Sunday morning Marvin woke me up by touching me.

Of all the things that came to mind I thought of the fact that I had never seen Marvin lie on his side, which he was doing now. I had already given this far too much thought:

What if he’s like the Elephant Man? What if he can only lay on his back otherwise he’ll die?

When I noticed that Hank’s hair was brown and not blonde it made me take inventory. Here were the things I’d previously noticed about Marvin without knowing him very well:

He always lay on his back; he leaned slightly to the side when he walked; he waved his hands around like a conductor when he talked; his teeth were perfect looking; he had stripey hands; he made no sound when he climaxed (disconcerting! Had he been in prison? I didn’t like to ask.); he was impatient by nature and he was the biggest dandy I’d ever met and that’s including my ex husband who really stole the show in that category.

The day before I’d had another brilliant stoop chat with A. We talked about dating and sex and connection and loneliness. A was both a barometer and a springboard. Plus he was honest with himself. He was brave enough to do that, not bend and twist and change shape to attain intimacy in the hope that he could be loved. He rarely had sex with his dates, it had to be authentic for him. Also, there had to be a possibility for longevity; a scope which fueled deepening understanding, becoming better and more real. I both admired him and was afraid for him.

Marvin and I had sex and it was great. He bit my ear when he came and he made a sound! I was ecstatic.

Now that I’d magically seen him on his side I wanted to know more. I asked him similar questions to the ones I had asked A except Marvin is dissimilar to A so there were differing points of inquiry. Marvin spoke of previously being another way; having a girlfriend, breaking up and then becoming “enlightened.” His whole philosophy and I don’t use that term lightly, surrounded ideas of ownership, biological evolution and the “I’m ok, You’re ok” approach. This led me to question my previous assumptions. Marvin had pushed me just like the rest of them. First, he wanted to have sex in my bed which, is not normally the go with me; he wanted me to come to his work, then he wanted to stay the night all of which over a period of 6 or seven months or so he had accomplished. I asked him about those things because I found them very threatening or at the least counter to his stated beliefs. He told me that those demands were to simplify things and make life, ergonomics and timing even, more convenient.

I measured myself against those two and even Hank who P had made me swear off for life. There were a few things I knew for certain: I consider my life to be under the liberty and or constraints of autonomous design with me at the helm. This means when I made the decisions I did in my mid to late teens and early 20’s I was still making them for myself no matter how appropriately immature or misguided. When I stayed with the same man for 14 years I did so because I wanted to and believed in something outside of my immediate wants and needs. I’m not ashamed of it, I wouldn’t make different decisions, my “philosophy” if I had one has not changed. I do what I feel I need to at the right time for reasons that are considered. My recent lifestyle fits into the same category. Also, I am sensually driven and willing to take risks. The awkward way someone holds their coffee cup is as charming to me as the smell of someone’s neck or a great conversation, it’s all sensual. I love sex too. All women yearn to be fucked well and I really am that base. The risk part is obvious. Lastly, my life is complex and by that I mean there are a lot of balls in the air. When Marvin wondered if I wouldn’t get lost finding my way home he was absolutely right. I compartmentalize as Hank said and this is the “other” category, the loosey goosey do as I please compartment that has nothing to do with my family, friends, career or sometimes brain. It’s one that makes me feel good and often, I really can’t afford nor do I want the emotional ties that seem to come with it. I don’t feel bad about it. It just is.

I didn’t hold the same views as any of them but at some stage or another in my life I did, even Hanks. If H was right and a PhD thesis was in order I was certainly collecting enough raw data. Could it be that I am the first one to tie the knot in the stem? I doubted it. I also doubted being the first to do anything really meant anything in adult life. It certainly is fun being in the running though.