I said I was moving out because I wanted to be alone. I said that I needed my own space to figure out if I wanted to still be married. I lied.
I moved out because I was tired of having to pay for hotel rooms that R. and I only used for a couple of hours. I moved out because I talked in my sleep and had started telling my secret. I moved out because I couldn’t bear the way J. looked at me with a mixture of distrust and hurt every time I told him there was no one else.
Of course, I was never going to be content simply being R.’s mistress only seeing him when he could fit me in. He couldn’t see me in the evenings because he would miss putting his daughter to bed so our interludes were infrequent, cut short by guilt and the stories we fabricated to cover-up our absences. He had ignited a passion in me that he couldn’t satisfy so I decided to look further afield.
The first weekend after I moved into that tiny little flat with the kitchen windows that overlooked boats moored in Lavender Bay, I ventured into the world of online dating. That first Saturday afternoon I bashed out a brutally honest profile only leaving out that I was fresh out of a marriage and while I was waiting for my slightly Photoshopped head shots to be approved, I browsed the sea of available men.
I was a 45-year-old woman interested in single men between 40 and 50 years old and thought naively that there would be loads of choice. But the photo catalogue of men that my filter presented was frightening. Most of them were old men with no hair and ample beer bellies posing with their large hairy dogs in front of some sports car or boat. Some of them even looked like my dad.
Undeterred, I continued my search and happened upon a man who looked in great shape, had a full head of hair, had an online name that didn’t mention his penis, and could construct a sentence with adherence to the rules of spelling and grammar.
So I contacted him and he emailed back, setting up a date for the following Tuesday night.
D. was sweet and kind, the type of man you can take home to your mother, but I was completely outside of anything that remotely resembled his comfort zone. From the first moment we met in a trendy bar and I kissed him on the cheek, through several glasses of wine with my hand creeping further up his leg, to the walk back to the ferry punctuated by a brief first kiss in public, I was not the type of girl he could ever imagine settling down with. And that is what he wanted to do … he wanted to find someone to marry — exactly the opposite of what I was looking for.
After D. I was more discerning with my choices. I decided holding on to my freedom meant that anyone after a long-term relationship was off the table. The next man I went out with certainly wasn’t looking for love and blatantly said so in his profile. The fact that he looked like Sean Connery may have also swayed my decision to meet him for a drink in between work and seeing a show.
JS. was charming, intelligent, funny, a seasoned flirt and a self-confessed player. When it was time to leave the bar and he pushed me up against a wall to kiss me pornographically while other people were still walking past I knew I had to see him again. He made me feel sexy and wicked and maybe he would be the one to counteract the ache I still felt for R.
It was Friday night and I was home alone after R. and all my friends had left our after work drinks and headed home for the weekend with their partners and families. I was sitting on an unfamiliar cane chair that had mysteriously remained behind when the last tenant left and gazing out the kitchen window at the lights of Luna Park and the Harbour Bridge. I was single and alone on a Friday night so it seemed perfectly sensible to send a text to JS. on the off-chance that he was in between willing women.
He arrived on my doorstep about 20 minutes later with a couple of bottles of red wine and a huge grin. With no promises and no agenda we sat talking and drinking for hours watching the lights go out on the high-rise buildings of Milsons Point and Luna Park.
His reputation was well-earned. He seduced me with his words, his lips and his hands, and made love to me throughout the night with skill and potency that was indeed impressive for a man pushing 50. It was exactly what I needed – mindless, emotionless, physical pleasure without guilt or consequences.
When Saturday morning dawned, I helped him find his clothes and like a naughty giggling teenager hustled him out the door without even a cup of coffee. When he was gone, I couldn’t stop smiling as I realised I could actually do whatever I felt like and that I would probably never see him again.
… to be continued …