A gentleman doesn't discuss such things

TUESDAY — Today was an unpaid day off, originally planned as recuperation after a night of wild sexual debauchery with Margaret. Last night was a little light on the debauchery, though.

This morning we took a relaxed stroll through the Castro district, and had a long lazy conversation over coffee. That's the Maggie I want near me — she's smart and funny — but there are other Maggies. Her moods still swing like a pendulum do.

At my apartment, there was a completed sex act, sort of. For about ten seconds, we were able to contort our bodies so that I was inside her. That was just enough time for me to finish, and also I wrenched my back. This is not the stuff X-rated movies are made of.

♦ ♦ ♦    

WEDNESDAY — Back to work for me. I can't afford to take another day off, even with my erstwhile girlfriend visiting, so Maggie spent the day alone, while I fended off questions from the one co-worker I was stupid enough to share that an ex-girlfriend was coming to town. Usually I keep my personal life between me and this typewriter. The schmuck at work wanted to know whether my supply of condoms is holding out. A gentleman doesn't discuss such things, I answered. Especially if there's not much to discuss, I didn't say.

Home is near work, so I met Maggie for a cup of coffee late in the morning, and that was nice.

Our conversations are growing unpredictable, though, and I'd forgotten how quickly she goes from sweetness and sunshine to spite and sarcasm. If I say the wrong word or speak with the wrong inflection, my, how her hammer will fall. She tells me that I know exactly what I've said that set her off, but alas I haven't a clue or I wouldn't say it. I've told her this, but the connection doesn't ring through.

You might suspect that Maggie has issues, and you'd be right. I don't know the medical or mental term, because she's never gone into much detail about it, and she gets defensive if I approach the subject. I know she's been diagnosed, though, and she's been prescribed, and back home she's seeing a shrink on a regular basis. And I know that her head issues led Margaret to give custody of her daughter to her sister, which must have been terribly difficult — but also, was the right thing to do.

So the sudden mood swings are part of who she is, and I knew that before she arrived in California. She's been this way for as long as I've known her, but when we were talking on the phone occasionally, planning her visit to San Francisco, I was mostly remembering upbeat Maggie more than her twin, angry Maggie.

In the evening after work, we have burritos and chips and beer, but no sex, not even a try at sex. Admittedly, I am relieved.

♦ ♦ ♦   

THURSDAY — Today I accompanied Maggie to the Hayward BART station, where her sister and daughter were waiting to pick her up. She'll be spending at least the next few days with them, in Livermore. I've met Maggie's sister before — let's call her Yvonne — and I'm pretty sure she hates me, though the feeling isn't mutual. It's the first time I've met Maggie's daughter — Joanna — and that kid is just adorable. She's three years old, with Maggie's bright eyes and smile, and she was in high spirits and happy to meet me. She called me "Uncle Doug."

I'm not bright but also not terribly stupid, so I've pondered the math and the calendar. Maggie and I were together off and on in the late '80s and very early '90s, until I left Seattle. We always used protection, but a couple of times that was a sandwich bag instead of a condom. Accidents happen, and by the timeline, Joanna could be my daughter. I've asked Margaret, twice, and twice she's said emphatically that it wasn't me. "He was a brief fling," is all she's said about her daughter's father, "and he's out of the picture, and always will be."

 From Pathetic Life #1
Tuesday - Thursday,
June 14, 15, & 16, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.


Pathetic Life 

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