What I Have to Work With
The week after I returned from my visit to Jefferson in New York, Marcus sent me the Hedwig DVD and soundtrack.
The DVD is at my apartment, a short distance from the hospital. I leave to get it and bring it back. We don't watch the movie that night. Two weeks later, it's still shrink-wrapped on my bookcase. On the way to my place I start thinking about Jefferson and his phone call to me the night before.
Marcus and I had just completed Round 1 of a fuckathon (see Strapped), and were awaiting the bell signifying the start of Round 2. My phone rings.
Instantly, I sat up and looked over at Marcus.
“It’s Jefferson. He almost never calls me at night.”
I lean over and pick up my cell phone.
“Hi, baby. How are you? Am I calling at a bad time?”
“No, not at all! I’m a little surprised to hear from you, but I am glad you called... I miss you!”
“You mean you and Marcus are not having the hottest sex ever?”
I laugh. “Well, not at this moment! We’ve been doing that for a good while, though. Hey, honey, are you alright?”
“I am. I’m tired, and I have been facilitating sex for Belle since this morning, so that’s been taking up much of my time.”
“It was so nice to see you this morning on the webcam. We keep talking about you.”
“It was good to see you. It almost felt like I was there. So, how was your day?”
“Let's see, we went for BBQ. And then chocolate. And then sex toy shopping. And then, Oh- guess what, baby?”
“I fucked Marcus with a strap-on!”
He laughs. "Really?! Now that is something I’d like to have seen.”
“It was so hot. So how is the weekend with Belle going?”
“It is all going according to plan. Everything is going well. I’m home now and I just wanted to hear your voice. I’m about to turn in.”
“Okay, well, do you want to talk to Marcus?”
“That’s okay; I’m already in bed. I am so ready for sleep.”
“Alright, darlin’. Get your sleep; I’m sure you’ll need it tomorrow. …Jefferson?”
“Yes, my sweet?”
“I’m glad you called. G’night.”
This was new territory for me. Jefferson knew about Marcus’s trip west. They had discussed it, he and I had discussed it, Marcus and I had discussed it. We all seemed fine with the whole thing. As long as we were honest with each other.
Marcus and I were having a fun weekend. But Jefferson had called. And sounded a little wistful. So I worried. A little.
On Sunday night I took way longer than I should have in retrieving the movie because I was updating Jefferson by IM while at home. When I return, Marcus is angry and hurt. As Jack sleeps across the room, Marcus and I close the curtain around the extra bed and have The Talk.
Are we sure we want to continue this? What if it’s too hard for one of us? What will it mean if two of us fall in love and one is left feeling like an outsider? I’m Jefferson’s Online Girlfriend and he is Jefferson’s Best Friend, and now I am Marcus's Girlfriend too, and he is one of My Two Boyfriends. Is this all just too much?
It is. Way too much.
I am overwhelmed by the intensity of the weekend and the crisis with Jack. I don’t want to talk about whether our modern love triangle is a good idea. I start to cry.
Faced with hurt and jealousy rising from the remains of a great weekend, feeling grateful to Marcus for his help, feeling guilty about leaving him at the hospital with little Jack, I am sobbing.
I feel like a horrible mother for leaving for as long as I did. A bad girlfriend for being with one boyfriend when I should have been with the other. A terrible person for wanting a simpler life, for wanting to wish away the hard parts: the kids, their father, the too-small apartment, the hospital bills, the things that tie me to this place.
This is hard. I am usually so together. Now, though, I just want to be dependent on someone else. I worry about comparing my feelings for Marcus with my feelings for Jefferson. I could see myself in love with him...with each of them.
It is my own fault. I'm the one who wanted to meet Marcus in the first place. I could have told him I wasn't interested in seeing him alone. There are lots of things I could have said to discourage him. I didn't want to. And now I've hurt him and I don't want to lose this person who is sweet and open and kind and generous because of something dumb I've done and even though it complicates my life I don't want to stop seeing him.
Marcus holds me, kisses my tears. I press my pelvis into his thigh. I am pulling him close, kissing him hard. These are hungry, selfish kisses. When he leaves in an hour I will go back to being the Single Mom of the Staph Infection in Room 2242.
His head is between my legs and I am cumming, quietly, behind the striped curtain.
Thirty minutes later I drive him to meet his shuttle. He hasn't washed his face. He flies back home smelling like my pussy.
Today, Colton asked me how The Boyfriends are.
I tell him that things are good. That I had spoken with each of them after Marcus’s visit and made it clear that I wasn’t going anywhere. They could both have me if they wanted me. And that I am content with this arrangement. As long as we are all honest about our feelings.
The fact is that I don’t want either one to go away. They complement one another. And they are, really, incomparable. Each one appeals to a different part of me, intellectually and emotionally. And physically, well, we’ve been there. We’ll go there again.
None of us is on a relationship schedule; we all have kids, ex-spouses and complicated lives. Which, in some ways, is what makes the whole situation so nice. It’s nice for me not to have to explain why I have to leave a conversation in the middle to deal with some shit concerning my divorce. Or to talk about a Hot Wheels car unceremoniously dropped into the toilet. It’s nice for Marcus to talk about his sex work openly (I love getting his daily reports!), and worry aloud about his kids’ homework. Jefferson can be honest about demands on his time by lovers and life, and deal with children and their mother.
It’s funny; we are all so into each other, but we talk as much about our kids as we do about our mutual attraction and fucking.
It is a nice arrangement. Especially when dealing with the crazy shit in my life right now.
“You know, Colton, it's complicated sometimes. But most of the time it’s like I have the perfect man.”
“Two men is the Perfect Man?”
“For me it might be.”
“Makes sense, doll. You know, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: You may actually be the Perfect Woman. Frankly, I’m not sure one guy could handle that alone.”