The Other Woman


He was saying something but it didn’t seem to be about anything. He was saying
something and then he wasn’t saying something.
Did you know that feels? Did you know how? Even when it’s not about anything.
I know. A woman knows these things.
If he had said don’t confuse me with the facts, it really would have meant don’t
confuse ME with the facts. As if he wasn’t one, a fact, not even a moment of that kind of
But he didn’t say that.
He wanted an answer but he didn’t know where it would come from. He wanted
that too. Not knowing where it would come from.
Maybe he stopped because he started crashing into himself with what he was going
to say.
He wanted to inflict more pain. On someone else this time.
Then Spot was making this noise like a choking scream. Spot was a dog and was
not trying to convey the essence of his entire life.
I was considering touching another woman, but I was intimidated by the Bobby
pins. Why are they named after a guy?
Then I noticed the woman was trying to put her arms around my husband. To get
something, I think, but I couldn’t be sure.
The woman made a face that wasn’t very flattering.
My husband didn’t seem to notice. He was concentrated.
This other guy at the party, he was full up with embarrassment. I could see that he
was trying to think about kissing me. I didn’t know who he was, but I wanted to know
who he was going to be.
The dinner was still crying. The dinner was still sad.
He hated that.
The other woman, who was somebody’s wife, said, “Something wonderful is going
to happen.” She said, “Okay, so listen, will you?” And then she didn’t say anything.
I said “Peter” because that’s his name. I didn’t say it to insult him. Then I let
myself go. I belonged to gravity.
He was a pilot, but that has nothing to do with what happened.
So then, “Do me,” said the man’s wife. “Do me now.” She wanted me to hear her
say it. Then she put herself into the hands of fate. Which had already been shaped
according to her desires.
She had fun.
But even if you’re the smartest guy in the universe, you’re going to fail sometime.
It made sense to be afraid of that woman.
But it was really something what she had. A kind of rubbery bounce to her. Like a
cat toy. Even Spot noticed.
You didn’t have to be very perceptive to see what a woman like that wanted, but
maybe you had to be perceptive to understand it.
And then I was scared that I was getting scared. It was a very high quality joy she
was having. I didn’t know if I was up to it.
I was afraid I wanted it and I was also afraid of what I wanted.
And then I was afraid that I was afraid of it.
And then I was thinking she might really be me. I was afraid of that.
And then I wasn’t.
And then she was.
Me I mean.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.