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New York’s Sex Diaries series asks anonymous city dwellers to record a week in their sex lives — with comic, tragic, often sexy, and always revealing results. This week, a middle-aged mom with a passionless marriage, stagnant career, and an active imagination: 39, straight, parochial school nurse, San Francisco.
3:45 a.m. I’m lying awake, as usual. I can hear the beep, beep, beep of the garbage truck as it backs down my idyllic, redwood-canopied lane. I’ve seen him before, after hearing his truck in the early hours of the morning and jumping from bed to take out the forgotten trash. He smiled at me and waved. I’m imagining him now, without his clothes on: He is smooth and refined, with large hands. I slip my fingers inside my panties and begin to massage myself. Then my husband flips over, grunting beside me. The disturbance yanks me out of my fantasy. He farts. Buzzkill. I hate him.
4:30 a.m. Still trying to get back to sleep. I’ve opened my white-noise app to Raindrops, as this usually helps. “Usually” meaning “hardly ever.” It doesn’t sound like raindrops; rather, more like frying bacon.
5:45 a.m. My alarm is going off. I throw the covers off, motivated only by knowing that the next 45 minutes will be the only time I have to myself for 16 hours. I use the light of my phone to guide me to the bathroom.
5:50 a.m. I’m rinsing my nether area and realize I’m pissed that I didn’t finish up with the garbage guy earlier. I squint one eye open and consider for a moment the convenient shape of my shampoo bottle. I laugh at myself.
2:15 p.m. I’m a nurse at an elementary school, and today’s been a boring one, no broken bones, not even a scraped knee. I’m in a post-lunch afternoon slump, and browsing the web; romantic, looking at international Airbnb stays that I’ll probably never experience in person.
2:30 p.m. A recurring fantasy: The Principal is knocking at the Nurse’s Office door. Noah. He oozes masculinity and sex, and he knows it. He also knows I have a crush on him. Most of us do, and he’s so good with the kids … He says he wants to discuss Timmy, but that we need more privacy as it’s a sensitive issue and cannot be interrupted. He suggests his office. I ask if he wants to discuss Little Timmy Smith, or Big Timmy Johnson. He replies, “Big Timmy.”
2:35 p.m. Still in my fantasy, with my skirt up around my waist, my bottom balancing on the edge of Noah’s desk. His cock is enormous and he’s banging me, hard and fast. He’s propping himself up with one hand on the desk, and with the other he’s attempting to mute my moans by covering my mouth. His rhythm speeds, and as we both come, we bite our lips to remain quiet.
2:40 p.m. I go to the bathroom and on the way pass Principal Noah. He says, “Good afternoon!” The best I can do is look at the floor and murmur “Hi, Noah.” My face feels hot.
9:45 p.m. Sliding into bed after what seems like an endless day. They all seem that way. My husband never comes to bed when I do. He always has “some important stuff to do” in his home office, which takes him long into the night(s).
I open my white-noise app to Raindrops and try to fall to sleep.
3:45 a.m. I’m lying awake, as usual. Instead of getting off silently, like I typically might at this hour, I find myself thinking about my tweenaged son, and wondering what his life is going to be like. I think about his future girlfriends and the mothers I’ll want to strangle when their daughters break his heart.
He’s curious about sex. He’s only 12, but he tells me in confidence he wants “a girlfriend, I guess.” His father is lazy and doesn’t bond. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of the birds-and-bees story. I’m very realistic, no cartoon stuff. I always knock and pause before entering.
10:15 a.m. Oh. My. God. Please just let me make it through this week … this day! I’m previewing the upcoming weekend. I’m usually playing chauffeur, team mom, babysitter … I like to check out my son’s coaches, the refs, dads, and the occasional mom. I’ve never been with a woman, but would like to experience it. Not permanently or anything.
Oh, someone’s here! With a broken finger! Yessss …
12:30 p.m. I’m having lunch at my desk while browsing Lonely Planet Destinations. There’s a place in the Dordogne region of France I’d like to visit … or live. I look at a photo taken from inside a great library room filled with rich, Persian colors, iron and leather, and dark, heavily worn woods. I think of whoever took these photographs. I make him rugged and unattached and mysterious, and I make him work for National Geo.
I have to shake my head to keep from falling to sleep. Afternoon coffee time.
10 p.m. Falling to sleep with my earbuds in while watching reality crime documentaries.
3:45 a.m. Weekend! I fantasize about Principal Noah while fingering myself and alternatively pinching my nipples. I bite my pillow, realizing I’m squirming too much. I stiffen my hips and begin to climax. I let out a squeak that rouses my husband — shit! I lie still, like a dead cockroach. The moment passes.
8:30 a.m. It’s a triple-game day. I’m good friends with one of the other moms, Carly, and we pretty much stick together on days like this. She’s a bit more conservative than I am, but she’s also happy in her marriage and gets it on regularly. She and her husband leave the kids with her parents fairly often while they slip away to Vegas trips, about which she never divulges the details. They probably visit the Bunny Ranch and have threesomes … or foursomes. She always returns rejuvenated.
I have to pack for the day: snacks, lunch, snacks, change(s) of clothes, more snacks. This is not Vegas.
3:10 p.m. A married dad just slipped me his number on a small piece of paper. Carly says I should call him. He has perfect teeth, and his kid is cool. On the way to the car with my son, I look at the paper intensely (555-6 something) and then crumple it and toss it into a trash can.
7 p.m. I had a fun day with Carly and the boys. She spent most of the afternoon half-jokingly trying to convince me to begin a sexting relationship with the dad guy. We laughed a lot, but part of me thinks she was serious. I haven’t been laid in a few years and I’ve been thinking about cheating, like in the real world.
11:15 p.m. My husband still hasn’t come to bed. Sometimes I wonder if he’s gay, though I don’t think he’s having an affair. Aside from occasional vanilla straight-porn in his computer history (yes, I snoop), everything checks out as far as I can tell.
I open my white-noise app to Raindrops.
3:45 a.m. He’s snoring. He’s loud and gross. He smells bad. I hate him. I do. We’ve been married for nearly 20 years. I constantly think about moving into one of our rental properties, but I don’t for various, legitimate reasons. That, and I’m good at faking it. Faking that things are good. We’re a darling couple, on the outside. And parents.
4:05 a.m. The room is quiet now, and my mind wanders to a friend of mine, a man I used to work with long before I was a nurse. I haven’t seen him in 15 years. He lives in Chicago. He doesn’t know I think of him … He’s perfect, really. Intelligent, philosophically deep. Hyper-Ivy League educated, and there’s really nothing more attractive to me than genius. In a romantic fantasy, I can see us together. He’s married. And he’s a Buddhist, so, he’s driven by karma; he’d never be interested. His name is … Lance.
4:50 a.m. I couldn’t get back to sleep so I’m in the tub. I have a luxuriously huge clawfoot bath that knows me intimately.
4:55 a.m. My eyes are gently closed and I’m very relaxed. Like Buddha and Lance …
… my husband knocks.“It’s my gym day!” he says. “I need to take a dump before I leave; unlock the door… pleeeease.”
7:15 a.m. Coffee. Check. Two loads of laundry. Check. Stalk Lance’s overachieving and extremely successful wife on Google. She’s beautiful and makes me feel bad about myself. Check. Dog walked. Check.
Laundry and groceries. Sunday Funday.
3 p.m. Thinking about Lance.
7:40 p.m. Thinking about Lance. What the hell?
10:30 p.m. Lance.
3:45 a.m. Ugh, Monday. What should I wear today? I have meetings with Noah, and I want to look … desirable. Do I go for demure? Cute? Conservatively sexy? Questionably slutty?
4:10 a.m. Raindrops. So tired of the raindrops.
4:15 a.m. I consider getting myself off, but my sleeping husband’s hand is on my stomach. Yich. I wonder how, after two decades of being together, it’s possible to feel so separate, so incomplete, so alone.
It wasn’t always quite like this. I used to go down on him every time we had sex, but he never returned the favor, ever — like three times in 20 years. And every time, before I could come, he’d quickly flip me over and take me from behind. Every time. From behind. Strangely, I feel a bit sad for him because two or three things are going on: Either he’s stuck in a deep, dark closet of homosexual shame, or his Baptist roots won’t allow him to explore what he was taught is “perverted” or “naughty,” which takes us back to shame, I suppose. Or: He’s so miserable with me that he’s flat-out screwing someone else. Regardless, I’m cringing that it has been years now since I’ve been laid.
I don’t need things to be totally different. I’d settle for a few minutes of just being touched. My hair stroked, my hand held … some intimacy. Of course we’ve discussed it. He has a nifty talent of putting it back on me. Gaslighting ass.
7:30 a.m. Wearing nude slipper flats. Not sexy. Red lipstick to balance.
3:30 p.m. It’s been a typical Monday as a school nurse. I haven’t found Principal Noah attractive today, surprisingly. I feel like I have cankles when I wear these slipper-flats. Surely a direct correlation.
7:15 p.m. My husband has to attend some sort of meeting in town. He’ll be back “in about an hour.” He said to go ahead with dinner.
10 p.m. He still isn’t home. I’m giving myself a pedi and then going to bed.
3:45 a.m. I’m thinking of reinventing myself. Becoming an expert in something romantic, like archaeological academia. Or something cool and new, such as robotics or artificial intelligence. My son won’t be at home forever, and I don’t want to be stuck here. Am I having a midlife crisis?
5:45 a.m. Alarm. No! I must have fallen to sleep while masturbating. Pathetic. My hand is still in my panties, though I have no memory of putting it there, and I’m wet. I dramatically throw the covers off of my legs.
7:50 a.m. Driving to work, thinking about my new life plan and how I’m getting together with friends after work. Thank God for my friend Megan. I don’t particularly like her, but she does a great job of getting the girlfriends together every couple of months. We drink and husband-bash. I’ll drink too much and tell them about my new life plan with robots. They’ll be super supportive, and then bitch-text behind my back. Same old.
2:15 p.m. Started my period, unexpectedly. Yay.
7:20 p.m. One of the group has brought a guest who’s visiting from out of town. We’re all drinking and having fun, but the fifth wheel keeps weaving the word pussy into conversation in the most unusual ways. We’re all sort of uncomfortable. Well, not really me, but I’m going along with the group mood. I actually love that she keeps saying pussy. Pussy! She reveals she’s a therapist, and then I understand her intent is blatant. I wonder if she’s into chicks?
10:15 p.m. I just walked in the door. My son is still up, watching television. My husband is in his office with the door closed. My son tells me he’s had chips, sour cream, and a fig bar for dinner. I get him to bed, don’t confront my husband, and head to bed myself. Furious. I have cramps.
3:45 a.m. Fuck this. Please, I just need to sleep!
4:30 a.m. I am so not going to work today. I turn off my alarm app.
8:15 a.m. I’m home alone, and in the tub. I’m thinking about Lance. Nothing comes of it.
4:30 p.m. My husband has been away all day, which I’ve spent bingeing television and sculpting tiny things with FIMO, mostly heads the size of ping-pong balls. My husband texted to tell me he has three “offsite strategy meeting” days, beginning tomorrow, which means he’ll also be gone Saturday. He’ll be staying at an upscale lodge with his clients and their staff. I wonder if he’s fucking his client’s assistant. Or maybe his client. As usual, I have no choice or say in the matter. The first thing that comes to mind is that dad’s phone number … I wonder if I should ask him to give it to me again.
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