Friday, March 20, 2009


A man crawled through the window and my husband woke. The man was my neighbour but he wasn't to know that. A short man, barely five foot two, round and with a lot of hair. You could see the hair poking out from the top of the towel wrapped around his waist. A shirt of hair clothing his entire upper body and the hair on his head kept long and cascading down his back in a ponytail. My neighbour hefted himself up through the window and hit the floor with a thud and my husband woke up.

He was not my husband yet. I blinked at his beautiful face and I knew I couldn't remember his name. I thought it might be Andrew, but I was too shy to try it out in case I was mistaken. We both glanced up at the man climbing though my window with only a towel wrapped around his waist.

"Oh," he said, and, "sorry. I didn't realise..." and he left by the door, pulling it gently shut behind him.

"I have never slept with him," I told my husband. I measured people in this way at the time, dividing them up into lovers and ex-lovers, potential lovers and those I would not sleep with, scant few. My neighbour included.

"Ok, Kathy."

And I laughed.

"I don't remember your name either."

"You will," he said.

It sounded like a line. "Ah. Will I."

"Yes. You won't be able to get rid of me."

I shuffled up to sitting, pulled the pillow comfortably behind my back.

"Andrew," I said.


"Anthony, then. I am not heterosexual or monogamous."

He nodded. "I understand, but you will be while you are with me."

"And will I be with you?"


"Really? For how long?"

"Long enough."

He kissed me then, and it was nice. Kissing wasn't a thing I prided myself on, but there was a tenderness behind this kiss and I drank it down. I felt like coffee and a cigarette but a kiss would do. We were disturbed by the judder of the window being opened yet again and another man, another neighbour, spidered his way over the sill.

"Oh." he said, but he tiptoed into the room regardless, reached for a guitar that was resting against a wall, nodded, waved and scrambled out through the window once more, all jangly strings and echoing wood.

"I've slept with him," I told my husband.

"Heterosexual and monogamous, Karen."


He kissed me. I liked it. I didn't believe him then, but now, eighteen years later, I wonder how he knew.

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