Me, Chloe Knaggs,
Currently with Megan
(And ‘with’ I mean sitting and eating with
Not ‘with’ as in sexually.)
Megan and I were at our favorite restaurant, Bud and Julie’s Bistro aka the BJ Joint (although no one really called it that), having our morning staples: veggie hash for Megan, and bacon, eggs and toast for me. This had become our tradition. After a night out of a few too many cocktails, we’d recover in the morning together, nurse our hangovers, and analyze everything about our lives to death. And since we’d become like religious zealots hanging out there, we sometimes pitched in during the busy times to help out and make extra cash. Much needed extra cash. I’d wait tables, mixing up orders terribly, and Megan would help at the bar or in the kitchen where heavenly scents wafted from, making you pray to Jesus for a little lunch. It was a good arrangement, for all of us.
Bud and Julie’s was the perfect spot, just down the block from my apartment in Heritage Hill and with food so good you’d swear the toe-curling was because of an orgasm and not just a really good scone. Speaking of which, I took a bite of an amazing cinnamon currant scone, curled my toes and said: “I’m going to give up sex.”
Megan choked on her coffee. “Give it up! For what?”
“I don’t know. I’m giving it up for Lent Lent.”
“Lent is in April, Chloe.” “So?” “It’s May.”
“Well, I can still give it up for Lent if I want to.” I was mumbling a bit, depressed by the teeny tiny scone crumbs on my plate. Maybe I could order another one. Surely one more wouldn’t do much damage. “I’m giving up sex for my very own personal Lent. Lent for the terminally late. I can do this because I’m not Catholic. I’m hardly even Christian. If they were handing out pins, like ‘I’m a Christian’ pins, I’d seriously have to think about putting one on. No, I’m just going to give it up.” I took a sip of my coffee and waited for Megan to think it over. When you talk to Megan, you get a lot of awkward pauses as she cogitates. I think that comes from her job in a bankruptcy law firm. She says she has to be awfully careful that she says the right thing or she can seriously send someone into counseling. “You’re going to give up sex for what?” She said at last, and the added: “Forever?”
“No. Not forever.” That sounded like a major commitment, forever. I didn’t think I was ready for anything so serious. FOREVER. “Geez. Not forever. I mean, God, I hope not. No. I’m just going to give it up for…” I paused here. I hadn’t really thought about putting a number on it. “A year.” “A year? An entire year?” Megan said loudly. Then she looked around to see if anyone was paying attention to us. No one was. They were too busy stuffing their faces and having mini-food-orgasms. “Do you know what that means?”
“It means 365 days of no sex.”
“No. No!” Megan pushed her plate away from her in disgust. It wasn’t the food she was disgusted with, she’d actually licked her plate clean, it was the idea of a life of no sex. “It means spending Christmas, New Years, and Valentine’s Day alone or sober, or possibly both.” I hadn’t considered that. Nothing was worse than a holiday by yourself, sexless, watching Comedy Central and laughing out loud. I’ve been there. It’s a sad sad sad world. “Well, you haven’t had sex since you broke up with Eri…” Megan sent eye daggers across the table to me. I wasn’t supposed to say his name. Eric. A perfectly nice name, but a name that could make Megan curl up like a frozen shrimp. “You haven’t had sex in over a year and you’re doing just fine,” I said. Megan harrumphed, and gave me a gesture that somehow said, “You really believe I’m fine?” I continued. “You know, I could have a boyfriend. I wouldn’t have to be alone. I’m not opposed to a boyfriend. I could have a boyfriend and just not have sex with him.”
“You already have a boyfriend that you don’t have sex with. Matt. And how long have you been in love with him?”
I didn’t answer that one.
“No,” Megan said gently. “I think you’re doing the opposite of what you should do. For you, I do not recommend a sexless year. For you, I recommend...tossing Matt over, finding someone new, and having sex every single day for a year until Matt is out of your heart.”
“Oh. It’s that easy, huh? I should just toss the love of my life, my destiny over, and date some hapless guy. I should just date and fall in love with…” I looked around the restaurant and pointed at the guy by the window. “Him.” He was reading a book and bobbing his head to his iPod. At least I hoped it was his iPod and that he didn’t have something wrong with him.
“You’d date him and not have sex with him for an entire year?”
“Why not?” I asked. “I’m tired of sex. Sure it was fun for a while, but now it’s all in and out in and out and the whole thing is boring. Plus, I think I’m a little messed up with it emotionally. Maybe I just need some time to figure myself out without letting my hormones whack up my thinking.”
“Oh, I get it,” Megan said nodding. “You want to give up sex for a year because Matt isn’t head over heels for you yet. I mean he’s never even kissed you and you’ve been seeing each other for over a year” “Almost two.”
“A year and a half. You’re way past the third date mark with him, slipped into Sorryville. So now, a year and a half later…”
“It’s closer to two!”
“Whatever. You say you’re officially giving up sex, then there’s no more pressure for Matt to have sex with you and you can keep going out and fantasizing about him and you don’t have to be depressed anymore that you’re not sleeping with him because now it’s your choice, and not his.” She reached across the table, took a piece of scone from the center plate, the scone that I had mentally claimed as rightfully mine, and then popped my scone into her mouth! The demon. I was so breathless over what she’d just said I didn’t even move.
“I did not want to play Therapist with you,” I managed. Her insight hit just a little to close to Reality, and I was not into discussing Reality in the morning. Over breakfast. With a hangover.
“I wasn’t playing Therapist,” Megan said and then reached for the other piece of MY scone. I grabbed it before she could get to it and smiled smugly. She looked at me and blinked. “I’m not playing with you. I was telling you the truth,” she continued. “We only play Therapist when your mom is with us.”
“Well, anyway, you can just stop. And by stop I mean shut up,” I said softly, my heart beating so hard in my chest I thought it was going to erupt Alien-style. “That’s not it at all. I’m not going to have sex for a year not because of Matt. I don’t care that he doesn’t seem to notice me even though I’ve been in love with him forever. I don’t care that we’re not sleeping together because our relationship is better than that, stronger. I’m not giving up sex because I haven’t dated anyone besides Matt in forever and I’m thirty-two and I hate him and I can’t seem to get a date and I’m a complete and utter loser and my boobs are starting to droop. No. I’m not going to have sex for a year because this is about empowerment, Megan, this is about choice. This is about sticking it to the Man, without the, uhm, Sticking, the It, or The Man.” I angrily shoved the rest of the scone in my mouth in a So There type of way. And then I choked a little bit. It was a really big piece. Like, really enormous.
Megan took one look at me, reached in her purse, and handed me a tissue for the tears that were threatening to fall if I couldn’t get it together. I swallowed the scone without tasting it, and used the tissue.
Who was I kidding?
My decision to go without sex was all about Matt. It’s always been about Matt.