- My Side
It's taken me four long nights to accept the fact that I don't have to huddle on the left side of the bed anymore. I can spread out. I can sprawl in the middle. I can leave my light on. I can eat chocolate chip cookies on the duvet, or cheesy puffs while I'm under the covers. Nobody will care. Nobody will criticize. Here's the hitch, though: Nobody will even know. [End Page 90]
I always slept on my side of the bed, the left. "What's left is mine," I teased more than once in my married life. That's me: slightly snide. Black knew that when he married me, said it was one of the things he loved, my non-Southern-belle bite. Right. Some of my getting-the-leftovers sarcasm comes from marrying a man while he's in his last year of law school. A prescription for problems. One of those hindsight ah-has.
On the other hand, everybody in town thinks they know every little thing about me and Black. And they're all taking sides. Our couple friends Donna and Dickie, who were like, "We will always be friends with both of you, no matter what you decide," are lining up, talking back and forth to one another and one of us daily about who did what when. It's public knowledge that Black has been doing the nasty with his secretary for the last three months now. Willie Nelson called that "the most unoriginal sin," but then Black never did have much imagination. Tax law suits him fine. He has, of course, been forced to reveal his defense to his pals: I cut him off right after the baby and never would let him back in. True. No contest. Try nursing and doing without sleep for six months, not to mention crying for hours on end about the fact that none of your underwear fits. And your new-lawyer husband doesn't come home most nights until nearly midnight. I would've turned to Miss Cleo for comfort before I turned to Black. He's not exactly the consoling type; like, "Come on, Tina. Let's get it on. Please? You'll feel better after." Right. Whine on.
Now that the anti-depressants have finally kicked in, I do miss that part of us, the before-baby-and-sneaky-affair good-in-bed part. But when I'm hunkered down under the covers in the dark missing being touched, I get a clear picture of Black's sweaty bare body humping ol' skinny Marlena and I gag. Almost puke. How could he do that to me and the baby? To us? What a stupid question. How could I have been so stupid? [End Page 91]
So when I get up this morning, after I nurse Callie and put her back to bed and take a shower and cry—this going from high as a kite to down in the dungeon is wearing thin, but it's supposed to stop any day now—I decide to get dressed in my hottest outfit and wear my hair swooped down over the right side of my face in that killer wave Black adores. I'll go to his office and confront him. This is ridiculous. We either have to piss or get off the pot, as he has so often told me in his none-too-subtle way.
I intend to sashay past Marlena without even giving her a nasty look; my grandmama taught me, rise above it. I will positively float. Besides, it's easy to eyeball some hussy without looking her way. I want to watch that bitch cower out of the corner of my eye, the slutty little homewrecker piece of ass. I've already given her a piece of my mind, and not the piece I cultivated in Sunday School, either. She may be a firecracker between the legs, but there's not too much burning between those freckled ears. Good grief, Black hired her cause he felt sorry for her, what with her runaway druggie ex-husband and those two pasty-pale...