The Thrill of It All
I tell my husband I am going out. He stands by the closet door, hovering
between opening and closing it. The reflection from the hall light streaks
his straight black hair. He watches me leave.
The lights in the bar aren't bright enough to reflect off anything, not
even the rows of glasses hanging from the wooden racks on the ceiling. I
order a Dirty Martini, straight up. Wedged between bodies, drink in hand, I
scan the room. Kim's already seated in the far corner across from the bar,
sucking down a beer. I raise my drink in recognition, then move to the far
end of the bar. His eyes watch my approach. My jeans and sweater are dark,
and tight. I put my glass on the bar beside where he stands, pull out a
pack of cigarettes and drop them. The move is calculated. I twist and bend
to retrieve the fallen pack. My sweater rides up. I feel the red strip
of my thong peek through the top of my waistband.
A wave of dizziness crashes into the side of my head when I straighten.
I have low blood pressure and shouldn't stand so quickly. His hand rests
lightly on my hip to steady me. It's all too easy, and predictable. He
takes the pack from my hand, shakes out a cigarette and places it between
my lips. I pucker my mouth around his fingers and he lets them linger for a
few moments before offering me a light. I let the couple making their way
for drinks press me against him, sense his hip thrust into mine. Our bodies
meet in a palpable thrill of attraction.
A little over a year of marriage and it has come to this. The only way to
please and be pleased. I check to see if Kim's still watching. Sure as
shit, eyes riveted. I lift my drink from the bar, let the salty wetness
fill my mouth, swallow hard. I press my lips into this stranger's ear,
whisper words I know most men want to hear. Except my husband. He's not a
man of words, isn't turned on by murmured promises or seductive phrases.
Kim likes to watch from the sidelines, waiting his turn before joining in
the game. But I can see tonight the rules have changed, the stakes grown
higher. He's no longer satisfied with the look of eager expectation on an
unfamiliar face, the assuredness in which a hand rests on the small of my
back, the way a randomly chosen man leans his body into mine. He's sitting,
watching, waiting for more.
First published: August 2005
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