"She held me spellbound in the night,
Dancing shadows and firelight..."
~ Witchy Woman, the Eagles
A really great Date Night where RM and I laid on our giant Ottoman together drinking and eating and basking in the glare of the Plasma as we watched Boy Meets Girl on Netflix, has finished with RM asleep beside me in the marital bedroom as usual, but without the usual preceding sexual crescendo, thanks to RM’s hysterical and sustained laughter.
It was laughter a so contagious that I found myself drawn up into my own fits of hilarity and after ten minutes of squealing and moaning and falling on top of each other with cramping abdomens and arched backs and flexed toes we finally fell apart, exhausted, breathing hard between dissipating giggles, whispering things like ‘oh my God’ and ‘that was crazy’ as if we’d actually had the orgasms we were searching for – multiple ones even – and as RM fell into a deep sleep with her usual swiftness, I rolled over on to my back, put in some headphones and listened to the Eagles for a few minutes before putting their classic Witchy Woman on repeat and now I have my hands behind my head and I’m staring at the ceiling; smiling; thinking back on the sexy role-play story-telling RM was leading us into before this faux-orgasm occurred.
‘No, your fantasy tonight,’ I told her, as she began to whisper a sexual fantasy of mine that had seen more reruns than Seinfeld and Sex in the City and The Simpsons all combined. ‘Be selfish. Whatever you want.’
The bedroom ceiling is swirling in purples and blues and my eyes glaze over in the semi-dark and my thoughts manage to carry me away to completely unexpected destinations for a few moments and I’m feeling… well lucky really – because I’ve been following a Facebook group for Dads that has made me realise there are many men in the world suffering through unhappy relationships while I'm feeling as fortunate as ever to have RM lying right beside me.
I made a decision to never offer advice to those men because I have no real insight into their situation and as the Eagles are singing Raven hair and ruby lips/sparks fly from her finger tips the arrogance of my statement flits away in another direction and it occurs to me that I was probably to blame for setting the scene for the uncontrolled sex-stopping hilarity tonight.
Right after RM launched us into her sexual fantasy story by whispering, ‘Well, we’re holding hands…’ I mock-groaned and said, ‘Okay, I’m finished…’ and even though we managed to settle down and refocus after laughing a bit about that, there always seemed to be a giggle just below the surface of every sentence.
‘… and we walk into a gay bar,’ she continued.
‘Oh… a gay bar again?’ I said (aware that she was probably being influenced by Boy Meets Girl at this point, which is a really wonderful 4 stars out of 5 love story between a man and transgender person) before I caught myself in my sexual selfishness and re-aligned myself. ‘I mean… okay. No worries. Keep going. Anything you want. It’s your fantasy. It’s really… um… I really like it.’
Our bodies and arms and legs and fingers and toes were swinging back into rhythm, like pendulums on synchronised grandfather clocks, and the deep vibrating celebratory gonging seemed inevitable as RM walked us through her imagination, putting us in the middle of the gay bar, building a sexual tension with her ferocious skill.
When she said, ‘We’re at the bar and you’re trying to get the bartender’s attention… and a man pulls the waistband of your pants back and checks out your arse…’ I was just about under her control and ready for anything, but when she followed up with, ‘… and then… I tell you… to buy a drink for me, and for him… and for your assistant…’ I was out of the fantasy and back into reality as if I’d been smacked across the head with a wet ferret that had been doused in a bucket of ice water.
‘My what?’ I said, as RM continued, whispering with her eyes closed for another minute before sensing my non-responsiveness and opening her eyes to see me laying there with my head off the pillow, staring at her. ‘What is… I mean…’ I stumbled. ‘Who is… um… why do I have an assistant?’
RM held me in her gaze for little more than a millisecond before the laughter burst from her like lollies burst from a split piñata and everything I said from then on simply made her laugh harder.
‘Is it a man or a woman? What… is he going to help me with… my taxes? Oh, is it a play on ass? ASSistant? I really don’t get it? Where did he come from? How did my assistant just turn up out of nowhere? Is my assistant Channing Tatum? Is that what’s going on here?’
Through all my questions she could only manage to say, ‘Your face!’ several times and ‘You should have seen your face’ and its only now that I can see what she was on about.
When she opened her eyes she would have seen my expression of utter assistant-inspired confusion, as if someone had run into our bedroom and shoved a microphone into my face and screamed, ‘Stop having sex and explain algebra!’
And now I'm back with my sleeplessness under that pulsating ceiling, wooed into melodrama by one of the world’s greatest bands and if I was going to pick a shared experience other than mutual orgasms I’d choose mutual uncontrollable laughter every time, because this particular bout was unexpected and wonderful and up there with our best most bonding laughing sessions ever.
I'm seriously lucky. Somehow I’ve avoided the unfortunate experiences of those other men because RM and I get along so well and rarely disagree and seem to have this unlimited bank of support and love for each other and, yes, there’s luck in that of course but it also feels like there’s something else in it, something hard to pinpoint, something that still seems beyond our control and – in the context of a world that seems on the brink of disaster every time I turn on the TV or open a newspaper or scroll though my Facebook feed – something that seems… mystical.
When RM and I were doing the long distance relationship thing way back in the early 90s I remember sitting up in bed in the middle of the night to watch her sleep because I had this sense that we were running out of time, that I was missing out on her, and it was crazy and amazing and desperate, but then I feel that same way right now, because here we are - still right beside each other - and I’m awake again, thinking about her; amazed that so much has happened but that nothing has changed. This is proof of a kind of magic.
I’m not even sure what the Eagles are trying to say with this song but the ceiling keeps on swirling away from me, man, and I’m still a privileged thought-crazy insomniac and RM’s my Witchy Woman. She continues to stir my pot nice and hot. I’m under her spell, that’s for sure.
Here comes a yawn and that’s a good sign and if I fall asleep with these headphones in and the Eagles crooning me though to breakfast I’ll be happy on repeat and - what a surprise - I’m horny again! But hey, I’ll be even hornier tomorrow night, and so will RM, and we’ll try for actual orgasms again while knowing it might not be up to us anymore, because of this new guy who’s on the scene now.
We’ll have to expect that even a passing smack on the cracker or an attempt at a brief but passionate tongue-kiss might make us smile and snigger and lead us into laughter like a pair of inexperienced stoners because there’s always the possibility that standing right beside us in the gay bar, or eyeing through the magnifying glass during the strip search, or smiling through the sting and crack of that whip in the basement below the mansion is… The Assistant.