Friday, July 31, 2009


[final installment of the story - the complete story can be read at Liquid Desires. Start from the bottom of the blog. The installments are 1-10.]

On the way back, I keep asking Julie what happened at the party. Why she was so upset when I saw her. She refuses to tell me.

Just before I drop her off at her apartment, just as she’s opening the door to get out of the car, she stops. She starts rambling. Apparently, she and Richard were college sweethearts. I hadn’t told her his last name and, in college, he was known as Wu Chung, not Richard. They had been engaged and she had called it off because she hadn’t felt ready. She was only twenty-four at the time.

She had been drinking non-stop since she saw him. She didn’t tell me because she didn’t want to spoil the party for me. She was fine, completely relaxed, until Richard reached out, impulsively, and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. He apologized. She accepted. And to prove that she wasn’t angry, she accepted an invitation to meet him for lunch. They were talking about where to meet when a woman in a turquoise dress walked onto the terrace and he walked away from Julie as if she has a contagious disease. Julie had noticed Richard’s wedding ring and could tell from the woman’s attitude that she was Richard’s wife. I found Julie sitting alone in a dark corner, nursing her fifth Cosmo, after he had walked away with his wife to give his little toast.

There is nothing I can say. It would be hypocritical to lecture her on the virtues of flirting with a married man. I don’t know why she agreed to meet him. She probably doesn’t know either. She’s not the type to have an affair. Perhaps my attitude, my affairs, made her curious.

As I drove away from Julie’s apartment, I felt nauseous. I hadn’t had much to drink but I felt an urgency to throw up. I stopped my car and got out and looked for bushes. But no matter how much I tried, nothing came out. The feeling of nausea stayed with me though. Even when I woke up the next morning.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


“I must find Richard,” she says. “Richard was supposed to make a toast to one of our honored guests thirty minutes ago. The band must be wondering what’s going on.”

“He’s probably just taking a leak,” I say. “Stay with me.”

“No. It’s not like him to forget these things.”

She leaves. I feel the same sense of abandonment I always feel when she leaves after our lovemaking, to meet her husband for dinner or theatre or some other inane activity that they have planned for the evening. Richard always wants to go out somewhere in the evening. With her. I want to introduce him to some men so that he can go out with the boys and I can pleasure his wife. Doesn’t he have any other friends? Work meetings? Why does he have to depend on her so much?

She makes him that way, I think with irritation. She makes him depend on her.

“Manipulative bitch!” I must have said it out loud because another guest gives me puzzled look.

I think of Julie. I can’t imagine her in Richard’s wife’s position. First of all, she is too independent to attach herself to a man for his money. She’d marry for love and be disappointed. She probably wouldn’t take a lover when she falls out of love with her husband. She’ll probably devote herself to her work, to her interests, and her kids if she has any. Boring. Boring. Boring. Maybe that’s why I’m not attracted to her.

Richard’s wife must have found him because he appears on the temporary stage (put up for the small band that was playing there) a few minutes after she has left me. He makes his toast. He sounds fine. He is not drunk. He was probably having trouble getting his pants up. I imagine he sleeps around with other women. He’s attractive and rich. Not many women can resist the combination.

I’m angry at Richard’s wife. I know it’s irrational but I’m angry nonetheless. She has not come back. I want to leave without telling her. I look for Julie. I find her sitting outdoors in a dark corner. Alone. Her face is flushed. I ask her what’s wrong but she wouldn’t tell me. She’s jumps up when I say that I want to go home.

Monday, July 27, 2009


“It’s funny that you talked about Richard’s wife’s tantric sex skills when I asked you what she did.” Julie says.

It's not funny at all, I think. She has a cornucopia of time and money. So, she expends it in tantric yoga classes, in rigorous daily exercise, and in anything and everything to keep herself physically desirable.

“I’m reading Memoirs of a Geisha."

Jesus, Julie's gotten stuck on this topic. I don’t say anything. I avoid her implications. But she might have a point. Yes, these women, my women are skilled in the art of seduction and I’m generous enough to let them practice on me. Nobody loses. Not the husband - they know their wife won’t leave them. Not the wife. And certainly not me. It’s just a game for bored adults. Nothing more…

“Wow.” Julie is impressed with Richard’s mansion in Los Altos Hills. This annoys me. “He is one of those overnight dot-com millionaires,” I say. “Probably can’t afford this place for too much longer, in this economy,” I add with a morbid sense of satisfaction. Julie ignores my sarcasm. I was born into wealth; I have no respect for the ostentatious styles of the nouveau riche.

The place is already cluttered with the sounds of voices. Many people are showing off their salsa skills to the music of the live band. Julie recognizes some people she knows so I leave her with them.

We have been here for an hour now. I see Richard but I still don’t see his wife. I've looked everywhere!

I see Julie talking to a tall strawberry blonde woman. She’s had a Martini in her hand every time I’ve run into her. Is it the same one that she’s drinking or is that all she’s having the entire night? In the years I’ve known her, I’ve never known her to be a Martini drinker. Coming here, to Richard’s house, has done something to her. I’ve never introduced Julie to any of my lovers. Maybe this was a mistake. I’m sure I haven’t told her that this is the house of my lover? Have I? No, I’m sure I wouldn’t have.

I find an attractive woman and ask her to dance. Her husband cuts in and I find myself alone again. A familiar face approaches and we talk. I finally spot Richard’s wife. She is wearing a silk turquoise dress, cut high to reveal her long well-toned legs from hours of swimming. I can imagine my hands sliding along those thighs. I’m aroused. Who is she talking to? Damn, she is dancing with him now. I give them a few minutes and I cut in.

“You whore,” I say. “Are you sleeping with that bastard?”

“Nice to see you too, Zachary,” she trills.

She looks around to see if Richard or anyone else might have heard me. But, from the looks of it, people are too involved with their own dramas to notice us.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


“Why married women Zach? Is it because they don’t need a commitment?”

Julie and I have known each other for five years. I met her when she was on the rebound from a three year long relationship. We went on a couple of dates but it didn’t go anywhere. We avoided each other for a few weeks after that but we had the same circle of friends and kept running into each other, and somehow, over the years, we became friends.

“That’s partly the reason,” I tell her. I excuse myself to go to the bathroom. She’s right. About the commitment part. But it’s not entirely true.

The first time I did it, it was for the thrill. And maybe also the danger. I was 27-yrs-old and lonely. I didn’t say no to sex, no matter who asked. And I thought I was in love with her. It was only a few years later that I realized it was pure unmodulated desire. I still get excited when I think about the sexual energy I had with her, my first married woman. I don’t fall in love with these women anymore. Or, rather, I don’t mistake the sexual charge for love.

And there are other reasons now besides great sex. Single woman don’t seem to like me anymore. They have this radar. They know they can’t trust me. But married women, they don’t care. They are not looking for a relationship. Just distraction. Or maybe some attention that they no longer get from their husband.

Anyway, not too many guys would get involved with a married woman. So, it’s easy to seduce them. They aren’t too picky. They don’t care about my spendthrift habits; well, actually, they like it. I buy them lavish presents. They don’t care when I’m irresponsible. They already have a responsible man to take care of them. They like the ‘bad boy’ in me and they love my body. They want to play and I’m the perfect playmate.

“What would you do if Richard ever found out?” Julie asks in the cab.


“You won’t miss her?”

“A little bit in the beginning. But I’ll find someone else.”

There’s never a shortage of married women wanting to have sex. Plus, it’s easy to leave a married woman. I know that I’m not leaving her alone. And the women I sleep with can afford to buy emotional support. Or another lover, for that matter.

“How do these things end, anyway?”

It wasn’t something I had thought about until now.

“Dunno… the last one…she decided to make it work with her husband.” Was that the reason? I couldn’t remember. But Julie seemed satisfied with my answer. Wait, how did it end? I suppose it doesn’t matter. I always know that it’ll end. I expect it to end. It still hurts when it ends. But it hurts less and less each time.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Julie’s laughter flutters through her living-room. I get up and walk towards her. She’s in the kitchen, baking something. Brownies?

I love her laugh. It’s carefree, a different entity from her normally serious personality. I watch her break an egg and mix it in with batter in a glass bowl. She licks some of the mixture with her hands and looks up at me. Her emerald eyes appear content. So easily pleased. Sometimes I wonder at her innocence.

She offers the bowl to me but I refuse. I don’t like getting my hands dirty. I look at her profile while she’s washing the bowl.

Julie is attractive. She isn’t dating anyone right now but I know she has had some serious boyfriends. I also know that she has been in love at least once. They were engaged but it didn’t work out. She doesn’t like to talk about it so I’m uncertain of the details.

She gets enough attention from men. But always the wrong types. What could she do to attract the men she wants? Attract me? No, I’m not attracted to Julie for other reasons.

She’s probably a lot of fun in bed. I’m surprised at the direction of my own thoughts. Not that I fantasize about Julie often, but, just for a second, the image of her laughing naked flashes across my mind.

I always kiss Julie on the forehead; never on the lips. I could if I wanted. Kiss her. Or rip her clothes off. Probably. I can tell when a girl is attracted to me.

I know some guys who’d like to take her out. But she doesn’t seem interested. We spend a lot of time together; see each other often during the week and sometimes on the weekends too. I suppose my presence probably discourages the guys from coming too close. Oh well. I suppose that’s her problem. She doesn’t seem interested in anyone, anyway.

“Do I have something on my face?” She has finished washing the dishes and is looking at me. Her dark hair is disheveled.

“No, why?”

“You are staring at me,” she says.

“I was just thinking about something.”

She looks delicious. Just like that…the jeans torn at the knee, her tight Yale t-shirt, no makeup, hair a mess.


“That’s not very flattering,” I tell Julie. We are in her living room and she’s getting dressed to go to the party. Richard is having another party tonight and I’m bringing Julie along. I haven’t told her whose party it is, though. I don’t want to risk anything. “Wear something with cleavage.” She’s got nice breasts. I don’t know why she doesn’t show them off.

Julie goes to her bedroom and emerges with a navy blue velvet dress. I feel a slight erection. The dress is cut above her thighs. All I can do is stare at her legs. I try to think of Richard’s wife instead. Julie is almost like a sister. I shouldn’t have these thoughts about her.

Monday, July 20, 2009


“I’m Zachary,” I said. “But my friends call me Zach.”

“Well, Zachary, what type of films do you make?”

Before I could answer, a tall Asian man came up to her, whispered in her ear, and led her away. She made an attempt to introduce us but he was in a hurry and we barely had a chance to wave a quick goodbye. I heard the soft clinks of her bangles as they walked away, arm-in-arm.

I didn’t see her again for weeks but I'd often think of the image of her walking away...a backless maroon dress, cut down to just above her tailbone, long silky black hair swooshing to display glimpses of her tawny skin, a tattoo at the base of her neck? (later, I would trace my fingers around the outline of that tattoo monkey often as she slept in my arms after our lovemaking).

On the pretext of doing research for my next film, I showed up at the door of her house on the day after that party and eventually asked her to wear that maroon dress again for our second ‘date.’

“What does she do?” asks Julie, my best friend. I’m in Julie’s apartment in Telegraph Hill. I am staring out the windows, looking at the clouds over Golden Gate Bridge, when Julie interrupts my thoughts.


I know perfectly well who she is referring to but I like to get Julie worked up. It’s so easy.

“Who else? Your new girlfriend?” She is slightly irritated.

I sink into Julie’s red leather sofa and pick up the New York Times. This is THE most comfortable spot in all of San Francisco. I usually don’t tell anyone about my lovers. Julie found out about my last affair and ever since then I’ve started to confide in her. Perhaps I tell her about my lovers because she seems to forgive my transgressions.

“She has studied all these tantric sex stuff…” I answer, lost in my own thoughts and vaguely remembering Julie’s question.

“No!” Julie’s laughter reverberates around the apartment. It bounces back from the bay windows towards me. I can’t see Julie from where I’m sitting. I hear pots and pans clinking. I hear her giggling.

“I mean, what does she do for a living? Does she work?”

Work? Julie doesn’t understand. I wouldn’t be sleeping with her if she worked. She wouldn’t have the time or the energy. No, most of the married women I’ve been with stay at home. They are housewives. But not in the sense that they do housework. They are usually wealthy enough to afford regular maid and gardening services. They’ve married the husband for his money. So they enjoy it. And I’m one of the luxuries to which they are accustomed.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


She’s the fifth. I suppose I’m a serial adultery-enabler. I’m not proud of it but I don’t remember how many years it’s been like this. It’s not like I was looking to fuck married women. It just sorta happened once… and now…Well, now it’s an addiction that I can’t seem to kick.

I celebrated my thirty-third birthday with my current lover, Richard’s wife. I’ve met Richard but can’t say that I know him very well. He’s a friend of a friend of a friend…I met his wife at one of his famous parties. I barely remember what he looks like. I have seen pictures of him around her home but I try to ignore them. I’ve noticed, however, that he’s at least a foot taller than her. Maybe more. She’s petite, barely over five-feet, and very thin. The other thing I remember about him is that he’s Chinese or something like that. But I wouldn’t be able to pick him out in a crowd. I think he’s the CEO of some Silly Valley company. Or, maybe the President. Or, both. I’m not sure. I don’t particularly care. The important part is that he’s away from home quite often.

So, anyway, back to his wife. She was installed in my head minutes after I met her.

“Do you know the painting?” A girlish voice inquired in a foreign accent.

“Yes… it’s a Chagall. But I can’t remember the name.” I said without turning around to look at the source of the inquiry.

“The Birthday.” She was standing next to me now and looking up at the painting. (I would later find out that the “Chagall” painting was actually a commissioned imitation.) The first thing that I noticed was the empty martini glass, held in a brown hand, the wrists simmering with at least a dozen electric blue glass bangles.

“Are you an artist?” She asked in what I recognized now as an East-Indian accent.

I turned towards her to answer the question. She looked older than she had sounded. (She is twenty-eight as I found out later.) Her eyebrows were tensed together; she was looking up at the painting as if she was pondering some complex calculus problem or considering the intricacies of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“I, uh, of sorts,” I said.

She turned towards me and her face opened up in a smile. It was at that moment, that I knew that I'll find a way to have sex with her.

“What sorts?”

“Film. I’m a filmmaker. Are you an artist?”

“Of sorts,” she said. Laughing. “Not really. But my husband donated some money to the SFMOMA so I’m an art patron.” She paused and added, “by association.”

I was briefly disappointed to hear that she was married. But, I recovered quickly.

I was in familiar territory.