tagLetters & TranscriptsLover Come Home Ch. 14

Lover Come Home Ch. 14


Dearest Damn V

Come home now. This an order. I am tired of waiting. I mean it, though I know I cannot make that demand. You will come when you can, and we don't make impossible demands on one another.

Though if we hadn't, we wouldn't be together now, would we? You would still be embedded in your family, I would be somewhere else, still thinking I was happy, but still searching. Our love story would not have continued. But it did. I continue its story for both of us.

We sat on my sofa one summer night. I was facing you, straddling you, kissing you, finding you, holding you. We were going to become lovers. The preliminaries were over. I remember you saying,

"You are such a passionate woman." And I told you the blunt truth about all lovemaking.

"Don't you know we are all different with each person, each lover?"

We said other things too, but I've forgotten most of it. We were just talking to hide our fear and guilt. Mostly we just hung on to one another, at least as I remember it.

Finally you said, "If I stay the night, I will never leave you."

I wanted to hear only the last part of that sentence. I slowly raised myself from your lap and sat quietly beside you. Chill in my heart.

I had tried to warn you what would come. Your life as you knew it would end. Women always know. Your family, friends, colleagues, would all be shocked, hurt. She would be crushed. Pain for everyone, and you would be the cause. I probably would be blamed also, though that hardly mattered to me. But I wondered if I was capable of seeing you through the pain that our becoming lovers would cause.

I repeated the mantra again, "This will ruin your life."

And you said, "Don't say that. It means this is wrong."

And then you said, "You are not worth my family"

I could not answer that.

What I remember the most was how differently our minds worked. We considered adultery in two totally different ways.

I was perfectly mundane in my assessment. I saw only the real life results. I frankly never considered the morality of it. If we became lovers it would leak out of your pores, and your family, yours, hers, would be devastated. 1+1 =*)(*&6^ Your wife's grief would be unimaginable. I didn't try.

Whatever we did had to be totally your decision. You were going to suffer the consequences. I had no one to consider but myself. I would be a bystander at the wreckage. I had only to accept whatever it was you decided. It was like a geometry equation. Once I had realized this, I just lived each day without thinking further.

Later I realized you had thought we could be lovers with no one knowing but us. You were sure that you could disguise yourself. And you could live with the deception. You had always had secrets; this would be another one. Who knows what is in the human heart?

But you are pure of heart. You are.

"If I stay with you tonight, I'll never leave you" meant simply that you had to leave before you become incapable. In the middle of a kiss you had come to the truth of the matter. What you wanted was me, not your wife. An affair was not enough. But you could not live with the pain that a murdered marriage would cause. Your only choice was to go while you still could. And you did. It was a simple equation for you too. 2-1= 0.

I remember saying, "It is a measure of my regard for you that I am more concerned about your life than I am my own."

I don't speak like that. No one does, except maybe in some 19th c. novel. I had created Lady Jane, a character of impeccable standards and total rigor, to get me out of the chaos of myself. She was born out of brute necessity. Thank god for 19th c. novels and her presence somewhere inside me.

I got us glasses of ice water, and then offered to show you to your car while I walked the dog. Formal, polite, correct. If this was your decision then I would live by it, just as I had said I would.

Mostly I just wanted this to be over and you gone. I had become a small round pebble, not a woman. Some part of me thought that if you weren't there perhaps this had never happened. And I would be the same person I was two or three months ago, before you insisted on kissing me. But I didn't blame you. I have never blamed you. And I didn't want to ruin your life.

When you tried to kiss me on the street I struggled away. Good-bye. No antiseptic kisses. No more passionate kisses either. Nothing was the future. Lady Jane had to walk the dog.

These are tiring memories. I slept soundly that night, exhausted. I probably will tonight too.

Your swimmer in the high seas.


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