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The Barmaid Blog™: Life for a 30-something Manhattan Barmaid

The Cool Side of the Pillow (Part II)

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Corona Barmaid
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The Cool Side of the Pillow (Part II)

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Scotch Neat
Very Early Morning, Five Days Ago (Wednesday, September 12)
I can't see the look on his face. It's too dark. All I know is that he seems to have stopped breathing.

Finally he draws a deep breath. "I'm supposed to meet your father tomorrow night... no, tonight. We're supposed to have dinner with your father and stay over at his house, and then go to synagogue with him in the morning. And somehow I'm supposed to be pleased to meet him, welcome in a sweet and happy new year, and act like everything's a box of budgies."

"I know, I know... I thought about waiting until tomorrow night, but I just didn't want to keep it from you any longer."

"Debra, why did you wait this long to tell me in the first place? You just said you were worried I would find out from someone else, how could you let it go almost two bloody weeks?!"

I was hoping to get through this without crying, but it's already too late. "I don't know. I didn't want you to break up with me!" It sounds pathetic the moment it comes out of my mouth.

He sits up in bed. "Well, for damn sure I might've if I'd heard it from anybody else. As it is, I'm just pissed off."

"You have every right --"

"Dammit, Debra, don't tell me what I've a right to feel! You knew how I felt about this very thing!"

"Gary, I didn't mean for it to happen, she just took me by surprise."

"Yeah, the first few seconds, maybe. But you said it went on for a couple of minutes. You completely forgot about me for a couple of minutes!"

"I was just... caught up in it. Enjoying the moment." Oh, shit, that was the wrong thing to say.

"Enjoying the moment?! How would it make you feel if one of my prettier lady friends flogged a kiss from me and I took a couple of minutes to enjoy the moment?"

I search my heart. "If it ended there?"

"Yeah, if it ended there."

"I think I'd want to punch her lights out, and then I'd want to fuck your brains out."

"Be serious."

"I am serious. Why the hell should I care where you get your appetite as long as you come home for dinner?"

"I'm not even sure what that means."

I sigh. "Neither am I. I just read it somewhere, and I thought it sounded good."

"How do you feel about Bonnie?" I remain quiet. "Be completely honest, Debra, how do you feel about Bonnie?"

"She's a good friend, and she turns me on."

He lets that sink in. "How do you feel about me?"

"I'm in love with you."

"Then I think you need to work out for yourself what acting like you're in love with me looks like. And then we need to see if it looks anything like I thought it would, because if there's a big difference, we're going to have problems."

"I know," I say, barely audible.

"And I think you need to tell your readers what happened."

"What?"

"Come on, Debra, I saw what you said about me when we first dealt with this. Later on I thought you were downright patronizing about it. Do you think you're still entitled to feel that way?"

"I guess not."

"You choose how those people see you. Whether you think so or not, everything you write in that blog is biased because it went through your head before it ended up on the computer screen. I think I've been pretty understanding about the thought of three thousand people knowing what goes on in our relationship and our bed. Well, now there's another side to it, and I think you owe it to me and to them to be honest about it, and maybe you owe it to yourself as well."

"That's... not going to be easy."

"Yes, I know. And that's why I think you need to do it."

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