell asleep. I dozed for a while then snuck out and took a cab home.
I took a shower. I kept crying and repeating, “I don’t want this,” for a very long time before finally going to bed. I slept on and off until 5:00pm. Even though I was separated, I still felt as if I had cheated on my wife.
Later, I’d be thankful for the experience, that it was only one night out and already a woman wanted to have sex with me.
I guess this means I actually am a desirable man, I thought. That was good. That meant I didn’t have to run back to Carol for fear of being alone. With that in mind, did I really want to go back to her?