It started around the breakfast table on a Thursday morning. I had just broken a fever. None of us were going in to the office. It was our luxury and it wasn’t fair. None of us minded.
Monday morning I woke up like I do on any Monday morning – with enough perk and cheer to earn the disdain of millions. Tuesday started at 4am. It was not pretty. At 6am I took my temperature and called, well emailed, out of work for the day. I wanted to die. Wednesday I was at the office at 7:30am, the airport at 8:30am, and in another office in another time zone by 3pm. Thursday morning I sat with my guys, dressed for work to convey an intention that wasn’t there.
Man 1: Is dipshit still bothering you?
Me: No. Hasn’t for a while.
Man 4: He just wanted to put his tools to good use.
A wife! And a pregnant wife. finger waving I am no other woman.
Man 1-4: Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Me: Fuck you all. You know what you get when you make an acronym of the other woman?
Man 1-4: raised eyebrows. stares.
Me: Tow. Tee. Oh. Double-you. And that’s exactly what happens.
And I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. The conversation turned to whatever, but I’ve thought about this ever since it popped out of my mouth, sitting at that breakfast table, on a Thursday morning, with no pressures and pleasant company, and plenty of time.
Tow. The other woman. Getting pulled behind an already established relationship. Tinkered and toyed with, after-hours, a hobby.
Passion. No emotional connection. No conversations, beyond I like green; so do I; let’s do it. No last names, maybe, no need for real first names. Pure physical pleasure. Awkward silences filled with kisses, and cotton on carpet. Out as easily as in. An eager man, an eager woman, and the melodic tap-tap-tapping of the headboard. She is whomever she decides, he’ll never know. He can’t know: secret lives. He doesn’t have to be him; she’ll never know. She can’t know: secret lives.
Consequences. Lies. An injured third-party.
Man: Oh, by the way, I really should tell you…
Me: Ok, what?
Man: I’m engaged.
Me: Are you kidding me?
Man: I’m sorry. That’s bad. Is that bad?
There seems to be plenty of opportunities to be the other woman, depending on location of interaction. Grocery stores and bars; I need not say more. It’s tempting. It’s alluring. It’s an hour when an hour can be had, a quick shower, a spritz of cologne, a coat check for long hairs, hairs too long to blend. It’s green grass, no weeds, no sticks, no rocks…
…but colonies of fire ants, scattered and unseen.
The void of person in one home, but for the waiting person in another. Guilt. Cover-stories. Blank texts. Long delays. Strict schedules. An hour when an hour can be had. Bodies. Minds optional. No depth. One purpose. Pounding hearts, hips. Sweat. Twisting, rolling, turning, moving, moaning. Ending, dressing, leaving.
The connection of two unconnecteds. Who cannot be connected. Sex. Sexuality. Sensuality. Void. Perfect? Corrupt?
I’m a woman. A single woman. I will be presented with this again.
*featured image: 1980s Tow Truck, public domain, Myke2020