May 25, 2000
“In my secret life I do bad things,” Lanette wrote to me in an email. “Not real bad things. I don’t know why I’m telling you this. Sometimes I fantasize about meeting you.” It’s my policy to never have sex with my readers I feel like they would be too busy imagining how they’d be written up while we did it. Even Dave is not allowed to read the diary. But I find Lanette so intriguing, the way she bursts with urges and worries and changes her mind all the time, I want to make her mine.
Lanette pictures our meeting like this: “You would open the door and look at me but before you could say anything I would grab your face and bite your lower lip. Is that weird?” Of course it’s not weird, and if it weren’t for her fretting about it, it would even be mundane. She reminds me of Dave when I first met him, how she’s really bold and then she retracts it all. She looks like me except that she’s really beautiful. Actually, she looks like Laura Palmer. Lanette kickboxes, and dominates her boyfriend. Dave hasn’t been so dominated lately. He goes through stages, and he’s in an uppity one right now. When I think of this trouble on the homefront, I forget all about my new girl. But Lanette told me she would meet me in a certain chat room at four o’clock, so I prepared a very large Screwdriver, opened a bag of gummy worms and logged on. Dave sat at his machine across the room. It felt less like cheating with him there.
I suggested that everyone remove one piece of clothing. Lanette took off her shirt, Libby took off her belt, Vulpinegrrrl took off one shoe (she was at work), I took off my pants and my shirt, and the boys all made excuses. Even Dave refused to take off his pants, but I lied and told the chatters that he did. Lanette and Vulpinegrrrl typed that they wanted to put Dave over their knees and take turns spanking him. I looked over and caught Dave with his hands down his pants! There I was in just underwear and socks and Dave couldn’t keep his eyes off the scrolling text on his screen. He’d crashed my date and taken over.
Mad, I threw on a coat and boots and went for a walk. It was warm and raining. “I know,” I thought, “I’ll call him from a phone booth and have phone sex! Then I’ll stop halfway through and call Lanette and stop halfway through with her, and everyone will be unsatisfied and interrupted.” But I didn’t have any money. “Oh, I’ll use a friend’s house!” But then I realized it might be rude to visit someone and excuse myself to go masturbate on their phone. I made myself a bet instead: When I get home, Dave will be A. still online, B. only slightly erect, and C. saying something really weird. If I’m right about all three, then he’s my true love and we should have a baby. If I get two out of three, then I have an unhealthy obsession with my husband and to get my life back I should quit my job and run away to Columbia with Lanette. If I get only one right, that means Dave never loved me and I have to empty all his drawers in the yard and set his clothes on fire.
I went upstairs to see what my future held. A was true; so was B. I looked at the screen for the last thing Dave had typed to find the answer to C.
“Vulpinegrrrl,” he wrote, “have you ever kissed a woman in the presence of her refrigerator?”
Vulpinegrrrl typed: “???”
Dave continued: “One time a woman caught me making out with her refrigerator.”
“???” is exactly how I felt when Dave and I were first dating and I didn’t understand anything he said. I think I blushed for three months straight. He’d be rude and controlling and then inordinately modest. I don’t know if he’s stopped being that way or I’ve learned to ignore him. Knowing I’m tied up with this strange man forever has become a low, comforting ache.
“Get offline,” I said. “I want to hear more about the refrigerator, and I don’t want those girls to know.”
“I gotta go to work,” Dave typed, and logged off. He came over and pushed me off my chair and climbed on top of me, unbuttoning my coat. He was high from his chat conquests and he didn’t want to be in bed doing the regular things.
“You know what I think I’m going to do tonight after you’ve fallen asleep?” he said. “I’m going to put on my sleazy underwear from Mexico, and I’m going to go out into the kitchen. I’m going to get an ice cube and let it drip all over my naked chest. Then you know what I’m going to do? Push myself up against the refrigerator like this. Then I’m going to put my knee between my legs like this.” His knee went between my legs.
“You can’t do that, Dave you’d have to take your knee off your body to put it between your own legs.”
“Of course I can if I want to. You’re too practical.”
When Dave calls me too practical, I feel virginal: eager for him to sneak me out of my reality, yet leery of what might happen if he succeeded. One time he supposedly astral-projected we were on the phone and he floated upward out of his body and came up my stairs, he said, to look at me. I didn’t believe him, of course, and I was a little embarrassed by the whole thing, but I was also aroused that he carried his prank out so thoroughly on me, never admitting he was just fooling around. When he was twenty-five, Dave let his tricks go too far and he started forgetting what was real. He ended up with his whole body so stiff from crazy visions he couldn’t move; he was in the hospital for days. Ever since, he has tried to tone it down to occasional scenarios, like pretending to have lustful inclinations towards the refrigerator.
“Do you really like Lanette?”
I said I did.
“Do you ever think about her when you masturbate with your finger?”
I don’t masturbate with my finger, I told him.
“Oh, you should! I do all the time.” Well what else would he masturbate with? But once Dave starts equating absurd with sexy, it’s useless to say anything to him. “It doesn’t have to feel like your own hand. It could be anyone’s hand. Let me show you.”
I thought, I’m laying on my office floor wearing just an opened coat while a weirdo who used to believe in vampires pins my shoulders under his knees and lectures me on masturbation techniques.
He took my finger and made it pat and twirl me. Lanette had typed that she would be thinking of me and Dave “at certain moments” this weekend. I made it Lanette’s finger, then I felt guilty, because maybe she just wants to be friends and I’m taking advantage of her, so I turned it into Dave’s friend Matt’s (I know he wants to have sex with me; he keeps on saying so), then I felt guilty because I think too much about Matt, so it became the finger of somebody I don’t know. “See, you’re starting to like it,” Dave said. But I guess I didn’t start liking it fast enough, because he threw my finger aside and took over the ministrations himself. “Oh there,” he said, “now you really like it. Do you know how I know?” He just wanted to embarrass me by making me admit that I was perceptibly rising under his fingertip. I’m upset enough about the whole penis envy thing without talking about getting mini-erections! Who wants mini anything when you’re feeling frisky? No, you want to be mighty. As I got more excited, he said, “Come in my hand, come in my hand,” which I found both titillating and annoying. He crowed, “See, you do like just the hand.”
“But I like this,” I thought, squeezing his entire thin, mean body inside my arms and grasping legs. Lanette says she does bad things in her secret life. I’m not sure what a “bad thing” is. But wondering if my husband might be crazy, or maybe a little crazy, and how uncomfortable or queasy the things he says makes me feel that is definitely a secret life, that is what turns me on. But I couldn’t explain it, so I panted instead, and let him think he was right it was just the hand.
Lisa Carver and Nerve.com, Inc.