You Don’t Know What Love Is

dsc_4562© 2016 City of Broken Dreams

Hey, you. It’s me. No, not one of the Asians walking down the sidewalk in the foreground, dummy. This here is what you call an establishing shot. You know, an introductory shot—it helps establish the context for the scene: location, time of day, that sort of thing. So you can’t actually see me, but trust me, I’m there—somewhere on the third floor of that concrete behemoth of a parking garage. Take my word for it; I’m sitting in the passenger seat of a 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250, leaning across the center console, trying not to gag (too badly) as I attempt to take as much of [his name]‘s cock down my throat. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. How about we reconvene at the aforementioned lascivious moment in a little bit, okay?

So here we are again. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I’m thinking seven or eight months, at least. Yeah, I believe the last time we had one of our little “heart-to-hearts” was when I was in Maui with [REDACTED] and the girls for spring break. If memory serves me correctly, I was sitting on some gloriously beautiful beach (probably bordering on shitfaced thanks to mucho pre-noon Mai Tai’s), lamenting my long-standing and très tragique predicament: the bizarre love triangle taking place between me, my extant life with my cuckold of a husband and my two beautiful daughters, and the life I want to live with my illicit loverman, who just so happens to be equally married and likewise family-bound.

I know, I know: boo-hoo, woe is me, my poor cheating heart, et cetera, et cetera. Look, I get it: I’m not exactly the most sympathetic narrator in the long history of first-person narrators. Well, fuck you—I’m not looking for your goddamn sympathy, anyway. Fuck—sorry, sorry; I didn’t mean that. Look, I completely acknowledge that I probably don’t deserve your sympathy, but you most certainly don’t deserve to be the target of my antipathy, either. It’s just that all this has become so maddeningly complicated and infuriatingly frustrating, is all. So you must forgive me for my rather uncouth and ornery disposition. Yes, I fully cop to the fact that I only have myself to blame here, and I’m clearly just projecting my subconscious self-loathing onto you in a very weak and sadly transparent attempt at self-avoidance. So forgive me, please.

It’s just that I really had hoped that I would have overcome all this fucking bullshit by now. Even way back then (i.e., Maui), I really thought that I had reached an impasse, perhaps even hit my breaking point. I mean, there I was—literally in paradise—with my beautiful family (i.e., husband), and all I could bring myself to do was incessantly think about [his name], who was six thousand bloody kilometers away, living some ostensibly perfect and mundane life with his family. And all without me, of course. And I can assure you that I probably didn’t preoccupy his thoughts like the stupid motherfucker preoccupied mine.

Now flash forward more than half a year later. And it’s like nothing has changed—everything is still pretty much exactly the same. Well, almost. Yes, [his name] and I are still “together.” Yes, I’m still a duplicitous, double-life living, disgrace of a wife/mother. Yes, I’m still hopelessly in love with a married man with whom I desperately want to start a new life with. Same old, same old, right? Right. Except now, sans a whole lot of self-deception.

As much as it pains me to admit it, there was a time, much earlier on, when I was operating under the influence of some pretty presumptuous grand delusions: He will leave his wife. He will abandon his family. I will finally leave my husband. I will abandon my family? We will run away together. We will finally be together. We will live happily ever after. Jesus Christ. It’s as if I was temporarily possessed by some idiotic twenty-year-old with a borderline personality disorder or something.

Thinking back now, with more than a little bit of embarrassment, I do realize just how insane my line of thinking was. But as crazy as it may have been to believe in such hogwash, to a certain extent, it actually protected me from the harsh truth of reality: that none of that self-delusional bullshit was actually ever going to happen.

Which brings me back to my current predicament: the state of prolonged adulterous purgatory that has become my life. Look, I assure you that this is not what I wanted for myself, way back when—to be the “other woman,” the mistress, the diabolical villainess. You have to believe me; when we got back from Maui, I had every intention of grabbing the bull by the horns, finally confronting [his nameabout our “situation.” I was even fully prepared to present that inevitable, ubiquitous ultimatum; to demand that he finally make a goddamn choice: them or me.

Now before you get all accusatory and self-righteous on me and try to denounce me as some kind of delusional, narcissistic homewrecker, allow me to remind you of something: it takes two tango, two to fuck consensually, two to engage in an adulterous love affair. Furthermore, just because two people naïvely decide to enter into a committed conjugal relationship at some point in their relatively short and insignificant lives, doesn’t mean that they are locked into said committed relationship for their entire lifetime, does it? Come on, it’s the 21st century for fuck’s sake—do people even stay married anymore?

[Well, according to the suddenly occurring, disembodied voice of Anne Milan:

If the duration-specific divorce rates calculated for 2008 remain stable then the 25-year total divorce rate per 10,000 marriages was 3,758 in 2008, meaning that 37.6% of marriages entered in 2008 are expected to end in divorce before the 25th year of marriage. The 50-year total divorce rate in 2008 was 4,307, meaning that 43.1% of marriages entered in 2008 are expected to end in divorce before the 50th year of marriage.1]

If anything, I should be commended for trying to put an end to the matrimonial masquerade that both [his nameand I have been perpetuating on a daily basis for the last year and a half. I should be praised for wanting to revoke the mass deception that has become such a large and instrumental part of our daily lives. And I really did try. I really, really did—you have to believe me.


It was the first time that I had seen [his name] since coming back from my family vacation. It had been almost a month since we were both in the same room together, and to be sharing the same physical space as him again was like standing inside a fucking oven: my body and soul burned for him; every inch and fiber of my being exuded a wet humid heat. As per our usual arrangement, we rendezvoused at some anonymous dive motel fuck pad on the fringes of the city. I entered the room with every intention of wanting to talk to him first, to confront him and unburden myself of all the heavy shit that had been weighing on my troubled mind when I was sitting on that beach back in Maui.

I wanted to stand my ground, but instead, I dropped to my knees. I wanted to speak my mind, but instead, I put his dick inside my mouth. Fucking hell. It was just like old times again.      

Everybody knows that it’s damn near impossible to have a serious conversation, post-coitus. But I still tried, anyway. Although we never had a whole lot of time for leisurely post-fuck spooning/pillow-talk, we always made an effort to not just fuck right off afterwards—I think it was based on some unsaid promise that we had made one another to maintain the illusion that we weren’t just using each other like whores do. So on any given occasion we would have anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour before one of us had to be elsewhere—unless we wanted to invite undue suspicion into our already suspect lives, of course.

So there we lay, as lovers do, just like some illicit cliché: thick as pornographic thieves, twisted among the bedsheets, sweat and other bodily fluids still drying on flushed skin. His eyes were closed, but I could tell by the sound of his breathing that he hadn’t fallen asleep. He was so calm, so relaxed; he clearly wasn’t expecting me to suddenly disturb the peace. But my thoughts were like a tsunami; a sea of unspoken words surged inside of me like hot molten lava, seething just below the surface of my seemingly impassive countenance. And so I steeled myself for the moment; I overcame my anxiety, I tamped down my fear of reprisal, and I just let it all spill: my undiluted thoughts and feelings regarding the whole affair; my wants, my fears, my hope for what could come next.

And he actually took it better than I thought he would. He kept his cool; he didn’t freak out, he didn’t become defensive or evasive. And when he presented his rebuttal, he didn’t pull any punches, either.

He straight up told me that he would never leave his wife; it just wasn’t an option, he said. He explained that he was far too entrenched in his current life—playing the role of loving husband, trying to be the best father he could possibly be to his boys. And even though he didn’t love his wife anymore, he could never leave her; the damage it would inflict upon his family would be far too great, cause him way more guilt than he would be willingly to bear. And despite no longer feeling love nor desire for his wife, there were elements of their life together that he still appreciated. He liked the lifestyle that they were able to create and sustain, especially in regards to his two sons. He maintained the masquerade, he engendered deception, all for the sake of maintaining the illusion of a cohesive family for his boys, he told me.

On one level, I completely understood where he was coming from. I was basically his mirror image, after all; who better to empathize with his situation than the woman experiencing the exact same domestic dilemma as him, just with the gender roles reversed. However, on another level, his whole attitude regarding the whole thing—especially considering that we were indeed in the same boat—really perplexed and pissed me off, too. Here he was saying that he was too deeply rooted in his family’s life that he couldn’t possibly leave his wife. Meanwhile, there I was, equally as important of a part of my own family’s anatomical architecture, and I wouldn’t have hesitated a moment to leave my own husband. All [his name] would have to do is just ask me to.

And the reason there would never be any hesitation on my part wasn’t because I loved my daughters any less than [his name] loved his sons. No, it was because I allowed myself to admit that I loved him just as much. For me, it wasn’t one or the other—the love for my girls over my love for him. The way I saw it, there was no reason that I couldn’t have both in my life, even if it meant leaving my husband and tearing down the fabricated facade of my family’s happiness in the process. Unlike [his name], the notion of burning down the lie that was my current life so that I could rebuild it from scratch didn’t scare me. If anything, the thought of it galvanized me; it served as the antidote to the poison that was my current life’s ennui.          

In the aftermath of [his name]‘s admission, I didn’t pull any punches, either. I told him that he was a fucking coward for not being as fearless as me. I accused him of not loving me like I loved him. In the end, we had to agree to disagree. And yet, I had still succeeded where I had failed so many times before: I was finally able to find my voice; I was finally able to confront him about the notion of us—about whether or not there was the possibility of us having any real future together. And I finally got my answer—even if it wasn’t the one I had hoped for. Which now meant that I really had only one viable option left: to end this partisan relationship that was clearly going nowhere; to stop allowing myself from being made a fool for love.

I assure you that I had every intention of ending it right there and then. But he must have been able to read my mind or something, intuit that the ax was about to fall. Before I could even open my mouth to speak, he preempted my words by uttering six audacious words of his own: You don’t know what love is, he told me.

Of course hearing such horseshit spewing forth from out of his mouth made me want to smash his fucking face in. But he didn’t give me an opportunity to retaliate. Instead, he immediately began to wax romantic about the nature of real love, and about how my understanding of it, in regards to our relationship, was obfuscated and skewed.

He explained that just because we couldn’t be together in a traditional sense—like we were with our respective spouses—didn’t mean that what existed between the two us wasn’t without merit. He went on to justify the validity of our relationship—despite its inherently intermittent nature—by claiming that it had a cumulative weight that far outweighed that of most people’s “regular” relationships. The time we spent together may be short lived, he told me, but the passion and affection that we were able to elicit from one another during our very limited time together, was still twice as potent as what most couples could produce given a far greater amount of time.

Okay, so here’s the thing: I’m not a complete fucking idiot. I fully understood, at the time, that what he was saying was nothing more than a sugarcoated sales pitch specifically designed to try and sell me on the idea of us staying together. And I have to admit: he was a pretty damn good salesman—what he was trying to sell did sound pretty compelling coming out of his mouth. But was I buying it? That was the question.

We’ve all been there, we’ve all had that moment: that moment where you clearly possessed the knowledge to make the informed, right decision, and yet, from somewhere out of the darkest irrational depths of your psyche, comes this override command that is somehow capable of completely interfering with your logical decision-making skills. That was me, back then, in that very moment.   

I knew that to stay with him, despite all the obvious reasons not to, would have been outright foolishness on my part; from that moment forward—if not right from the very start—we were always destined for defeat. But I allowed myself to believe the lie. I may have been smart enough to realize that all his rationalizations and justifications were nothing but bullshit Hallmark platitudes, but I wasn’t strong enough to refute them as falsities; I weakened and buckled, I allowed myself to be betrayed by my own petty desires and swayed by frivolous romantic sentiment.

I had wanted so badly to stop being made a fool for love. Instead, I willfully made myself into the biggest kind of fool there is: the kind that despite knowing a whole lot better, still does the exact opposite of what was probably the right thing to do.


Okay, stop.

Now rewind.

Take me back to the scene of the crime:

Downtown, the City of Broken Dreams; the third floor of some dark and dingy parking garage in the Exchange District; I’m sitting in a brand new Mercedes, awkwardly positioned in the passenger seat, giving [his name] a damn fine lunchtime blowjob.

See, I told you that we would return to that lurid opening scene, eventually. You just have to have a little faith in me, is all. Sure, I may be all kinds of a devious bitch, but you can take some comfort in knowing that you can still trust me. Despite being filled with all these dirty little secrets and rife with so much deceit, you must know by now that I would never keep anything from you, nor would I ever lie to you. No, not you, not ever.

However, you’ll have to excuse me; I’m kind of on the clock here, and I’ll have to be leaving you, shortly. [his namewill have to be getting back to his office soon, and if I’m not back at my store by one-thirty, my sweetheart of a shopgirl, Rachael will start to worry that I got into an accident or something.

But I’m glad that we finally had this opportunity to catch up. Like I said earlier, it has been such a long time since we last touched base, I would have been remiss if I didn’t get around to filling you in on all the crazy shit that has taken place since we last saw each other. But to be completely honest, I suppose I had a bit of an ulterior motive, too. Not only did I want to get you all caught up on the things that have transpired between [his name] and I over the last eight months, but I also felt like I needed to explain myself, lest you start to judge me too harshly—especially in light of the most recent turn of events.

You see, I wanted to be proactive; I wanted to preempt and avoid the potentially awkward scenario of you bumping into me someplace, and you seeing me still on his arm (or with some other part of his body inside or on mine). It’s just that you’ve been with me for such a long time now; you’ve always listened to what I’ve had to say, when I so desperately needed to be listened to. And maybe—just maybe—over time, you’ve even found the compassion and understanding in your heart to absolve me of some of my sins. But as you now know, things have changed, things are different now. And I just wanted to make sure that you were fully aware, is all.

Once, I could have perhaps made the argument that I was merely a victim of circumstance. Okay, maybe not an innocent victim, but a victim, nonetheless. But I’m not allowing myself to play the role of the victim, anymore. Where I may have once been a willingly participant in the misconduct of my own heart, I have now become a willful and full partner in the “crime” of verboten love. Yes, this most certainly does make me a horrible person. I am a liar, a cheat, and a fraud. I am a cowardly wife and a selfish mother. I am basically a weak fucking human being. And yes, I will finally concede—I am an Adulteress (there is no use in deluding myself to believe otherwise, any longer). But I am now fully (self-)aware of all of these things, and I wholeheartedly admit to them all. And although I am not proud of some of the choices that I’ve made, I now accept them. And I am and do all of these horrible, unseemly things for one very simple reason: because I love him

And he loves me, too. He really does. He loves me, he loves me, he loves me. And he was so right, too—I’ve convinced myself of that now. Just because we can’t be together in a way that society has deemed as being the norm, doesn’t mean shit. It doesn’t matter that we can never be boyfriend and girlfriend or husband and wife—these are merely societal constructs that the mechanism of civilization has conditioned us to believe are the only acceptable forms of a romantic relationship. Well I don’t know about you, but as far as I can tell, society hasn’t always gotten it right—if ever, for that matter. So fuck society. And fuck traditional dyadic relationships, too. [his nameand I will make our version of a relationship work—even if it involves me having to endure a twenty minute cab ride through lunch hour traffic just so I can rendezvous with him in a dirty parking garage for a quickie noontime BJ…

There. I’ve said it. I’ve told you what I wanted to tell you—complete and full disclosure. So now that you’ve heard the full story, maybe you will think less of me now. Maybe you will start to view me as how I’m sure most (judgmental) people would view me given my current situation: as a despicable human being; as someone with zero self-respect; as just another foolish, naïve female who is being deceived and manipulated by another fuck-hungry, predatory male. Hell, maybe you might even hate me.

Well, if any of the aforementioned scenarios are befitting to how you are currently feeling, then just allow me to take this opportunity to apologize:

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry that you just don’t fucking understand. And baby, I’m real sorry that you obviously don’t know what love is.       

[INSERT MUSIC CUE: “Love Is” by Tim Deluxe; written by Fenton Robinson and Tim Deluxe; www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw82bFmqxvI


         Notes

1. Milan, Anne. (2013). Marital status: overview, 2011 (Component of Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 91-209-X). Retrieved from the Statistics Canada website: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-209-x/2013001/article/11788-eng.pdf

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