If Only the Dog Could TalkbyStarlight©
One week ago today my wife of twenty years, Juno, left me. Two days prior to that she had announced, “I can’t live with you any more, I’m going to live with Paul.” Over the next two days, she gathered her things, and on the second day Paul arrived with a van, loaded her goods, and they left.
I am twenty years older than my wife. Before I retired as Emeritus Professor, I had an academic post at the university. It was while I was working as a lecturer and tutor in earlier days that I met Juno. She had failed her final exam for the year, and as she was majoring in the subject, it was decided to allow her to take a supplementary exam to see if she could gain a pass.
I was detailed off to interview her, and when she came to my office, she seemed to bring the sunlight with her. To use another metaphor, she was like a flower that had burst open with the coming of spring.
She was, as they say, “Dressed to kill,” her clothes revealing as much as they concealed. She put on a look of pathos, and made me an offer I could not resist. She passed for the year, and, I might add, in the two succeeding years with honours.
I was completely captivated by this lovely young girl and pursued her in every way possible, even at the risk of my position at the university.
To cut a lengthy tale short, we ended up getting married. Looking back now, I suppose she saw me as a fairly safe and secure prospect that would save her from engaging in one of those boring tasks some people find their “fulfillment” in.
I am not sure that she found the tasks of looking after me and the household, any less boring, but she did have a fair degree of financial safety, and I endowed her liberally from my salary.
Sexually our marriage began on a high note, but descended over the years, largely down to me. I suppose this was in part due to advancing age and the medication I need to take, which, I am told, can have a deleterious effect on one’s potency. Juno would make advances to me, but nothing was aroused.
When viagra came on the scene, I asked my doctor to write a prescription for me. He refused, saying it could have disastrous effects in combination with my other medication.
And so our marriage limped on (literally), for years.
When Juno announced she was leaving me, I was shattered. Naturally my first thought was, who would clean the house, do the cooking, washing and ironing? Who would there be to care of the garden and clean the car? Who would feed the dog and cat? Of course, I suppose I also realised I would miss having Juno around the house.
I begged her not to leave me. “Where else will you get such an easy unburdened life style?” I asked.
She was resolute. She told me clearly, and I felt, very unfairly, that she was fed up with being my servant and getting no bedtime consolation. I tried rational argument, pleading, bullying and threatening. I even went so far as to offer to help do the washing up. All quite useless, she was going, and that was that.
In the week since she left, I have gone over the situation in my mind repeatedly, wondering how it all started, and why I had not suspected anything. I think I have now pieced together the train of events.
As far as I can work out, it began like this. Juno and I took it in turns to walk our dog in the morning. We tend to go at different times because Juno is an early riser and I a late riser.
We walk along the river path for about an hour, and on our return home, we usually mention people that we have seen and talked with during the walk. We tend to meet the same people around the same time on our stroll.
One particular morning Juno returned from her walk with a sort of glow about her. She talked very excitedly about a young man she had met who had a dog just like ours. They had exchanged views about the breed, and then parted. Her excitement registered with me, but I thought nothing of it. I did wonder briefly why a discussion about dogs should have been so exciting, but left it at that.
In the following weeks Juno continued to return home somewhat bubbly, and talked more and more about the young man, whom she now seemed to meet every time she walked the dog.
I learned about his fine physique, good looks, age (around twenty), his university studies, future prospects, his trip to Germany last year and financial independence. He sounded to me like one of those annoying people whom have “got the lot.”
Juno’s conversation gravitated more and more around the subject of Paul (I had now been told his name). Then I began to notice that Juno’s walks took longer and longer. In all innocence, I asked her about this one day, and she hesitated for a moment, and then hastily said, “Oh, I’m just walking farther.” The matter was dropped.
One day Juno came home from her walk looking pale and walking oddly. She said she was not feeling well. She took a shower and went to bed, where she stayed for most of the day.
Another change I noticed, but gave no particular significance to, was Juno’s trips into the city. It had been her habit to take a weekly trip on the bus into the city to get items not readily available locally. These trips began to increase from one, to two, then three times a week. Further more, the trips began to take longer. The actual bus ride is only about fifteen minutes, and Juno usually spent a couple of hours in the city. Now the trip extended to four or five hours.
A change in Juno’s mood and looks also occurred. She no longer approached me for sex, and went about the house singing, and the years seemed to drop away from her. She had developed a little facial hair, and one day I noticed it was no longer visible. I questioned this, and she said quite casually, “Oh, I had it permanently removed.”
What a fool I was not to be able to interpret these signs for what they were. Paul’s name dropped out of our conversations. If I asked, “Seen that fellow, Paul, lately,” Juno would shrug off the question, saying something like, “He’s not around much any more.”
All the signs were there for me to see, but I failed to translate them. If only our dog could have talked!
On the day she told me she was leaving, quite a bit came out as we rowed and argued. At one point I asked her how it began, and she yelled using language I had never heard from her before, “If you must know he fucked me standing up against the back of that old shed along the path. I thought he was going to kill me, but I wanted him so badly I would have put up with anything.”
“What do mean nearly killed you?” I asked. “He’s got a huge…he’s very big,” she answered. “Another one to add to his gifts from the gods,” I thought.
She went on to tell me that after the shed incident they went to his flat, which was close to the path. Of course, those long periods when she was supposed to be in the city, were spent in Paul’s flat.
One of my ploys to try and get Juno to stay was to suggest that it would be all right by me if she wanted to be with him a couple of times a week. She laughed, and said, “A couple of times a week! He wants me more than that every day. And I can tell you this, now I’ve got used to his size, I can’t live without him. What’s more, he’ll do anything to and for me I want him to do. No one will be able to satisfy me but him.”
I had nothing to say to this. My male ego, already very fragile from not being able to deal with Juno’s sexual needs, was completely deflated. She went, and now I am alone. I don’t know how they’ll get on with a twenty-year age difference between them. Juno should have taken a lesson from the twenty-year age gap between her and me, but perhaps it is different when the woman is older than the man is?
One thing that bothers me is who the hell is going to clean this place up? It’s in a shocking state. I wonder if I can find a woman who is still active by doesn’t like sex?
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