Wednesday, July 6, 2016



                                           Almost Transparent


I’m ovulating and that’s a good thing, my husband says. 

He wants to have a baby.

The only problem is that every night my husband and I make love I see the other five.

Sometimes they are streaks and shadows.  Other times they are fully-formed and real; the men who once had me in college, by force.

My husband says our sex life is getting stale.  He proposes going to a sex store together.  He says, “Don’t look so worried.  It’ll be fun!”  That last lift in his voice reeks of desperation and insecurity and excitement all at once.

“I don’t think so,” I say.

“Come on.  You said we should be transparent about our feelings, our wants and desires.  So I do what you recommend and you just shut me down?”

I go with him to a place called Lovers, a squat building wearing a cheerful purple logo  with the “v” in the shape of a heart.

Inside there are racks of school girl outfits and crocheted outfits with a hole near the crotch.  There are soft-core and hard-core DVDS for sale, which is surprising considering we’ve had the internet all this time.

There are every size and shape and length of dildos and vibrators, some that glow, some that don’t.

            There are handcuffs banded with feathers, and handcuffs strictly made of steel.

            There are ball-gags.

            Fanny paddles.

            And hot wax kits.

            DIY genitalia piercing kits.

            And latex spacemen-looking suits.

            The thing that stops me, though, is the glow-in-the-dark condoms.  On one hook is a full set that is supposed to make the color purple glow.


            Somehow, even back then, the fraternity boys had gotten hold of rubbers that glowed purple once the condoms met with the heat that skin gives off.

            These boys were rough and awful, but they were also cautious.

            They took turns, and reset, taking turns again.

            They were young but brutal.


            Afterward, the next day, no one believed me.

            “These boys were good boys,” I was told.

            “These boys have good parents.  They’re ambitious, going to be future lawyers and senators,” I was told.


            “Let’s get a row of them,” I tell my husband now at the sex toy store named Lovers.

            He looks like a sad old dog, suddenly jowly.  “Just that?  That’s all you want?”

            “Yep,” I say.

            He scratches the back of his head, his eyes turned to bees working over the tiled floor.

            “Okay,” he says.  “For now, but maybe later we won’t need them?”

            I don’t answer, just pluck the packets free.


            Back at home, we barely make it to the bedroom and our clothes are off in a blink and I won’t let my husband turn on the lights like he always wants to do when we have sex.

            “Put it on,” I say, meaning the condom which turns purple as he applies it. 

“As a matter of fact,” I say, “use two.”



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