God his hands are sexy. They are long and slender, creating art with every movement. They are perfect, save for one blemish on his left ring finger, a single golden band wrapped around his finger like a tiny handcuff. I skip over that part as I stare at his fingers and move on to his lips, made of pure poetry, until finally our eyes meet. We are in public and act distantly civil to each other, but our sordid history palpitates beneath the surface of our gaze and seeps out of the crevices of our conversation until the air is bursting with nameless desire.

It is the first day of class. I notice him walk in the door; he is tall with dark hair and sensual lips. He sits at the seat across from mine and I breathe in his clean scent. I begin my evaluation at his feet and move up his mile-long legs until I notice his hands lying casually on top of his desk. I start at his right pinky finger and move left. Each artistic finger sends thrills to my toes as I imagine the way they would feel on me, moving up my thigh, further and further, in and around. I get to his left middle finger and hold my breath. Finally I force myself to look, and there I see his imprisonment emblazoned in gold around his finger. My heart sinks and I look up. He is gazing at me with his large, dark eyes and he forms a smile punctuated with deep dimples. I hesitate for a second before I smile back. I didn’t know it, but my life was about to change forever.

That day was only a year ago, but it seems like a whole lifetime ago since we met. I can’t remember life before him, or imagine life after him. All that seems real now is life with him, about him, and of him. I think about his wife. I at once pity her and envy her. My stomach turns and I think of throwing up. What we are doing is wrong, I know that, but I can’t stop; I have lost control and can’t be trusted.

Now that we are alone in the hotel room, he smiles and runs his fingers down my cheek. I forget everything but how badly I want him. Like Dedalus, I want so badly to sin, to force him to sin with me, and to exult with him in our sin. His long fingers slide down my stomach and effortlessly unbutton my jeans. He takes me there in the dark hotel room and our limbs entwine. The awful pleasure permeates my entire being and, as we spin senseless into ecstasy, I touch God. The silent walls seem to pass judgment as we revel in our joyous profanity.  Out of the squalid ashes of my conscience rises the phantasmal image of his wife. I wonder at how she still couldn’t know, and marvel at how he could keep this from her.

Suddenly I turn to him and say quietly, “I can’t do this anymore. You have to tell her.”

He rolls over and looks at me for what seems like eternity. Finally he says, “I will, eventually, I just…can’t right now.”

“Then this has to end.”

 “Please. Don’t. Just give me time. I promise.”

I know I can’t look at him or I will give in, like so many times before. I get dressed, fighting back tears and bile. Without another word or breath, I walk out of the hotel room and forever away from my addiction.

It's like a new lease on life. (Why do I call being taken off the hook by my manager "a lease on life"? Maybe because I'm so scared of what my girlfriend/mother/others think of where I am, and a bit of fear of what I would do next).

I kind of have a license to feel happy now. But not too happy. I have to get to work at some point, even if deadlines have been stretched and project scopes narrowed down.

(My tummy hurts)

As one song goes, "I sit down and contemplate / all the parameters of truth / I wonder why they're not so clear / they were so striking in my youth".

I'm exhausted. Exhausted.

Got a phone call from a grad school friend I haven't spoken to in a while. She wanted to know what I was doing ("Nothing.") what was new in my life ("also, nothing.") and then mostly really wanted to talk about her children. She wanted to know if I had seen some new documentary about her kids' generation ("No.") She wanted to know why I hadn't come to see her and her kids ("Mostly because I haven't been to your town since my brother and his wife separated, since that's where he used to live but doesn't now.")

I don't think she quite understands the concept of depression. I had told her a while back that I was depressed and not doing well, but somehow I think she thinks that if she just aggressively treats me as she always has that that will help.

Sigh.

I end up feeling like an asshole, because I can hear myself lapsing into the uncommunicative monotone on the phone, and feel her frustration as she tries to relate. But honestly, it's self-preservation. I'm at a point where people talking eagerly about their kids and such does nothing but make me alternately depressed, bitter and angry.

I was doing okay today until that phone call. Now I feel like I'm sitting at the bottom of a fucking well.

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