Sex With Your Ex

An excerpted chapter from
Notes For A Theory Of The Chaos At The Heart Of Things

He is just so damn cute. That is the sad tragic truth of it. And it has caused me a lifetime of heartache on account of my loudmouth old man and his rabid she-bitch of a latelife wife. Notice I do not say trophy wife. She is no trophy. If she is a trophy, I am a Nobel Peace Prize. It was not easy for me marrying outside the church, outside the Italian community, with all my ancestral history going back to Sicily and everything. My ancient grandma bless her brittle anti-semitic bones, she still doesn’t know he’s Jewish. And she never will, god bless her. It would break her ninety year old peasant heart. She would sink a six-inch butcher knife in my chest while I sleep and they would have to send her back to San Pantaleo up in those godawful hills in Sicily and hide her away from the long arm of the law and the terrible face of God. I told her Gideon was a Pollack. She’s ok with that.

The best part is I met him at a big old drunken brawl of an Italian- Jewish wedding up in Westchester at the Ardsley Country Club, very swanky, back in the summer of Who Knows When. I got so shitfaced I didn’t know if I was coming or going. My girlfriend, Janet, it was her cousin’s wedding on the bride’s side, she was worse than me. She took off her underwear about half past dinner and dropped it on some cute guy’s salad plate, and then she barfed all over the gorgeous red tile patio overlooking the Hudson as the sun was setting and the pale blue of the river was shimmering like that last Saturday morning dream before you wake up for good. So the guy hunkers down next to me where I’m trying to keep Janet’s beautiful black tresses out of the mess she’s made, and he asks me will I see she gets these back, and he puts her panties in my free hand and then he asks me do I want to dance. And I look up into his black jewboy eyes and I go holy motherfucking shit yes. And that was not the three Tanqueray martinis talking. That was not the stinger or the pink metropolitan. That was fate was what that was. So we danced till I was shivering with anticipation and then he took me out to the first tee past the pro shop and he whacked me all over the fairway. If I remember correctly. I have a tendency to embellish these pivotal events in my life. My shrink says I mythologize. What does he know?

I am the sleek bitch with the straight black hair wearing dark shades in the tan Jag as you pull up next to me at the stoplight. You look over and as your eyes fall all over me a four letter word goes off in your skull. I do that to guys. Ok be honest Mindy. You used to do that to guys. Now you only do that to older guys. Some of them are very very older guys. And isn’t that a heartache.

So that was Gideon Fine, young and handsome with wild black curly hair, a shiny tux and a very sly bad boy grin. I am such a sucker for those. Was. Was a sucker. I am a sucker no longer. I am a coldblooded remarried mother of a thirteen year old hotshot who is wearing me out. So much water went under that bridge, the bridge got washed away with the tide. But I came out all right. I’ve got a bank account that could kill an ox. My earlobes cry and diamonds go drip drip dip all over my raw silk jacket. And I am over you, Gideon. I am all over that bastard. I must be by now. It would be a sad sad day if I was still pining over his crazy ass ways, the rollercoaster ride.

I am home around noon. It’s Tuesday, I think, and I am trying to decide between slipping into something spandexy and driving over to the gym to blow off some steam with my trainer Marty; or else stay home and mix martinis and take care of myself in my own fashion so I don’t get all pissed off at Howie when he comes home and pretends we had just had sex the night before so he can fall asleep watching Will & Grace. I think she is very sexy. I would do her in about a minute if I was inclined that way.

And I hear him pull into the driveway. I can hear that goddamn Porsche of his a mile and a half away. It sounds like somebody’s uncle coughing up blood. So I go to the front door, its oak thick and white with a new satin finish, and I wait for him to ring the doorbell, then I wait about thirty seconds, and just when he rings it a second time, I crack the door open a slice and see who it is and pretend to be so surprised and very very cool.

I remember how he used to come to the hair salon and pick me up after work. I was a lowly hairdresser at Eastern Hairlines on Seventh Avenue in Greenwich Village. Yeah sucky name, right? And he knew, he knew! the best way to make me feel good was to come in looking like the devil himself in a workshirt and jeans wearing his snakeskin cowboy boots with his thick matt of hair down to his shoulders like icing on a chocolate cake, and all the girls in the store would piss in their pants when they saw him. He came strolling in Mr. Longhair Hippie reeking of dope and incense, and he sat down in the chairs in the corner where the ladies wait and he picked up a copy of WWW, spread it out on his lap and leafed very slowly through the underwear ads as bold as you please so everybody could see he was checking out the models’ tits, very daring, his eye traveling all over the page and landing on all the best spots. He had no shame. And then when Angelina or Giselle came over and asked him if he wanted a cup of tea while he waited, he let his eye rise up from the page to their thighs and slowly up and linger just a moment at the crotch of their jeans and then at their fat boobs before he looked into their eyes and smiled his cutey boy smile at them, shiny white teeth and tangly black mustache, and said no thankyou Angelina or Giselle, and you could just hear it in his voice, like you are not enough for me you little peasant, in your wildest dreams. I’ll wait for Mindy girl. Cause they weren’t enough for him. You’ve heard of Euro trash? Well they were Borough trash. Yeah, right?

So I’m standing there at the front door with my game face on and what are the first words out of his mouth? “About the money.” Do you believe that shit? “About the money”? Not “Hi hello, you poppin’ fresh Pillsbury cream puff.” He really knows how to treat an ex-wife. Jesus.

So I go, “I don’t want to hear about the money. I want to see it in my bank account. ” I do not give him an inch on that one. Because it’s not about the money. Hey, money? I don’t need his money. I’ve got a house in Westchester as big as Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey. Howie put a freaking basketball court in the garage so him and the guys could shoot hoops on Sunday and I’ve still got room for the Jag and the Navigator and that piece of crap ’66 Malibu he drives to the train station every day, if he loves it so damn much, could he maybe put a silencer on it? It’s not the money per se, it’s the principle of the money and what it stands for in our once upon a time in the Land of Nod marriage. Which is respect, ok? Respect, plain and simple. Hey I am the aggrieved party here, not him. I am not the one who almost went to jail. I am not the one who declared bankruptcy because of my goddamn gambling addiction. Well that’s what it was. He can call it Wall Street and give it fancy names like Market Computer Strategies if he wants. He can call it unexpected economic forces if he wants. But it is a gambling addiction from where I sit.

So he goes, “Can I come in?” And then as innocent as you please, “Is he home?”

So I’m like, “Of course he’s not home. He works for a living. He’s got a respectable job on the Street. Remember him, your former business partner? Howie? He’s working his ass off right this very minute buying and selling, making a market, wheels of commerce.” Which was my first big mistake. I should have said, “Yeah, he’s right here. You want to talk to him? Cause I know he’s got some choice words for you.” That would have put the fear of god in him. But I didn’t. I gave him an opening, he could have shoved a Hummer through it.

“Mindy,” he goes, “I’ve got to come in. Let me come in. I’m being followed.” There was a look in his eye, the shadow of something I knew too well, like a little boy, all over his face, like right out of nowhere. What can I say? I have always been a sucker for that look. One time before we got married we drove up to Truro beach on Cape Cod at midnight on a Friday night, and got there Saturday morning, and we laid on the beach all day, and we did the sleepy, sunbaky thing, just lying there in a suncrazed stupor. My skin, I don’t burn. I just go olive all over. Used to turn me on just to look at myself in the mirror when I had that dark olive thing going. Almost couldn’t keep my hands off myself. (No be honest. I couldn’t. So what.) The sun started going down so we crawled half dead into the dunes above the beach and we waited till everybody was gone and we had one of those real quiet slowmotiony fucks, very tender, very touchy-feely, almost like two girls, ok never mind, pretend I didn’t say that, I can’t really explain it, but when we were done and laying in each other’s arms in the twilight with the stars coming out and the breeze cooling off and picking up, there was that look on his face, that little boy lost in his mother’s arms, that hold me hold me never let me go look. Oh my god. I would give everything I have to go back there again. Everything I own, and throw in Howie and the lease on the Jag. It makes me sad to think how much in love we were. So totally attuned. Oh well. Those days are gone.

Any way I go, “Don’t do that, Giddy.” I know. I’m tough. It’s in my bones. “Don’t start that stuff with me. No one is following you.” But I scan the horizon out of habit, because frankly there was a time when we were rich and he had secrets to protect, his financial software stuff, and industrial espionage was a real thing. Those hedge fund guys are real bastards. My eye falls on a guy walking a poodle.

And he’s like, “See what I mean. No one has a poodle in real life. That’s a dead giveaway.” He presses up against me in the doorway, but I do not give my ground. I am immune to his physical presence. I do not respond to that been-in-bed-all-day smell of his. I do not want to taste his apples and cinnamon breath. I don’t.

“Yes they do, Giddy. Poodles are very popular up here these days.” Poodles and pugs, those ugly little things, they look like they licked their nose till there’s nothing left of their face except those big bulgy eyes. They skeeve me out.

“Mindy,” he goes, “Let me in. I’ve got good news. I really have.”

Bullshit he has good news. I push him away. But as I do my eye travels down his chest to his crotch, a reflex thing, what can I say? I used to be married to the guy, and oh shit, he sees my look. I wish I hadn’t done that. My eyes are way too big for my head, or whatever that expression is.

I go, “You’re not coming in here, Gid. I’ve got places to go, people to see.”

And he’s all like, “Mindy I cannot stand out here in broad daylight and argue with you like this. I have a very valuable thing I want to show you.”

“Don’t you talk dirty to me,” I say. “I’m not your wife anymore.”

“Mindy, goddammit, listen to me.” He flashes something black he is carrying under his shirt. “I’ve got twenty, fifty million dollars in my hands right here. This baby is so big, it’s going to blow sky high. Now let me in. I am not Jehovah’s Witness. I do not have literature for you.”

“You better not be.” I laugh in spite of myself. I can’t help it. We always made each other laugh, that was our thing, we were so different but somehow so connected.

“I am not exaggerating,” he says, his voice rising. “I have got guys breathing down my neck, going through my garbage, intercepting my wireless connection. I am what’s happening, baby. I am it. I am now. I am the cat’s pajamas.”

For some reason I rock back on my heels, go soft in the shoulders and ride the door back till it is all the way open. Maybe I just want to believe in him again. Maybe I just need some company. He breezes in and I think his hand brushes my thigh as he goes. But I am immune. I have no urge to grab a handful of his ass through the soft cloth of his jeans as he saunters into the kitchen. I have no desire to run my hand through his slightly silvery hair. I would not jump on his back and wrestle him to the floor if you paid me.

He goes into his security trance. He turns off all the lights so it’s brighter outside than in and the glass is all reflecty to anyone who might be peeking. He pulls the curtains over the sink. He closes the door to the kitchen. He turns on the water in the kitchen faucet. White noise. He takes one of those highschool notebooks out from under his t-shirt, you know the ones, they’re all marbly on the cover, and puts it on the kitchen table, I just had that thing stripped and stained, but I still don’t like the way it looks in here.

“You got a flashlight or something?” he asks. He knows I do. I get it out of the silverware drawer. “Listen to me,” he says and he fixes me with one of his Earth Calling Mindy looks. “If you breathe a word of this to him. Do you understand me? If Howie hears word one about this. Word one. So help me God. I will tear this up and feed it to the pigeons. I swear to god, Mindy. Not one word. Howie does not know from this.”

“Ok ok.” I like secrets. This is like the old James Bond days.

“Your eyes only, Mindy. He’s got my wife. He’s got my kid. He does not get this notebook.” I see him go from simmer to boil inside.

“My eyes only.” I give him my innocent little girl face with the Daddy Please look. He always falls for that.

“Look. Look at this.” He opens the notebook on the kitchen table so it is upside down if you were looking in from the window over the sink that has a view of the street, even though its anti-reflective and the curtains are drawn. And then for some damn reason I reach for the tobacco pouch out of the back of the cabinet where I keep the pots and pans, that’s where I keep the good weed, and I start to roll a thin needle of a joint. What am I thinking? Am I out of my mind? I light the joint off the stove. He’s sitting at the table with the book open wide and both hands resting gently on the edges like it’s some kind of barely decipherable bazillion year old treasure map and it’s going to go all crumbly if you touch it too rough. He murmurs something indistinct, he’s concentrating, I know that sound. I take a hit and wait. I get my thick head of long black hair in my hand and pull it back so I can see the page. I wouldn’t want it falling in his face giving him ideas.

“It’s upside down,” I go, with the joint stuck square between my lips.

“So come around this way.”

“Giddy, what is this?” I lean over behind him. I exhale and let the joint trail away between my fingertips. Wisps of my hair are falling on his neck, I can’t help it. “A paper? You wrote a paper? For a journal? So what, you came here to show me your homework? Did you get an A+ with extra credit? Do you think I care?” I hand him the joint like you better be careful little boy if you don’t want to wake up drooling at the end of the line in Far Rockaway.

“No no, Mindy, no. Listen to me.” He sucks in a healthy lungful. As he exhales, he explains to me in slow and elaborate detail how a field of energy always contains a minimum amount of energy from the unending supply of virtual particles winking in and out of existence, arising out of nothingness and annihilating each other back into empty death in perfect pairs, how there really is no vacuum in the vacuum; there’s a quantum foam. It’s a byproduct, he explains, of all the real particles that exist in space and time. No shit. This is what he has come over to tell me. He sure knows how to romance a girl.

So I go, “I know this. I’m not an idiot. I have listened to this a hundred times.” Hey, I took AP physics. He takes another hit, I hope he knows how strong this stuff is, and he is all like, no wait, see there’s more, a whole new twist, there is a field of information in the computers on the Street, and how it always contains a minimum amount of information, virtual stocks winking in and out of existence, arising and annihilating each other in pairs, how this field of information is never never empty, never sleeps, how it is a hidden product of the vast chaos of stock market trades that flow through the system day in and day out. By the end he is talking a mile a minute, a brilliant coppery surface of words with many hammered facets glinting across the river of thoughts that runs between us.

“You lost me somewhere, mister,” I tell him. “But I can tell one thing for sure. You are out of your massive meticulous mind.” “No Mindy.” He stands up into the current of my sparking black hair. It shocks him all over his face and hands as he brushes it away.

“No, Giddy, no. None of that shit.” I probably shouldn’t sound so vehement. There is that look on his face like, “Methinks the lady doth protest too much,” which is about the only thing I remember from highschool English. Well there was also that great great movie version of Romeo and Juliet they showed every year. That girl was hot. Jesus christ. That poor Romeo, he didn’t have a chance. I wanted to be that girl so bad I could have killed myself.

Anyway he goes “What,” all innocentlike. He’s got a thigh between mine like our jeans are going to mate. “You don’t want me to read your meter, ma’am? You got a lot of juice running through your wires, missus, you could short the fuck out and catch fire in the walls. Fire in the walls is very very serious. These are very hot, ma’am.” He puts his palms on my remarried lady tits “See? No insulation.” My nipples poke his palms underneath my t-shirt. Dead giveaway, right?

“These tits are not your tits to handle anymore,” I say. “And this pussy is not your pussy. Not to mention this mouth is not your mouth. And I would not want you to think about what goes on with my ass. It is liable to upset you, Giddy.”

I shouldn’t have said that quite like that. He rips the t-shirt right off my body and pins me up against the refrigerator. All kinds of crap spills down that was pinned beneath the refrigerator magnets that encrust the door of the fridge: Bobby’s team soccer picture, his prizewinning poem about the milky way, his invitation to Teddy’s Bar Mitzvah at the Mamaroneck Yacht Club. This is not going the way that I had in mind.

“No, you fucker, no,” I grunt. Why does it sound like, “Yes, you fucker, yes?” That is uncanny. If there’s anybody I know in this world of darkness and misapprehension it’s my ex. He is totally getting the wrong idea. Or is he? How the hell should I know? I only inhabit this body. It goes where it wants to go. It does what it wants to do. And it fucks who it wants to fuck. My hands tear at his Islanders jersey, which distracts him for a moment because no one fucks with his Islanders jersey. I know this in my ninja soul. I somehow get my hands on the notebook off the table, this is some kind of superhuman lastditch effort to resist his subtle charms, and I smack him with it flat of it on his horny face, god only knows when was the last time he greased the knob. His nose opens up like a faucet.

“Oh fuck, Mindy! Don’t you have the brains you were born with? I only have one copy. Jesus.” He runs to the sink and grabs one my best satin hand towels and stuffs it up his nose.

“Don’t you have the manners of a pig?” I shout. I am outraged. “Do you live in a pigsty?”

“I think you broke my nose,” he whines all nasally like he’s singing a country western song. He examines the notebook for signs of damage. There is blood spattered all over the first page. He daubs it delicately to keep the spattered blood from obscuring the text. I take the opportunity to scratch the side of his face with my stiletto sharp fingernails.

“Mindy. Goddammit!”

“Ok,” I go. “Now I’m ready. Now it’s a fair fight.” I spill my tits out of my bra and shove them in his bleeding face. I am so goddamn mad I could spit. He howls in pain and grabs at his nose. I dig at the snap on my jeans and peel them down to my knees. Whaddaya know, I’m going commando today. I forgot about that. “Come on, what’s a little blood between you and me?” I rip the towel away from his face and more blood spatters on the notebook.

“Mindy, fuck, no!”

“Come on, Giddy. What’s the big deal? This is what you want, isn’t it? This is what you came here for. This is the main event, big boy. Let’s not kid ourselves.”

He grabs a fistful of my hair spitting blood, and he kisses me crimson and rose. His tongue is thick and warm with blood. I smack his nose with the heel of my right palm, I can’t resist, he is so wound up, he is going to explode all over me. He bellows like a zebra going down on the savannah. This is partly because I’m wearing on that hand all four rings he gave. The round domey one all crusty with zirconium, but who knew then, I loved it, that he bought me down on Delancey Street when he was at Princeton, he got it off some crazy fasttalking Hasidic dude. The platinum one with the pink freshwater pearls in it, they look like little rice crispies, that he gave me when he got his first job on the Street. He got it on 46th Street I think. The fat gold one with the amethyst, I absolutely adore it, that we found in that junk shop in Great Barrington, and that green emerald one that looks like a bug is eating my knuckle, the one his mother left for me. So this is like the world’s most expensive set of brass knuckles I hit him with. Anyway. Blood seeps into his eyes clotting his eyelashes and saturating his eyelids. He can barely see. I grab his notebook and run down the hall to the bedroom. He staggers after me and leaps on me as I lay back on the bed.

And I go, “Fuck me, you crazy bastard!”

Should I mention here that nothing remotely like this goes on with me and Howie?

I remember the first time I met Howie. This was shortly after the wedding where Giddy and I first met and I was already his little fuckbunny and he was, ok let’s face it, he was the dick of death. He was armed and dangerous. We could not get enough of each other. It was sick. No it was cute, it was. We were crazy in love. I took the train from Greenwich Village, where I lived with my girlfriend, down to Princeton to see him every weekend. Can you believe that? Me? Little Mindy Tempesta going out with a physics major at Princeton. And all the other guys in his physics classes were like these little dweeby dudes, hairless, no balls, their knees shook when I came in the room and they emitted high-pitched giggles that could fry an egg in about ten seconds. No, that’s not true, there were a bunch of other Jewish guys too, but they were so inbred their skin was candlewax and their feet were on the wrong ankles. Not my guy. He was a major thinker and good in bed. And he was all over me. We did it at the top of the Grad School Tower (very windy). We did it in the Chapel (very solemn). We did it in the doorway of Nassau Hall (very furtive). We did it in the fountain at the Woodrow Wilson School of International Diplomacy (very cold and wet.)

His roommate was this kid Howie, who happened to be his oldest friend in the world. He taught Howie how to tie his shoes in kindergarten, and they have been best friends ever since. Giddy took me to his dorm. They had this gorgeous gorgeous, I mean dropdead gorgeous suite in the tower of some arch. This was Old Princeton up there. You could smell the history in the woodwork. It was all antiquey and charming. Red leather on the sofa in the living room, leaded glass in the casement windows, a long row of ceramic drinking flagons lined up like tin soldiers on the mantlepeice (and yeah a fireplace), a gaudy crystal chandelier and best of all (for horny boys and girls) a doorway camouflaged in the wood paneling behind which a tiny stone stairway spiraled up to the tower parapet. And you just knew all his roommates had multiple middle names and were worth a million bucks or they would be someday when daddy divided his realm and went off to race his yacht. There was a cardboard box jammed into the top of one of bedroom doors that opened onto the living room and somebody was shooting baskets into it with a wad of rolled up sweatsocks. He turned around. It was Howie.

Right away I knew this was trouble. This guy didn’t like me. He was totally standoffish, wouldn’t talk to me, never smiled at me. Like I was a leper or something. He went through the motions and pretended to be friendly when we were together, but there was some kind of major unspoken tension between us, like what was he, queer or something? So he just tolerated me. And as Giddy and I got closer and closer he got more and more surly and sullen about it. You know like, get over it, bud. We like each other. Is that a crime? Eventually there was a truce. I swear to god at that point I thought he was queer even though he dated.

Then he was the best man at our wedding. And he was like morose the whole damn day. I was like grow up and get a job about it. There we were getting married in Great Neck at the Country Club. Cost my old man a fortune, the whole place dripping with crystal chandeliers and carpeted like a loony bin, and fake-o sconces on the wall like you were in a castle, I mean the whole nine yards, and Howie is skulking around with his head down and it looks like he’s been crying. I don’t know. Mr. Sensitive or something. I never asked him about it. Over the years he warmed up to me. He had to. We practically lived in each other’s houses. I introduced him to my best friend Janet. He married her, of course, she is a great lady and the best piece of ass he’d ever had. Was he grateful? No. Did he ever thank me? No. Did I call him on it? No. I was too polite and non-confrontational. I was a lady about it. Unlike some people.

I don’t remember how I first realized how much trouble Giddy and I were in. We were living in Westchester, in a lovely little town called Katonah when Market Computer Strategies took off like a rocket with Giddy’s first big computer trading thing and so we built ourselves a castle on a country road in horse country where the gentry play.

I guess it was that the ugly little Camry that pulled over by the side of the road one morning and I heard shouts and cursing as Giddy stumbled out the door around 5:30 am like he did every day, and I didn’t really think anything of it, but around noon when I went out, that rustpile was still sitting in front of the house, and when I walked over to the Jag (my old Jag), this little worm wriggles out of the Camry and asks me when I’m going to pay some bill. I have no idea what he’s talking about. I don’t pay the bills. Giddy does that, I say. Pardon me ma’am, but no he don’t, he says. The hell are you? I ask. And he says he’s from the credit company, like I’m supposed to know what that means. So I ran back inside and called the cops, but the guy was gone.

Only he came back. And more came with him, little oily ones, shabby fat ones, shiny young ones, lining up outside the house shrieking about this bill and that bill with writs and summonses and demands and hairy faces and greedy eyes and shitty brown shoes, leaving half-eaten cheesesteaks on my lawn and grease spots on my driveway and veiled threats in the air like who was he spending his money on, sweetheart, missy, cutie, would you do it for cash or would you take credit because you’re gonna need a job soon, girl, bitch, cunt, mommy. Or they’d find me in town and stop me and screech at me about some stupid bill, shouting me down the street like I was some deadbeat whore and they were my pimp. “Where is the money (bitch), you owe me (bitch).” You cannot imagine the blood on the floor when Giddy and I got down to it and he admitted he was broke and we had debts and he couldn’t pay, and we were going to have to sell the house, etc, etc, etc. I was paralyzed. I cried for three months. It’s a good thing I didn’t own a gun. I would have killed somebody, anybody. Prison would have been an escape. Imagine these little creepy credit guys, like a Greek chorus of twobit mafiosi at my door every time I went out of the house, demanding payment this and terms that and proceeds the other thing. I nearly went out of my mind. Couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t exercise, had the shakes, headaches.

Thank god for Howie. He got me a good lawyer and got me and Bobby the hell out. And then, and this is weird, he asked me to marry him. I don’t mean weird because of Janet. Janet left him a couple years ago for that Edelman guy who makes those zombie pictures on the coast. He is major loaded. So is Howie, but somehow Janet was attracted. Hollywood, the tanning thing, it’s all very midlife crisis and what’s a girl to do. All very Janet. But I mean I was floored when he asked me. I was flabbergasted. You could have knocked me over with a feather. So I moved in with him and told him I’d think about it. And that was the first good night’s sleep I had in about a million years, that first night at Howie’s place in Bedford Corners, must be six, seven thousand square feet, new construction, beautiful piece of property, tucked away on Succabone Road. Don’t laugh, it’s true. Succabone Road. It’s an Indian word. Yeah, right?

But me and Howie, we don’t exactly fuck. We don’t even make love. We basically have respectful sex from time to time, and I go frantic every once in a while and I break something valuable, and then I stop and tell myself you have to take the good with the bad.

Where was I. Oh yeah, So I run like mad and I dive into the bed with Giddy right on my tail and I’m like thank the fucking christ, the dick of death, which has not uncowled it’s gruesome hideous head at me in ages and ages, is about to put the fear of god in this poor sinner.

But no. He shouts at me, “Give me that. Give it to me.” He tears the notebook out of my hand and sinks to the floor at the foot of the bed. And then he slathers his teary bloody face all over my brand new Ralph Lauren bedspread to staunch the flow of blood. The man was born in a barn, I swear to god. That can’t be cleaned. It’s ruined.

“Leave. It. Alone.” He has to struggle to catch his breath. He is all bent out of shape.

I overlook the bedspread, that’s how bad I need it now. That’s how much I want him. “Come on, Gid, you space shot! Fuck me right now. Hurry because I think I hear Howie’s Beemer pulling in the driveway. ‘Oh what’s this, it’s Gideon my ex-partner fucking the daylights out of my brand new bride. I cannot comprehend this strange turn of events.’ GIDEON NOW FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!”

But he is weeping at the foot of the bed, crying in this strange constricted voice, “Don’t you goddamn laugh at me. There are secrets!” His voice comes ripping out of his chest, my god, the man is in the grip of something very powerful. What it is, I have utterly no clue. But then I never did. He stands and backs up against the walk-in closet then he sinks to the floor again. He is way out there. He hisses at me, “This is not what’s real. You are not what’s real. Two people having sex? That is just a byproduct! This page. These words. This ink. Is not real! The real thing is going on so far down, the real sex…” He lowers his voice, “… is everywhere, in everything. Listen. Listen!!” His whisper is so intense I shudder. “You have to listen or you will not hear what is at the edge of hearing.”

“And what exactly is that?” I ask in my itty bitty sweet voice because he is scaring me now.

“Listen.” The word is just a breath, “And you will hear things on the quantum level, so small, minute, where the truth is whispered in a darkness so profound that light is born.” He rises and staggers over to me. I am about to pass out. I realize I am holding my breath. He grabs the flesh between my legs and squeezes. “This is not interesting to me,” he says as I gasp and squeal like a creaking metal gate. Yeah, I must be rusty from disuse. He jerks his hand away. “Not interesting at all. Compared to the billions I will take out of the market when I catch myself a pair of particles fucking their way right out of existence. Annihilating themselves. And each other. Like we used to do. Remember?” He laughs. He cries. He laughs again. The two knit together in a demented weave. He whispers deep dark things. I have no idea what he’s saying but I know what he is doing. I know who he is. He is Gideon being brilliant for me. Like he always loves to be. I could listen to him forever. Anyone else would think it’s raving. It’s not. It’s love. And money. There is a fortune in his head, and he is making it for me.

And then he goes so far away I don’t know where he went.

“Giddy, shhhhhhhh. Come over here.” I reach for him and touch him very soft and easy. “Come over here with me.” I stroke his forehead, his hair, all wet with the exertion of his thoughts, his love, his weird weird mind. I kiss his face, my little boy, my Gideon. “Come here. Just lie with me.” I stroke him with an easy rhythm, try to calm him down. “I’m sorry, Gid. I am so sorry. I didn’t mean….”

He looks up into my eyes, I’m lost, I don’t even know what it was I didn’t mean. “Come here with me.” He’s lying still on the bed with me. I reach down. There it is. Oh wow. He makes a sound somewhere between a gasp and a wrenching cry. Ok, no more of that, not now, that isn’t right. I snuggle my ass into his crotch and put his arms around me and fold them into my tits. He cries so softly into the mess of my hair. I have never heard him cry like that. Not once in all the years. I think this is a good thing. This is some part of me I haven’t been in touch with for a while. Like maybe ever? No, not true. It’s the mother part of me, but not Bobby’s mother, it’s the part that wants to turn my man back into a boy and make him safe instead of being made safe by him. I think I like it, yes I do. I’ll make him safe.

“I miss you, Mindy girl.”

“I miss you too.”

“You do?”

“Yeah I do,” I say but I have to hesitate for a moment before I can decide if I trust him on this line of thought.

“What do you miss?” he asks.

“Oh, Giddy. Don’t start. You know what I miss. I miss the laughs.”

“I miss that too,” he says.

“I miss getting crazy with you. Remember when you made your first big pile of money, and we thought…”

“Yeah and we thought wow this is easy. Nothing to it.” He holds me tighter. His hands spread out across my tits. They’re warming up and calming down. This feels so good. I know this guy. I know him in my bones. I forgot about that. I feel all soft and feminine, my guard is down. It hits me real hard how my guard is always up, and I start to cry like I just realized I lost something and I can’t go back and get it or ever find it. I try not to cry but it hurts to hold it in. This blows, this sucks, this vulnerable thing. That makes me feel worse., I weep these jaggy breathy weepy cries. Finally I just give in to the whole thing and I wail like a motherfucker. Jesus this feels good. Who knew?

He pulls me onto my back with one hand sunk into the rice paddy which once was my hair and kisses my crying face.

“I’ll make it up to you,” he says. I’m not sure what he means, but I nod.

“I’ll make it all back, I will. And I will take you back.”

“No, Giddy, no. Don’t talk like that. That isn’t right.”

“Why not? You’re mine. You are mine forever.”

“Please don’t talk. Just hold me. Don’t make me think. I’m sick of thinking.”

“No, Mindy, that’s why I’m here, why I came. To tell you about my new project and claim you in the name of us.”

I don’t want to say this next part, but something tells me I have to nip this in the bud. “Giddy, your last project wrecked our lives, it dug us a hole we couldn’t crawl out of if we had forever.” I try to say this as calm and reasonable as I can, like I’m talking to a very precocious child. Which I am.

“No. Bullshit. That is not true.”

“I don’t want to argue.” I warn him. I am raising my voice. He is raising his voice.

“Then what the hell am I doing here? Why am I wasting my breath?” He’s asking rhetorical questions. Not a good sign. “You don’t believe in me. The hell should I believe in you.”

“You shouldn’t. Don’t.”

“You don’t trust me, do you?” he asks and he kind of wrenches his hand out of the muck of my hair. You can almost hear the sucking sound.

“No, I don’t,” I say. “Would you if you were me?”

“You don’t trust anyone, Mindy. You don’t know the meaning of the word.” Oh god he’s yelling at me.

“Don’t tell me about the meaning of words, Gideon.” Well, he started this. “You barely speak the language when it comes to telling the truth. You lied to me straight to my face and said everything would be all right. I lost everything, my house, my Jag, my friends, my good name, my self-respect, my Jag, did I mention my Jag?”

“You listen to me you stupid bitch. You stay with him, you get what you deserve. I love him like a brother, but you get what you deserve.”

“Don’t tell me what I deserve. I deserve a lot more than what you gave me, what you took away from me, you liar. You liar. You put me on the street again. I cannot go back to the street. I cannot go back to living hand to mouth. I’m a grown woman with a kid to raise. What, am I gonna cut hair again?

“I gave you everything you ever had.” He is in some kind of rage now.

“And then you took away it all away. And I had nothing!” I do not back down to him. It’s some kind of instinctive thing with me. Jesus Christ, he shakes me like a doll. My head snaps back and then forward and we crack our skulls together.

“You fucking bastard!” I scream.

“You stupid bitch!”

We have each other in a death grip, both of us breathing hard, kneeling on the bed and we are staring deep into each other’s eyes looking for confirmation of the fact that we are about to have the angriest toughest smackdown bloodlust fuckfest of our pugilistic sex lives.

Which we do. And sister it is a donnybrook. Fifteen rounds without a knockout. Score it on points. Score it on rounds. There’s going to be cover-to-cover controversy on on the internet tomorrow. Color photos on Insta. Facebook posts with quotes from ringside celebrities. Wackjob letters-to-the-editor in the New York Times. Outraged Op-Ed pieces. Well. You start out like people, you end up like animals. But we get it out of our systems. We do. We clean the slate. We are lying in the sweat and the blood and the stink and the hot air, the tears, the juices, the echoes of the sounds, the words and music from that other tongue you only know when you are plugged into each other and the electricity is singing in the wires, the karaoke of your ecstatic animal soul. He’s lying spread out on my ass just breathing. His nose is pressed against my neck. We are one big fleshy wet.

I twine a leg with his. How coy of me. This is my first unguarded moment since he walked in the door. He heaves forward slightly and his face comes looking for mine. My head is buried in the mattress where the sheets are bunched. His mouth comes burrowing down. Oh christ not that. The single thing we haven’t done, the single human thing, too intimate, way way too intimate, how dare he do this to me now. Oh god he wants my mouth. His tongue has been everywhere else. Too much too much. He’s almost there. No he can’t have that, not that, my mouth, a kiss. He does. I moan. He pries my mouth open with his slippery hard tongue. He slices through. He gasps the air from my mouth. I moan, I want to cry, something cracks right through my ribs. I want to reach in and take out my heart and show it to him beating. I don’t even care. He invades my mouth, I want to cry for all the fear that’s in my soul for tenderness like this, this intimacy that scares me where I live. He’s come to rescue me. To bring me back. We are two spirits both alike, it’s true, we crumple up like a head-on collision, our hearts, our hearts, our bodies, sex, our stupid stupid lives.

I am only able to say one true thing to him now. Any more would kill me outright. It comes out in a voice so small I almost can’t find it. “I was scared, so scared. I was. You have to understand. I couldn’t be alone.”

“My best friend, Min? The only other person I ever loved?”

“Ok yell at me. Hit me. Curse my name. Drag me through the mud. But please forgive me.”

So now I have married my ex-husband’s former business partner and I am having sex with my ex. Is that a pisser or what?