It was the first time. No, not the first time. She wants to be accurate. It was the first time after they knew they were going to have an affair instead of just an encounter. Long afterward, it remains in place for her, not as narrative, not as full sentences. No, it remains as images and fragments of scenes and isolated words. Was it worth it? It cost her so much.
At least there are memories. She still has them. Such as? Such as how she told her husband she was ill and would stay home. Not badly ill, no dear, just a little indisposed and headachy. You know. No, I don't need to see the doctor. I'll call you later.
She remembers light. The sun rising to an almost cloudless sky, shining pink light, then white, on the house, light that flitted into the light interior and reflected off furniture and glass knick-knacks, that filtered into her shower while she prepared herself for her lover.
There's an image, as if she's looking over her shoulder as she washes her body, washes her vagina especially carefully, then dries herself in front of the mirror with a massive ivory-colored towel. She inspected herself. She shook her head during this. I always shake my head when I look at myself, don't I? Why do they like how I look?
She'd opened a bottle of cologne and rubbed cologne onto her vaginal lips, rubbed it thoroughly, even made herself wet. Wait! She'd made herself stop, taken a breath, and finally gone on to her nipples and underarms and behind her ears. Brightness. Yes, the sun in the window behind her was so bright she'd had to lower the blinds to view herself.
8:00 a.m. Time to open the garage door so he could drive right in. She actually doesn't remember opening the door. How had he gotten this time free? She never knew, never asked him, and it didn't really matter, did it?
She remembers flitting about the house in only her light, silk robe, the red, patterned one that shows her pubic hair if she leaves it untied, but covers her nipples. She still has that robe.
Does she remember hearing the car in the garage? Or running down the stairs so that the robe opened entirely in her breeze, her pale, dancer's body contrasting with the robe as she opened the door to the garage and called out: "Darling!"
The garage door was still open. What if someone had been walking a dog?
She sometimes wonders what he remembers, if he plays back the sight of her in the doorway, her body, the robe masking so little, the sound of her "darling." Does he miss her? Then: going together up the stairs, kissing and feeling her, lifting her and carrying her to the bed. Sucking on each others' tongues, pulling down his pants, playing with his penis.
She especially remembers playing with his penis. It was so different from her husband's, the only other one she'd known well. He would lie quietly and watch, while she caressed it, tickling his balls and his shaft, loving the way it contracted and moved under her hands. She would take the head in her mouth and lick around the ridge and suck, while her hands played. She wanted to taste him and keep his taste with her for afterwards. She'd sit back on her ankles and play with his balls and inner thighs, tickling both so that he had to work not to squirm. There was no hurry. His eyes were mostly closed by now and she recalls his sharp breaths. She had lovely views of him pulling his head back, the muscles and tendons of his neck standing out against the skin. She misses that. It seems to be the worst thing, missing that. It comes up out of the blue.
It was in this large, white, upstairs bedroom, the one she still lives in, made for something like worship. Three windows went from the floor almost to the ceiling, with half-moon tops, so light flooded in. She'd always made love in a twilight world, but he wanted every part of her illuminated. The blinds were completely open and someone could have spied on them, had someone been at home and been standing behind just the right window. They could occasionally even have been seen from the street. The spy would have seen the two wrestle among twisted bedclothes, kneel over each other, pleasure each other. Maybe she'd rummage to find binoculars, the ones her family used for bird-watching, and spend the morning trying to see more, watching them while she pleasured herself, making herself exquisitely horny, planning how she would seduce her husband when he got home. From those windows the couple could see the trees and houses and the sky, the sun dropping light like fairy dust across the landscape.
There's a long part that only she could remember because he never knew at all. Five minutes after he left. Maybe only three. In any event before she'd had time to bathe. How she heard the car reenter the garage and knew instantly that he couldn't leave her, how she'd grabbed her robe and flown down the stairs, so smitten with this impetuous man who couldn't leave her alone, running to the door to the garage, throwing it open, crying "Darling, you're back!"
There was her husband's car, her husband half out of the car, his eyes showing disbelief at her.
"What... what are you doing? And why is the garage door open?"
The first time to be nearly caught by a spouse. Ah, she remembers that! It's her sharpest memory, so strong it still makes her stomach drop.