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On the morning after Anna dumped me—once more, yet again—I woke the boys, then shuffled to the kitchen to put on the kettle. I prepared lunches and poured coffee into a travel mug as the boys dressed.
Tall mug, long pour of sugar, two dollops of half and half. Top screwed down tight.
With my coffee at hand, I was ready to face the challenge of rousing my daughter. My girl is a very heavy sleeper. Just like her Dad. Her brothers helped.
“Baby,” I took charge. “We have to go. Let me find you some clothes to wear. Something really ugly . . .”
“No!” She sat up. “I picked them out last night! I am wearing the pink cat shirt and my black shorts with the racing stripes. And my pink Hello Kitty underwears.”
“Okay, get dressed. We’re brushing teeth in a few minutes.”
We were out the door on schedule at seven-thirty. The kids were to school early.
It was a splendid morning.
I sipped coffee as I strolled home through the park, past the familiar dog walkers, past the tourists on a morning outing, past Henry Winkler filming a movie.
I had to get home to clean up and work. I had a lunch date with Mitzi.
She wanted to talk.
We’ve done a lot of talking lately.
Mitzi has been fending with a shift in her feelings about how things are, and the way she would like them to be.
She signed on with me a few months ago, looking for fun and sexual adventure.
Things got a little complicated when her feelings kicked in.
So lately, we meet for sex, we meet to talk things over, we meet for meals. We both want to make this work.
But we are too stubborn to give in very much ground.
Mitzi was right on time.
We kissed. She smiled wanely.
“Jefferson . . . we need to talk.”
“I know. We often do.”
We sat on the couch. I was caffeinated, showered and alert, ready to listen.
“Jefferson,” she began slowly. “You know, I’m crazy for you.”
“Yes. It’s really great to be with you.” I touched her shoulder.
“I’m glad.” She tilted her head toward my hand in a gesture that simultaneously sought my touch and pulled from it. “But, Jefferson, this really isn’t working for me.”
“I know. I mean, I can see that.”
“I enjoy the fun sex,” she struggled, measuring her words. “Really, I do. The party is just great. The kinky stuff is fun. I enjoy it. And when it’s just you and me, it’s really really great.”
“But . . . it’s not what I need.”
“I really want someone who is more . . . devoted to me.”
“I mean, I deserve that.”
“You really do.”
Mitzi lowered her eyes. “Jefferson . . . I’m just not going to get that from you.”
She looked up at me. “So I need to . . . I just can’t do this.”
“I know.” I touched her shoulder. Her cheek moved to my hand.
“You aren’t going to stop me, are you?” She was half joking, half serious.
I smiled sadly. “I really can’t, Mitzi. I mean, we keep treading the same ground. I hear you when you say this isn’t working for you. You shouldn’t do what isn’t right for you.”
Her smile was just as sad. “That’s not the right thing to say.”
“Yeah, it is.”
“I know, it is.”
There were long exchanges of meaningful glances.
Mitzi’s eyes reached to mine.
Break-up sex was not on the agenda. My body was numb.
I worked for a bit, very distracted.
I had been dumped twice in less that twenty-four hours.
At two, I walked across the park and brought my children home. My daughter was on my lap talking about her day when I got an instant message.
Mitzi: Thank you for being so adult.