I love two men. I screw two men. I am in a relationship with them both, and they are both aware there is another. That is all they need to know, that is all I let them know. They don’t need to know a name; they don’t need to know anything but that they are not alone in my heart.
They have accepted the situation. Stewart, because his life is too busy for the sort of obligations that are required in a relationship. Paul, because he loves me too much to tell me no. And because my sexual appetite is such that one man has trouble keeping up.
So we exist, two parallel relationships, each running their own course, with no need for intersection or conflict. It works for us, for them, and for me. I don’t expect it to be a long-term situation. I know there is an expiration date on the easy perfection of our lives.
I should have paid more attention, should have looked around and noticed the woman who watched it all. She sat in the background and waited, tried to figure me out. Saw my two relationships, the love between us, and the moment that it all fell apart.
She hates me.
I don’t even know she exists.
She loves them. I love them.
And they love me.
EVERYTHING else hangs in the balance.
I grew up a charmed child of La Jolla. Nannies wiped my dirty ass, Christmas was spent in Aspen, and school uniforms shared closet space with miniature lines of Dior and Versace. I lived a privileged line between surfer chick and spoiled brat, sandy cheeks and wet bikinis chafing the leather seats of my ice blue BMW convertible. I smoked weed with friends in million dollar mansions with ocean views while our parents cruised the Black Sea. I fucked preppy boys who wore Lacoste and Rolexes and played lacrosse. I was in a bubble of ridiculousness, and grew up thinking that life never said no, credit cards were never declined, and happiness was a given.
Then my father, a hedge fund manager with a minor addiction to cocaine, drove off the manicured edge of a Malibu cliff, to the polished astonishment of a restaurant full of Orange County’s upper society. The fact that his mistress, a surgically enhanced blonde three years older than me, was in the front seat, was hid from no one, and embraced by many of my mom’s arch enemies. They both died, drowned or killed by the cliffs. I didn’t ask for particulars and none were offered up.
Perfection, in that moment, became flawed and fragile. I never took anything for granted again.
Our money lasted another ten months, ‘til the fat mortgage, civil lawsuits and attorneys took it all. I spent my senior year in the public high school, my BMW repossessed, my school uniforms left in the closet of a home that the bank quickly seized. I was unceremoniously dumped into normality, courtesy of a mother fighting her own depression. If I had still had a cell phone at that moment in time, I can assure you that my lifelong ‘friends’ would not have answered my call.
Looking back, I see the turning point that occurred at that moment in time. I miss my father, despite his shortcomings and mistakes. I loved him, I have pieces of him throughout my personality. But the person that I was becoming? The type of individual that easy wealth and never-told-no parenting breeds? I was a bitch. A self-assured, my-way-or-the-highway, bitch. I didn’t appreciate what I had and demanded more at every turn. I am grateful that I got kicked in the ass. That I had a taste of reality before I traveled too far and that persona became permanent.
That happened to my mother. She was raised in those twenty-thousand square foot mansions, she was given everything she ever wanted, right up until the moment that it all disappeared. She drowned herself in top-shelf martinis we couldn’t afford, refusing to cook, clean, or pay bills – her breeding too great for such blue-collar work. I became the adult, she became the child, and we sank further and further in life until I moved out and she found a man. Now she is the wife and full-time dependent of Maurice Fulton, an old man who she can’t possibly love, one who keeps her groomed and outfitted in his big house and keeps her glass filled. I speak to her occasionally, when I get the sadistic urge to see what an society-bred alcoholic sounds like.
Family is one thing I have in common with my men. We are all loners, floating through life unattached, except to each other. We don’t talk about our pasts, our lack of familial ties. There is no point in dwelling on the darkness. Not when our new life is full of such life.