PULLING HER BACK TO CENTER

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PELVIS - By Georgia O'Keefe

Sunlight fades, bouncing off plush red papered walls, as violet rays turn to twilight.

“Don’t screw this up,” Dale states in a voice that is tender yet unyielding.

“Don’t mess with this – we both have too much at stake.”

He reiterates looking at her and sensing her thoughts are elsewhere. Musings of recollection stir in her mind - hands pressed hard against the wall of an exotic room, decorated in a Roman motif that, an hour earlier, had held her strong as she pushed her buttocks against him, his entering her from the rear, as they repeatedly made love.

“You have to look at this situation with a new outlook. We can’t confuse what you have with him, or what I have with her, simply because,” pausing for a moment he turns his body away from the wheel of the car to face her, “If you muddle this up, our relationship is damaged,” he softly hesitates with a strong emphasis on the ‘our’.

“To keep us strong you have to rethink ‘him’. Instead of letting the attachment bug you, just say to yourself that if your relationship with him is content, ours will be too. You really don’t want for someone to let go of those dock lines and sail off without you.”

Jennifer turns to face the car window and thinks of what new excuse she can use for the late afternoon hours she is keeping; she also reflects on how very truthful Dale’s remarks are. She can easily screw up three people’s lives, four if you include hers, with her passion. Remarks of this type are not usually a part of her lover’s forte – he is much more relaxed than she – a ‘live and let live’ kind of guy who constantly amazes her with these insightful ascertations concerning, not only their relationship, but life in general.

Had she thought that it would have come to this point she would never have singled him out. Her life could easily have continued as it was – there was nothing really wrong – she merely wanted to feel more alive, to have more choices. A monotone has been established in her present liaison, with its years of partnership. Even without marriage there was still a careful monogamy, a connection between the physical and mental. Despite his impotence and critical attitude, her partner still loved her, was caring and totally devoted; besides, they have had several decades of history together.

But Jennifer wants more; when she saw Dale for the first time her heart initiated an untamed beating that made her feel as if she were 28 again, the year in which she had committed her first adulterous affair. There is no doubt about it; she has a passion for this man - an out and out longing that plays wildly in her head as well as her heart. There is pure chemistry between them - commencing as purely physical desire; however, her lust has changed, as she had sensed it would, to something much more.

A voice out of the past crosses the threshold of her brain. The year is ‘82 when, with her first and only husband, she is the guest of a famous Guatemalan poet. Being quite wealthy, he had flown her into Tikal on his private plane, knowing her interest in Mayan temples. He had also guessed as to her emotional passion having read some of her poetry and Haiku. Turning, he looked into her eyes and simply stated, absolutely out of nowhere, “You know, Jennifer, the one who is the most loved, always controls the relationship.” At the time, the remark took her breath away – it still does, for all of its simplicity and truth, years later.

She now realizes that she has lost the ‘s’ in “she”, relinquishing it, along with any power she possesses, to Dale. The driver’s seat has swiveled and in its turning she finds herself misplaced – stranded among hours of lovemaking, ardor, and of total absorption in her lover. Must this be a concern, at this stage in her life? Should it really matter?

And yet, to him, amazingly, it does.

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