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Nerve Classics: A Dram of Poison
I roofied my wife to save our marriage.
by Miles Morse
Maybe it's the bourbon, but lately, we've been feeling nostalgic. With writing this good, can you blame us? "A Dram of Poison" originally ran in 2009.
Ten years ago, as part of our healthy sex life, my wife was always asking me to impersonate various characters: the mailman, the naughty golf instructor, the disappointed boss, the rogue police detective, you name it. Now those roles are a faded memory, giving way to the real, permanent ones of father, husband and ATM. Not lover, not in my office clothes, nor, sadly, in anyone else's. As Lenin famously asked "What is to be done?" Should I dress up as Vladimir himself and try to fuck my wife? If only it were so easy. . .
In the beginning, before we shackled ourselves to the sacrament of matrimony, the selection and playing out of sexual fantasies was not a big deal. What was the worst that could happen?
That she'd enjoy my portrayal of the depraved gynecologist so much that she'd run off with a real one? We were still early enough into things that I would have grieved, but eventually I'd have moved on.
And now? Now our fantasies would have to be safe, like the rest of our over-insured suburban existence. Layers of suspicion have complicated things. We have made too many acquaintances and performed too many double-takes on the street. We have interacted with too many real-life airline employees and personal trainers, and I have jerked off with too many grocery clerks and babysitters in mind.
Our sex life, hit-and-run by the birth of our child, lies in a coma, occasionally blinking. Three years and still it hasn't raised a hand. Three years since I've slept with my wife.
Yet one day we find ourselves negotiating. Perhaps she saw someone at work, a dad of one of her pupils maybe, and the embers were blown warm. She comes to me and says she's been thinking, has had a few ideas.
Our familiarity has bred more than our share of contempt, but I know what she's getting at. We are sitting at the table where we still share meals. Some part of us is still here for each other.
Of course I've got some ideas of my own. She asks to hear, so my gambit is first: cheerleader seeking ass deflowering? Denied. Her turn: businessman wants severe caning from the Mistress? Not happening. I want this to work, but I won't capitulate easily. Too much is at stake; it's too precedent-setting. We go back and forth. I keep meeting her baroque with rococo of my own. We're going nowhere.
Finally she proposes something new, something we had both sort of anticipated, for at this point in the game we are not really going to fool each other. But this time it will be only semi-fantasy: my wife will really be at the bar pretending not to know me, and I really will slip something nefarious into her drink.
To drug and abduct my wife — but which drug? Television seems to have convinced her that date-rape concoctions are ubiquitous, as if I could just run to the nearest GNC or have a box overnighted from a website in Mexico. The latter might be true, but I'd prefer not to add my name to any FBI lists. So while she's in the bedroom, I rifle through the medicine cabinet and find a stash of giant pink pills — some sort of narcotic from the dentist — and throw a small handful into the coffee grinder.
Decisions, decisions. My costume, my fake name, my fake identity — there is so much that has to be just right. Konked-out victim? Her part is child's play. I'll be the one who has to drive the conversation and strike the proper balance between charming and sinister, all the while maintaining some sort of backchannel of actual attraction. I douse myself in aftershave and begin humming the jingle, or what I remember of it. "There's something about an Aqua Velva man." Oh yes, there is: He drugs strange women and drags them back to his lair.