Alan is the centerpiece of  my erotic tableau.  The cool, austere landscape of his body  serves as  the artist’s canvas for a fantasy I constantly create and recreate.

I am the director and the star in a ritualistic sex play. And  this beautiful boy is essential to my aesthetic vision. The props, the costumes, the words. The candles and the wine and the black lace–all fetish objects. How he loves to call me Mistress. So obedient to my commands. It’s not about bondage or leather. We don’t need any of that. It’s about control. Power and powerlessness. Teacher and pupil. And he is so eager to learn.

I read a lot of self-help books and I realize our relationship is not healthy, but I don’t care. I see it as an indulgence, like chocolate or shoe shopping. I know this can never be long-term. I just want what I want now.

Although I try to acclimate to Alan’s world, he doesn’t seem to do much when he’s not working but smoke pot with his friends and mess around with his guitar. I just don’t see where I fit in. I don’t smoke pot and he doesn’t drink. Not that I drink much either. I already have my favorite high.

As season kicks in, it becomes a challenge to align our schedules and he gets lazy about calling and coming over after work.  I go to his place once in awhile, but it’s not the same. In his small dorm room-like apartment, he loses much of his allure. Our world seems so bleak and flat outside of my bedroom.

It’s not enough. I finally realize this one night after an unproductive session in his bed. He starts talking that wishy-washy language of someone who wants to break up. This happens, when sex is the only thing a couple has in common.

“I’m getting bored with this.” I pull on my tight black skirt and look around the dim room for my  Bolero jacket.

“I’m sorry. I’m a bad boyfriend. I just don’t know what you want from me.”

“What do you want? I think that’s the question.” I stand at the end of the bed. A final pause.

“I don’t know.”

“Tell you what. When you figure out what you want, call me.”

And I leave.

I feel like I have cut off my own supply of illicit drugs. I can’t believe I called his bluff this way. In the days that follow, I sink into a deep depression. I can’t eat I feel so sick. Our game is over and in the end, I am the slave. Powerless against this obsession.

This time together lasted twice as long as the first, around six months, and I feel more bonded to him than before. What I want is for him to call me and tell me how everything will be different, how he is willing to bring our relationship into the light of day. Get to know my kids, my family. Go places, do things. Like normal people. He doesn’t call.

It’s Mother’s Day and my supervisor at work hands me a flowered greeting card. I start to cry. I feel so fragile. So vulnerable and raw.

We sit in the break room and I tell her what nobody else knows.

“You thought you were doing something good for yourself. I know what that’s like. I was a single mom for years before I met Phil.”

“I miss him so much…”

“You need to take care of yourself. You need your own attention right now.”

She gives me a hug. And it means everything.

To be continued…