Saturday, April 23, 2005

Consenting Adults

Another business trip, another beachfront hotel room.

I get paid for doing this?

This trip is short, an overnight stay a few states down the Atlantic coast. I am giving a talk and attending a reception. I’ve checked into my room and showered; now I’ve got about an hour to kill before leaving for the event.

I pour a bourbon and sit on the balcony in my boxers, feeling the cool ocean breeze on my skin, watching the waves as the late afternoon sun casts long shadows on the beach below.

My thoughts drifted to last night’s news about next weekend, when Marcus and Madeline will tryst in her hometown.

My long weekend with Madeline ended when I left town on my previous business trip. That time, I was on the other side of the planet, unable to use my cell phone or to check my email frequently.

That was tough, as so much had transpired over that weekend with Madeline. It would have been nice to process that in conversations.

Marcus and Madeline felt the same way. But unlike me, they were in a position to do something about it.

He called her every day while I was away. Three or four times a day. They talked until all hours of the night.

Soon after I returned home, I found Madeline online. We traded instant messages, caught up, revisited the weekend.

At one point she asked: have you talked to Marcus?

Not yet, but I will, I said.

You need to talk to Marcus, she replied.

Marcus is never online. We talk the old-fashioned way, by telephone.

I have a horrible aversion to telephones. To me, they are nasty contraptions to be used only when ordering Chinese food or summoning ambulances.

But for Marcus, I make an exception.

After days of trying, Marcus and I finally found one another on the telephone. We caught up a bit, then began to talk about Madeline.

Marcus told me that during their long conversations, he had decided that there was something between them that he wanted to pursue.

He tried to resist it. He knew going into our weekend together that this was supposed to be a fun romp, nothing more. But at some point during that weekend, he had sensed a spark between them. Something special.

He recalled that he had once had a lover that meant a great deal to him. He had neglected to act at a critical moment, and lost her to another. It remains a great regret in his life. How could he not act now?

He reminded me that there is no reason why we need to be conventional about this. This story might end with Jefferson and Madeline living happily ever after. This story might end with the three of us living happily ever after. Who knows? But none of us has a stab at happiness if we don’t take chances.

He wanted to take a chance with Madeline. But he would only do it if I consented. He wouldn’t want to hurt me.

Well, what could I say?

I love Marcus, and I’m not going to stand in the way of him having some fun with Madeline, or even pursuing his stab at happiness with her.

I’d like to think about this, I said. But on first blush, I think I would not want to prevent you from seeing someone for whom you felt such attraction.

I reserved the right to later regret that decision.

I chatted with Madeline a little later. That boy seems to have it bad, I said.

So it seems, she replied. How do you feel about that?

I told her what I had told Marcus.

She said that she was glad that Marcus was so interested in spending time with her. The phone calls, she said, have been great. When the phone rings, her children now ask “Is that Marcus?” just the way that when she is online, they ask “Is that Jefferson?”

She assured me that whatever something we seem to have is pretty unique. She doesn’t want to risk losing that. So while she thought it would be fun to see where things were going with Marcus, she would only do so if I consented. She wouldn’t want to hurt me.

Well, what could I say?

I reserved the right to later regret that decision.

I must say, I was a little surprised that Marcus then made plans to visit her so quickly. But not too surprised. That boy is one for acting on his impulses.

The sun is taking its sweet time about setting today.

The phone rings. My ride is ready to take me to tonight’s event. I quickly dress and brush my teeth.

I’ve got an empty hotel room on the beach awaiting my return.




5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Once again, I say 'Oy!'
You know who this is.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jefferson,
This is my first visit to your page. I am blown away by your whole relationship with Madeline. It sounds like you all have a healthy level of communication. I hope the weekend works out for everyone. I also read Madeline's blog for the first time today. Wow, she is a lucky girl. great tits too! Well, I'm hooked now. Thanks!
Jeff

Jefferson said...

Thanks for tuning in, Jeff.

Healthy conversation and great tits--we do aim to please!

marcus said...
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marcus said...
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