My wife wanted to have an open marriage, and I complied with her request because I had no idea how to please the sexual dynamo she had become in middle age. Something happened to my wife after she turned forty. It was like some internal switch was flipped, and ever since then she has been radiating a type of heat that is like a beacon to men of all race, creeds and colors. My wife and I had been married for fifteen years before this transformation occured, and during that entire time our sex life was functional. Both of us did not have much experience, sexually, and now that I think about it one of the reasons I may have been so attracted to my wife is because I probably thought my lack of experience in bed would go undetected by her, which it did, until after we agreed on our open marriage and she began sleeping with one man after another, including Donald Sutherland. At the time you would have never guessed just by looking at my wife that she had a voracious sexual appetite because she still looked the same and still dressed in the same unassuming and comfy Midwestern frocks she wore when I met her. If you saw her on the street you would think she was a school teacher. That’s what Donald Sutherland thought when he first saw my wife at the bar in the Fairmont Hotel, where she was having some after-work cocktails with her friends. At least, that’s what he told me. Donald Sutherland slept with my wife, more than once I might add. I was at home when my wife called me and told me that Donald Sutherland was coming over. She told me that he might get there before she did and asked if I could prepare some cheese and crackers for him. She told me to pour him a glass of wine and keep him company until she got there. About an hour later there was a knock on our apartment door. I opened the door and it was Donald Sutherland, who is a very tall man. I invited him in and told him to make himself at home. He was carrying a copy of Ken Follet’s Eye of the Needle, which he was reading in order to prepare himself for the screen adaptation he would soon be starring in. Donald Sutherland was a very nice man. He complemented our furniture and said our view of Coit Tower was spectacular. He asked me what I did for a living and I told him I was a Professor of Political Science at The University of San Francisco. Then we somehow got into a discussion about the upcoming Presidential debates. I told Donald Sutherland that in high school and in college I had been on the debate team, but that I had quit because I got tired of trying – usually unsuccessfully – to annhilate people with the spoken word, which, to me at least, is all debating is really about. You stand there and you try and think of a way to use your words to kill your opponent. Donald said he agreed with me and then he got up from the couch and walked over to my bookshelves, which is where he was standing, sipping his white wine, when my wife walked into the apartment. The three of us sat down on the couch and ate some cheese and crackers. Donald Sutherland said something funny and my wife put her hand on his thigh and squeezed and that’s when I knew it was time for me to leave. So I said I would be back in a couple of hours. I told them I was going to take a walk down to the Marina. By the time I got back two hours later my wife and Donald Sutherland were still in our bedroom. My wife was making sounds I had never heard her make, sounds I didn’t even know it was possible for her to make. So I took another walk. I have always loved walking around San Francisco, especially at night, but sometimes it can be exhausting, as our apartment at the time was at the top of a very steep hill. It was while walking up that hill, short of breath, that I decided it was finally time for me to get in shape. The very next day I started exercising for the first time in my life. A year later I was in good enough shape to enter myself into a 10K run. I finshed closed to last, but that didn’t stop me from training even harder. Last year I finished third in the Seniors Division of the San Francisco Marathon. This year I am going to win. I just know it.
Cheese & Crackers