Sunday 28th February 2010
Gestation: 22 weeks, 2 days
One year ago.
We roll in towards each other, hugging close.
“Morning, honey,” Suse says.
“Morning, love,” I reply.
We begin to kiss, Sunday morning’s laziness rolling into an amorous embrace. Suse pulls back.
“Do you want to?”
“Did you think I’d say no?” I answer.
She looks as me and I smile. I try to read her look, initially unsure if I need to elaborate. I don’t. But all the same, I find myself speaking before I can stop. As if by compulsion. Something primeval drives me.
“I mean, it’s not like I’m going to say no,” I add. We kiss again, folding into each other.
“Why not? You did a few weeks back.”
“Yeah, but this is different,” I say.
“Is it?” Suse replies, absently following my lead. “Why’s that?”
“Well, you know,” I reply, as if she does.
Walking straight into my own trap.
“No, I don’t know.”
“Well,” I continue, pulling back again, “it’s been a while.”
“No it hasn’t.”
“It has,” I say.
“How long do you think it’s been?”
“Thirteen days,” I say, a bit too easily.
That’s right. It’s been thirteen days. We have not had sex for the previous thirteen days.
I know exactly.
I’ve been counting.
* * * * *
I know, I know, I know. You’re not supposed to count. You’re supposed to be completely oblivious to the time that has passed since you last had sex. You’re supposed to be so deliriously happy in your relationship, so completely transfixed by the love and adoration you have for each other that time no longer counts. You’re meant to have fallen into in a vacuum of emotion, where you are barely aware anymore what the hands on the clock are all about.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. For a male, anyway.
And I’m male. I’m a man who remembers numbers, no less. Shit, I’ve got a counter on the top of this blog, counting out the age of a non-existent baby for fuck’s sake. Stating exactly how old it would be were it still alive, in utero, un-terminated. One hundred and twenty-four days un-terminated. Twenty-two weeks, and four days exactly.
I’m a man who remembers numbers. And a man with a libido. A very dangerous combination.
Very dangerous indeed.
* * * * *
“Thirteen days?” Suse replies incredulously. “No.”
“Yes,” I say. I leave it, the air hanging thick.
“It’s a week. Max.”
Again, I let the silence sit. Wishing I was wrong. Wishing I hadn’t mentioned it. Wishing, in fact, that I didn’t know.
“You counted?” Suse says, the disappointment audible.
“Well… No. Yes. No. Well, not really. I mean, tomorrow is Monday, and, well… that’s two weeks.” I stop for a second, knowing it just won’t wash. “It’s not like I counted. It’s just that tomorrow…” I pause for a second, “is two weeks,” I finish, weakly.
I don’t count. Not intentionally. I really don’t. It’s more an awareness of the date, and the day, and when the sun goes down, and how many of those make up a week.
There are seven of them.
And then, low and behold, if you’re aware of such things, then, yeah, I guess I do.
Yes, I count.
I’m a counter.
“Really?” she asks.
“Really,” I say, wishing it would all go away. Wishing I was still asleep.
“Oh,” Suse says, deflated. She lets out a big sigh.
I feel bad. Suse feels bad. We all feel bad together. In one big bad pod.
She lets out another sigh. We go quiet.
“Well, we did all right two weeks ago, didn’t we?”
“Yes, we did,” I say, nodding my agreement.
“I mean – we were having sex every day.”
“I know we were, honey. There was that one night when I nearly wasn’t interested. You remember? It totally freaked me out.”
“Yes,” she says, quietly.
“And I’m not complaining. I’m not. I’m just… aware. You know how you’re aware exactly when you’re going to ovulate? And you just know? Regardless of whether you want to or not?”
“In exactly the same way, I know when and where I’ve had sex.”
We lie there.
In silence for a moment.
Both staring at the roof.
“Humans are weird,” Suse says finally, breaking the silence.
“Absolutely,” I say, relieved to see this one suddenly defused.
* * * * *