Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A glimpse of intimacy

Driving across 2222, by the HEB's red light, I see a threesome waiting for the bus. A round hispanic mom, her maybe 7 year old daughter, and a skinny guy. The kid punches the guy's middle, then hugs him, the mom does the same. I realize it's affectionate foreplay. I guess. I mean it looks like affectionate foreplay but the concept is so foreign to me I'm not sure. I guess I've seen it in movies and tv - that kind of punching and hitting as a kind of tease. In my own life, I can't imagine the instinct. Is it a class thing? Ethnic? Clearly one of the many varieties of human interplay.

In our own life, I'm surprised as well by a new little ritual. As I've written repeatedly, I stay up late. I've always stayed up late. John used to stay up with me, but now as he rises earlier and earlier, he doesn't. (And don't worry about our private life - there are still plenty of other hours of the day. I don't subscribe to that busy-married-with-children-give-up-your-sex-life cliche. In fact I was emailing with a writer/director about it recently, commenting on her recent script where I was happy to see at least one married couple still coupling but the others too glibly giving in to the lull, and not even lamenting. She was a bit defensive -

Re: sex. I think when you have two parents working demanding f/t jobs w/ two kids and you live in NYC it is actually very hard to navigate a sustained sex life. Or at least that's what I see and hear for the most part, and what I know from my own experience. But I commend you for keeping it going, throughout everything. That's a big deal, and rare, believe it!

She was, I'm happy to report, inspired to re-double her efforts after our back and forth. In fact she said,
Talking about it w/ you inspired me to focus more on making it a priority though... (and we just celebrated our 11 year wedding anniversary). Too easy to sweep it aside and yes, it is dangerous to the relationship. Choosing to keep one's life more porous and less driven in order to keep sex a priority in a marriage is kind of a fascinating subject... Maybe you should write about that!

But that's not what I meant to write about here.

Until recently, I would climb into bed trying not to disturb the sleeping guy. But then one day he surprised me with a request for a goodnight hug -- at whatever hour it was that I made it in. I was surprised but ok, why not, 25 years in, sure. A tiny thing. And surprised even more so by the response. Because every night, there is a distinct response. From deep in sleep it registers. Not pro forma but specific. And every night a bit different. A real connect. And of course I'm surprised by the sweetness it creates in me, when it had never even occurred to me in the first place.

No comments: