At fifty-eight, you might think that sex once or twice a week is a damned good thing and, in truth, in my last marriage I had gone years without any sex. However, when your sex partner is a beautiful, smart and engaging thirty-three year-old, and you have had a strong libido all your life, you might want more. Unless you have regular and meaningful companionship outside the services provided, you are sure to miss her more than you would expect.
That is not to say that I wanted her around all the time. I did not. It would have been nice to have dinners that were neither alone nor at a restaurant on occasion. If I missed one thing from marriage #3, it was the wonderful, elegant dinners that came from our kitchen and the conversation, and the companionship that went with them. I never spoke of it, but as I said, Teach was a smart woman.
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She called my office number.
There was no reason for her to call unless she needed to reschedule our next appointment, which was not for another seventy-two hours. I knew it was she. Her Caller-ID displayed on my office phone. Did I want to take the call? No. For a variety of reasons – none of them good – picking up the phone only meant that I would not be seeing her when I had hoped to see her.
Not wanting to do something is not a good reason to not do it. I picked up the line and answered, Hello, this is Jake.
There was a quiet pause, then, Jake, I know this is out-of-the-blue, but would you be willing to come over for dinner tomorrow night with my daughter and me? You probably have plans and I understand entirely if you won’t be able to, but I just thought that if you didn’t, well, it would be nice… the dinner won’t be anything special, but I’d like you to come. You don’t need to bring anything.
She just stopped; she had simply run out of things to say.
This was not like her.
I also did not know what to say. Ours was a ‘professional’ arrangement. I had never been to her home, had never met her daughter, and had never been out with her in public.
I asked, Your daughter will be there?
My head filled with many more questions. Like, are you sure about this? What is this about? Why? Do you understand the consequences? What will you tell your daughter about us?
What I actually asked was, How long have you been thinking about this?
Her answer told me all I needed to know.
For a couple of weeks.
There are times when you really are not given the opportunity to say, “I’ll get back to you later.” That alone has its own consequences, which might be unwise to set in motion. It is what I wished I could have said. She was offering what, in some ways, I longed for. What I, for so long, since I had met Teach, had even denied to myself. It was what I knew I must not have! There were consequences to this, far beyond a simple inconvenience.
Teach had unilaterally requested we change the nature of our agreement for services to something far more complex. It might just seem like an innocent dinner, but it could not be ‘just.’ I would have to be introduced to the daughter. I would be a guest in her home. I had to have a role established for the daughter that would explain just why I was sitting at her dinner table eating a modest dinner, one not meant for company. Had I been consulted on any of this? No, she had done this unilaterally.
I did not want to lose her. She meant too much to me already. Was that in itself a mistake? If you are paying her for services, are you supposed to have an emotional attachment to her? Was this another proof of my own damage? Who sets up the rights and wrongs in such matters? I was lost. Had I, by creating something so regular, created my own pitfall?
I guess I could have said that I did have something going on, but I have always been really crappy at lying. I have always avoided lies as they seem to always come back to bite me! I had not cheated on my wives because I was so bad at lying. Is that fucked up?
I asked, When should I be there and can I bring anything?
No, I was not to bring anything and I should be at their door no later than 6pm.
The only thing I did not need to ask was, how should I dress? This being cowboy country, if you were wearing jeans and a clean shirt, you were properly dressed for just about all occasions other than funerals. As such, I would be properly dressed.
I presented myself on her doorstep promptly at 6pm. She opened the door wearing a white cotton and lace blouse and a knee-length wool skirt. She had flats on her feet and a kitchen spoon in one hand. The house was clean, not immaculate. The dining room table was set with place mats, everyday plates and glasses. Dinner was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans and salad. It was indeed a good but ‘nothing special’ meal.
I was introduced to her daughter as ‘an old friend’ who was now single and might be coming over for dinner on occasion. The daughter took a couple of long looks at me and said, How old are you? Clearly I was far too old to be boyfriend material for her mother.
Fifty-eight I answered with a broad smile. How old are you? I queried back – already knowing the answer.
Nine and I am in Third Grade. Will you be coming over a lot? Do you like my mother?
Now I am not a pedophile to the extent that I do not go looking for children and I don’t fantasize about children, but I would be a liar to say that there aren’t some young girls who exude a sexual message long before they are supposed to be doing so. Maybe it is because our media teaches them how to do this at a very early age. However, blaming the media does not get me off the hook. This young one was having an effect on my emotional state. While her mother had not even changed out of her school attire before I arrived at their house, the daughter had. No jeans, or Nike’s, or T-shirts. She was wearing a dress and little girl pumps like she might wear for a Third Grade music concert or a church “do.” The dress was too short (last years?) and she was not wearing socks (and of course there was no hose). The dress was too open on the top. Was it designed to wear with a blouse? (She was not wearing one). She was wearing a very faint pink lipstick, but that was just the trappings.
The real issue was the eye contact. It was intense. No little girl giggles or shyness here. She squared her body up towards me when she spoke. She spoke clearly without stumbles or affectation. She was engaging me as an individual, not as a role or placeholder. This Little Miss was deep trouble for anyone who was going to slide his boots under her mother’s bed in her house. Teach said not a word.
I don’t know how often I will be here. Yes, I do really like your mother. I answered truthfully. It is simply easier.
As soon as dinner was over Little Miss was sent upstairs to her room to shower and get ready for bed. Her mother read out what must have been the normal rules. She could read for forty-five minutes once she was in her PJ’s. Off LM went for the evening.
The dinner dishes were stacked up and I offered to help wash and dry them. Once they were taken care of and put away I told Teach that we needed to talk. A couple of sighs followed and then a nod of the head. We sat in the living room. I looked her in the eyes, held her hand and said quite slowly and with genuine concern asked, What are you doing and why are you doing it?
Having participated, I was entitled to know. Before, it might have been offensive to ask, but not now.
Oh Jake, I’m so sorry. If I have screwed things up for us all I can say is that I didn’t mean to. It’s just that my daughter needs some male figure in her life. Her father never visits. She has been acting out, as no doubt you saw tonight with her choice in what she wore. If I argue, things just get worse. I was hoping that your presence would help. You are so stable and grounded in reality.
She paused and looked right into my eyes. And… you are lonely too. I can see it when we are together.
She paused again, looked down at her feet, took a deep breath. What came next was, for me, wholly unexpected.
In one way I don’t want to change the nature of what we are doing between us, but I wish to make it look like we are dating and here’s is where the change comes, I want you around here for some dinners each week and to spend time with us here. It will fill in a need you have and it will allow me to provide my daughter with a truly decent and stable male figure.
There was a long pause before she continued. You’re less of a ‘trick’ or a ‘John’ and more of a ‘steady thing’. I have come to think of you as a steady presence in my life. I know you don’t want marriage and I would never have considered you as a marriage candidate. But, with the time we have spent together I don’t see you as an old man. I am not asking you for marriage, but I need you to engage me outside your bedroom. I’m not asking for more money. I’ll take less if you want, but I know you miss the sense of closeness you’d get even from a troubled marriage.…
All the time she was talking, she was looking down, then up at my eyes and then down at her feet. She was trembling, hoping that I would not just walk away from her.
I did get up and paced a bit. When I sat down, I shifted my frame so that we might be looking at each other.
Look at me, I said. No, not at my knees; look me in the eyes. She took a few seconds but did. Now keep your eyes on my eyes while I speak. I paused before going on, gathering my thoughts. I didn't want to make a bad situation worse. What you did today was done with a good and honest heart. What you did however was wrong. It forever changed our relationship without consulting me before those actions. I understand that you did it because of your love for your daughter. The bit about me is true but it is also a rationalization and after the fact, even then. I need to be able to trust your judgment. Do you understand?
She nodded her assent but said nothing.
I continued, Look I can do this for you, but there are limits. I can see us sliding ever closer to a relationship that would be untenable for me. I must have some sense of control to the extent that we go so far and no farther. For your daughter to buy into the concept of normalcy, she will need to see me with you more often, not just occasionally. She will need to see me take you out and on occasion with her along for the ride so to speak. It is going to approach everything just short of marriage; and at some point in our life as we live it, it may not seem like too far a leap to a marriage. But, it is too far a leap. I paused again. Teach waited. I know that you say you won’t take us there. OK I believe you, but what if I take us there? I am evidently capable of making very poor decisions when it comes to getting married. So in some ways it seems like an impossible situation to me. I can’t allow myself to be in a ‘relationship’ that can lead to marriage again.
Once again I was pausing. My mind was racing.
I had, for years, on occasion read some sex fantasy stories posted on internet newsgroups. If you think you’re damaged goods I guess you retreat to such props to provide the stimulation you don’t get in real life. Stories featuring hypnosis had fascinated me. Some of the stories left me cold, but some were wonderful. Some were pure fantasy, but some had more than a kernel of truth to them. It got me thinking about playing around with hypnosis. However, I knew nothing about it. I wondered if I could set up a subliminal fear, of marrying me, in Teach. Could I set it up so that so long as we were not going to get married, all was well at the same time?
If I could, then even if I asked for marriage later, she would reject it. Additionally, I would be aware that the block was there and might not push the issue. It was probably the dumbest idea I ever had, but I was grasping at straws. I could see the cliff. I could see me falling over it. But, I didn’t want to lose Teach.
I had been pacing. I sat down again and went on.
Maybe there is a way around it. I know this sounds crazy. It probably is, but currently I can’t think of another way to approach the problem. I have only read about it, but I really need to hypnotize you. Are you willing to allow me to try?
She looked at me and said nothing for a few minutes. Finally she took my hand and said, you will do these things for me and my daughter if I agree to this?
Yes, so long as I am successful with the hypnosis. I answered clearly and quietly. Her only answer was, OK.
I’m not going to do it here. The next time you come to my place, rather than go into the Master Suite, come get me and we will sit in the living room and I will put you under – if I can. OK?
She nodded her assent.
One more thing, I will continue to contribute what I have been providing every month. Unless it is not enough for you to continue, please do not bring it up again.
I left her house (having borrowed a metronome from atop her piano) and headed home. I had a lot of work to do. I had read about hypnosis. I had seen the trance inductions explained online. I would work on it for the next 48 hours. That’s about the time I had before I was with her again. I would probably fail, but I wanted to try.
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