You are sitting across from me, on the couch, facing me, your pedicured toes so close to my shin that I can almost feel their heat, the aura of naked flesh, as innocent as it may be, burning a hole through my denim. This is a moral crossroad. Is that desire that I sense coming from you? Honest friendship? By God woman, your husband is right here, in the room! Am I reading into it? Is my interpretation straight from some pilfered Cosmo magazine? Some half remembered article about body language? Though our bodies seem to mesh in a perfect arc of desire, it may just be happenstance. Do dark energies arc the space between us? That hollow snap, that painful, painful tug, is it imagined, could it be fabricated by my own lust? Do you sit too close to me when sharing a computer screen; is that the warmth of your breast against my flank?

You know that there is no way to pull back from the abyss; there are things that once said can not be taken back, they will forever change who we are. Yet, does my being a prisoner of my biology have to lead me to this juncture?

Furthermore, what happens when I leave, do you channel this into your relationship? Not moribund, not sick, just quotidian. Isn’t that tthe worst sin, the commonplace, the tread ground? I go back to my own marriage, comfortable, sane, laden with children as is yours. Is it like a bad Woody Allen film for us to indulge in an affair? Is it inevitable?. Does your physiology conspire, does your body betray you? Is the flower of your sex moist with desire? Is sex with your husband better for that sexual tension in the air between us? Do you think of me as your thighs feel the electric tingle of resolved desire?

It is a descent into madness, a nightmare, a fantasy of stolen moments and secret spaces, fueled by the petit bourgeoisie of good wine. A fantasy perhaps? Men. We are not subtle; blunt instruments are we, incapable of finessing the truth from a glance, while being transparent ourselves: simple needs, simple levers. Man, contemplate the reality of it all! What will this be? Stolen kisses in dark corners? Cheap strip mall motels? A soiling of your marriage bed? My marriage bed? Esthetically impossible, cheap, degrading, pathetic, sordid…

And yet, death flutters its wings and their air caresses us. What if? Floats in the air, arrogant, tempting, like a cartoon devil poised on my left shoulder. As a child, the moral landscape is clear, black and white, right and wrong, yet death, the ultimate showstopper, changes everything. Why not gains the upper hand, except it does not end, like captains placing their hands on an infinite baseball bat, in an infinite loop. I become a prisoner of this cycle. Are you suffering an analogous fate? Are you silenced by conscience as well?

Tomorrow’s sobriety will surely vanish the potential. It will break like a summer fog in the face of the relentless sun. Yet will it? Am I forever tainted?

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