• The joys of sex produce the ultimate mood killers that spell 18 years of misery
Chicago is still cold, but Harper, the daughter of my host Dr Johnson, is warming up to me. I’m walking a thin line here between having a good time with a divorced, grown-up woman, and pooping where I’m hosted. So, I’m keeping things casual; taking my time towards the right decision.
“Why are you single?” she asks after dinner as we sip wine in the den.
“So many reasons,” I say.
“Sex? How do you mean?”
“Well, sex in a marriage is like an Olympic decathlon. You start by throwing javelins of lust before supper. You pat her in the bum, a quick kiss and deep look in her eyes. A look that says, ‘I want you so bad it hurts. I want to take to you to the bedroom and...’
“Then a kid runs into the kitchen. It might be water, or his brother called him Sasquatch. Anything to kill the mood coz that’s what these agents of the devil do.
“But she’s gotten the hint. It's a race in the kitchen to finish cooking. In the meantime, you're busy getting the kids into pyjamas. You don’t even know where they are. It's a hunt throughout the house. The little devils are asking, ‘Why are we getting into PJs, yet we haven’t eaten?’
“You say something fatherly like, ‘I swear if you don’t get into these PJs, you’ll go to bed hungry.’
“You hurry through dinner. You tuck in the kids and wish them good night like a good parent should, saying, ‘If you don’t sleep right away, I’ll turn the lights off and let the ghosts have at you.’
“By the time you get to bed, the wife is already snoring. After making breakfast, getting kids to school, doing dishes, laundry, gossip with the neighbour, lunch, dishes, a little more gossip, getting kids out of school, supper... She's super exhausted. So you whisper in her ear, ‘My love, are you tired?’ Then you shout, ‘Hell, no! We’re doing this.’
“She wakes up. ‘Is it already time for kids to go to school?’
“Gently, you start tearing the nightdress off her like a mad man. It’s going down no matter what. The top is almost off when you hear, ‘Daddy, I can’t sleep. I need some water. And my brother called me Sasquatch.’
“You give up and decide to wait until they're 18 and you can legally kick them out of the house.”
I turn to Harper. “Is that good enough?”
She can’t hear me. She’s on the floor, laughing her head off.