Hi, my name is Arthur, or Artie, as I prefer. I’d like to share with you a recent event in my life. My life has radically changed for the better recently, I’m glad to say. And it’s only been possible due to social media.
I’m 47, 6’1″ and 175 pounds. I have most of my hair still, though it’s gradually thinning and slowly turning from brown to salt and pepper. I like it that way; it looks mature and dignified. Or so I think. I have 7″ down below, and reasonably thick. Nice size, without frightening anyone. I’m a physics and chemistry teacher here on Long Island. I was married for almost 20 years, but divorced the last year. It wasn’t acrimonious; we just grew apart as sometimes happen. We have a son in who’s a junior in high school, and I get to see him every other weekend, plus other times, vacations etc. It’s not nearly enough, but that’s how it goes in the age of divorce.
I know Facebook has its problems with things like the spread of false news stories. People get into text fights that sometimes get incredibly ugly. But it’s also a great way to reconnect with people from your past. Long unheard from relatives, old friends who dropped from sight, and even old girlfriends/boyfriends. It’s how I reconnected with Kitty (real name Mary Katherine Theresa Ryan), the last woman I was serious with before meeting my ex-wife. She got the nickname ‘Kitty’ because when she was a young girl in parochial school, half the girls had either Mary or Katherine or Theresa as a name, and Kitty always had a stand out personality. Or so I was told; I didn’t know her back then. I had wanted to ask her to marry me when we were juniors in college (we went to different colleges here on Long Island and met through some mutual friends) and she wanted to marry me, but there was a problem: she’s Irish Catholic and I’m Jewish. We were willing to make it work, but her parents, while they liked me, were very strict in demanding that Kitty marry a Catholic man. I would have been willing to have a judge marry us in a non-denominational wedding, but while I wasn’t strict about my religion, I couldn’t convert to another religion. I felt any conversion should be because I believed it in my heart and I didn’t. I didn’t feel that way about any religion. As much as we loved each other, Kitty couldn’t alienate her parents. It would have killed her inside, and poisoned our marriage. So we did the only thing we could do. We broke up. It was terrible for me, and I assumed the same for her. I was miserable for almost two years before I met Helena, a sweet, lovely pretty Jewish girl, and we married a little more than a year later. I never heard from Kitty after we broke up.
Until I got a friend request from Kitty a few months ago. Just seeing her name pop up like that in the corner of my page made my heart skip a beat. It wasn’t like I never thought about looking her up. It was kind of a do-I-really-want-to-know situation. What if she was happily married? What if she wasn’t? Of course I accepted and sent her an instant message, a general hi how are you, how’s your life type of message. She wasn’t on just then, so I just ran my page, and after a little while, shut off my computer and watched a ball game.
The next day, after work, when I got home there was a message from Kitty. She was divorced for 4 years, single with a 21 year old daughter and a 19 year old son. She had gotten her accounting degree and was a partner in a small firm. And she lived about a half hour away. Nervously I checked out her home page.
A few words about Kitty before I go on. When we were 20 years old back in college, we had a great relationship in every way. She was petite, 5’4″ with wavy red hair, green eyes and milky complexion, classic Irish looks. She was pretty, not gorgeous, but I thought she was beautiful. And she was curvy, about 140 pounds. Busty with a round butt and some extra weight on her mid section, but not fat. It was sexy; whenever I saw her naked she set me afire. Actually, when I saw her clothed she set me afire too. There was something just incredibly sexy about Kitty. Best of all, maybe because of her Catholic school background, she was determined to cast off that sexually repressed attitude the nuns and priests and her parents forced on her. We tried everything we could think of, almost. Role playing, bondage, delayed orgasms, heels and stockings, almost anything two people could do sexually. Just no urinating or scatological activities, or hard pain. Anything else, if we heard about it, we tried it. It was a good thing my roommate was rarely around. And I don’t want anyone to think our relationship was only about sex. Far from it. We connected in every aspect of a relationship that mattered. We were loving and tender with each other, we listened when the other had a problem, we liked absurd comedies and good dramas. We could go to a museum, a concert, a ball game, get together with friends or just sit on the couch and snuggle alone. We just felt connected to each other. Except for the religion problem.
So like I said, I checked out her page, and I saw the same pretty face, a few wrinkles but time had been good to her. Her hair was different, more mature in style of course, a few more pounds but still, she was beautiful. I messaged her back about my own life, and we went back and forth a couple of times over a few days. We even managed to chat twice in real time. Then I took a small chance and asked if she’d like to talk on the phone. Her answer was her phone number.
I don’t know why my fingers were trembling as I pressed her number. She picked up on the second ring, and as soon as I heard her say hello, everything came rushing back, everything I used to feel and want. Suddenly I was 20 again.
We talked for well over an hour and caught up on so much of our lives. It was so easy talking to each other, like picking up where we left off 26 years ago. We talked about our kids; she was proud of her daughter, but her son was a mess. He had dozens of tattoos, even on the back of his hands and up his neck, and he seemed directionless, while her daughter was a junior in college, studying for her degree in Finance. She was embittered about her marriage; evidently, it was a mistake right from the start. I honestly felt bad about that. She was always a great person, a wonderful girlfriend and lover who deserved the best.
Towards the end of the conversation, I took another chance and asked her if she wanted to meet for drinks and dinner Saturday night. Kitty chuckled on the other end of the phone and said “If you didn’t ask, I was going to ask you. But I’m glad you asked first. So, where do you want to go?”
“How about The Dublin Pub?” It was a favorite of ours back in the day and it was still in business in Little Neck, in Queens. Good pub/Irish fare and great beers and whiskies. And many great memories of dinners, just the two of us or with our group of friends at the time, even a couple of raucous parties.
“Perfect. Pick me up at 7:30? I’m excited to see you, Artie. It’s been such a long time.”
“Yes it has. Too long” I said quickly. She chuckled again, a sound that tore through my soul. Her laugh did things to me still, amazing things. We said goodnight and my hand was shaking as I hung up the phone. That night I did something I hadn’t done much of since I met Helena. I jerked off and Kitty was the object of my fantasies. When I came, my semen came out in a torrent, a thick, heavy load like Peter North could do. That was Wednesday night and it was three days to go until Saturday.
By Saturday afternoon I was a bundle of nerves. I even used my electric razor to shave, which didn’t give me quite as close a shave as a razor and shaving cream, so I wouldn’t nick my cheek or neck. I dressed casual/nice in grey wool slacks, a light blue button down shirt and a medium blue sports jacket. I looked at myself nervously in the mirror, hoping Kitty would like the changes I’d gone through in the last 26 years.
I followed my cars directions to Kitty’s house in Roslyn, a very nice brick and wood 4 bedroom. I had to get a hold of myself and my emotions before I got out of the car. It wasn’t just from seeing Kitty; I hadn’t been on a date since I had started seeing Helena almost 25 years ago.
I rang the doorbell and a lovely young woman, obviously her daughter Angela, greeted me and showed me in. She looked a little like her mother, the same red hair and green eyes and pure white complexion, but she was taller, at least 5’6″ and more slender. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Klein. Mom’s told me so much about you” she said with a warm smile. “She’ll be down in a few minutes. She couldn’t decide what to wear” Angela said with a laugh so reminiscent of her mother. She asked if I wanted some water or club soda which I declined.
“Call me Artie, Angela. I hate it when my students call me Mr. Klein. But they have to. You’re practically a friend of the family.”
We talked for about 10 minutes. She was a sharp young woman, smart as hell and charming. Then Kitty came downstairs. I don’t know what else she had considered wearing, but her choice was perfect. I wished I had accepted that glass of water, because my mouth went a little dry. Kitty wore a simple cocktail dress, black, sleeveless, with a set of pearls snug at her neck. Black hosiery and black sandals with a three inch heel. Again, so many memories and feelings came rushing back.
“Artie! Oh my god, look at you! You look terrific!” she said with obvious honesty.
“Kitty, you look amazing! Just as beautiful as ever!” I said as we kissed each others cheeks’ and then, impromptu, we hugged, a long embrace full of warmth and nostalgia, and a little more. After a while Angela cleared her throat, smiling at us. “Hey you two, don’t you have a date? Or are you going to just hug each other all night?”
We both laughed, a little embarrassed, but really at ease with each other. Kitty got a sweater and I helped her put it on. It was light, perfect for a fairly warm late Spring evening. Angela said “It was nice to meet you, Artie. If you’re going to keep my mother out past 1, please have her call. That’s her curfew.”
“Angela!” Kitty said with mock shock. “You just make sure the house is still standing when I get home.”
“I make no such promise, mom.” They kissed each other goodbye and we headed out. I held the door for her, then again the door on my car.
“It’s so nice to be with a man who has some manners. You always did, Artie. It was always something very attractive about you” Kitty said flirtingly. “And you know how to dress to make an impression. Very nice. And good call not wearing a tie.”
“You know me. My parents raised me right. Besides, it’s easy to treat you like a lady. You’re so classy. And you’re as beautiful as you were when we were younger. Maybe even more so.”
“Oh, stop that, Artie. I’m fat and old.”
I pulled over for a moment. “Stop that now, Kitty. You’re stunning. A couple of more pounds that look great on you. They’re in all the right places. And your face is as lovely as ever. At least that’s what I think.” I pulled back out into traffic and I could see a small smile on Kitty’s face. We rode in silence for a few minutes, then we started talking in a light manner, just things to fill in the huge gap since we had last been together so long ago.
The Dublin Pub looked almost exactly like it did way back when. The same warm ambiance, mostly dark wood fixtures and tables and chairs. Candles at the tables. And it was busy, which always bodes well for a restaurant. We had to wait a half hour for a table, so I got us drinks at the bar, a Jameson’s on the rocks for her and Glenfiddich on the rocks for me, just like we used to drink when we didn’t drink beer or wine. Kitty was delighted that I remembered her favorite drink. We talked more over the din of the chatter at the bar and then we were seated.
“The menu hasn’t changed much” she said. “Well, except for the prices.”
“Yeah, I didn’t expect the lamb stew to still be 10 bucks. I just hope it’s still as good as it used to be.” That’s what I ordered and Kitty got a chicken and pasta dish, and we kept talking about our lives as we waited and then dined, with a bottle of white wine to go with dinner.
It wasn’t until we were done eating that we got into heavier conversation. I explained that my marriage ended simply because we grew apart, but Helena was a fine woman, and our son Jeremy was a good kid on the right track. Kitty talked about how Angela was the star of her life, a smart and very quick woman who was going to do good things in life.
“She didn’t have a date tonight? She seems to be the type that doesn’t sit at home most Saturday nights.”
“She recently broke up with someone. Someone very special to her, but it didn’t work out. Does that remind you of anyone?” she asked with a twinkle in her eye.
“Someone. A little” I said with a smile. “What about Jack, your son? Where was he tonight?”
“I don’t know. He does his own thing. I’m so worried about him. Every extra dollar he has goes to tattoos. He works on cars, which is fine, if that’s what he wants to do. But he doesn’t date, doesn’t have many friends and, as I said, he spends almost all his money on body art. I just don’t get it” she said sadly.
“It’s not something I understand either. The way people of all ages are inking their whole bodies. It’s definitely not for me. I can understand a couple of tattoos here or there. But not this all over trend.”
“Me either. And not Angela. I guess sooner or later he’ll run out of space on his body. As long as he doesn’t do his face. I’ll put my foot down about that, and if I have to, right up his ass!” We both laughed at that.
“Kitty, do you mind if I ask what happened with your marriage? I got the feeling the other night that you feel like you never should have married Seamus (pronounced SHAY-mus).”
She looked down at her hands for a few moments. The waiter came over and I ordered coffee for us both while Kitty thought. “It was a mistake, except for my kids. I love them both so much, even if I do worry about Jack. You remember my friend Rosemary? She fixed me up with him a couple of months after we broke up. I wasn’t really ready for anyone yet, but she kept telling me to get back into dating. Seamus is from Ireland, came here when he was 15, so he’s got the accent, the Black Irish looks. But that Catholic education….”.
I just kept quiet while our coffee was poured and I let her continue at her own pace. “My brother Kevin explained things to me a long time ago, after I was married and already miserable. Which didn’t take long.” My stomach ached when she said that. It hurt to think of her being so unhappy. “He said our father told him, and a lot of the fathers tell their sons, to sow their wild oats with girls who aren’t Catholic. Have whatever fun you want, get it out of your system with the Jewish or Protestant girls, just don’t get anyone pregnant. But you only marry Catholics, and your wife then goes on a pedestal. Meaning you don’t do….fun things with them, if you know what I mean?” I looked in her eyes. Of course I knew what she was talking about. We had our own fun in our time. A lot of fun. I reached across the table and held her hand as she continued. “I mean, Seamus is a decent man, a good father, but between the Catholic education and guilt and that stupid attitude about how to behave with their wives, married life was not at all fulfilling. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a minority of Catholic men. Most don’t behave that way. But I ended up with a very traditional type.”
“I know Jewish guys who do the same thing. Especially once they have kids. This attitude of ‘That’s the mother of my children. It’s disgusting, asking her to…you know.”
“Suck their dicks? Not you too, Artie. You can’t talk straight with me any more?”
“Sorry. Of course I can.”
“It’s really your fault in a way, Artie. You spoiled me.” Kitty had a wry grin, even wistful. “I don’t know if I should tell you this…”
“Come on, Kitty. You can’t do that to someone. When you say that, you have to finish it. Besides, it’s me. We can talk honestly to each other.”
“OK, but this might freak you out. Could you get me a shot of Jameson’s for my coffee, Artie? With a fresh coffee.”
I ordered her a shot for her coffee and we waited for it to arrive before she continued. Once she added the whisky with a fresh cup of coffee, she took a couple of sips and told me what was on her mind.
“So as I said, I was introduced to Seamus two months after you and I broke up. Nice enough, but it wasn’t like our relationship. And I don’t mean just sexually.” She sipped some more coffee. “We were going out almost four months when he proposed. I knew deep down I didn’t love him, not in the way you should love someone if you’re going to marry them. My parents adored him, being from the old country and all. Not that they didn’t like you, Artie. You know they did. If only you had been able to convert….. Anyway, I asked him to give me a day to think it over. I told him we hadn’t been going out that long, and I just needed to take a day to think it over and be sure. I felt like shit not being completely honest with him, but I couldn’t say yes right then. He looked crestfallen, but he agreed. I guess he loved me a lot more than I loved him.
“I went home and cried. I remember it was a Friday night and it was around midnight. I felt trapped, like I had to say yes, or I would disappoint him and my parents. And then it hit me. I had to call you, and I had to ask you to marry me, to come get me right then, that night, and elope. I knew that’s what I needed to be happy, despite what my parents expected. So I called, and after 5 rings your answering machine picked up. I know, I counted the rings. And I chickened out. I couldn’t leave a message like that for you. What if you were out with another woman. What if you were in BED with another woman? So I hung up, and I cried all night, and I told Seamus I would marry him. Dammit, Artie, why couldn’t you have been home that night?” Tears were falling down her cheeks in the dark, noisy restaurant.
I was beyond speechless. I tried to figure out where I might have been that night, 25 years ago, that was more important than being home to receive her call. I knew it wasn’t another woman; I didn’t date or sleep with anyone after Kitty until I met Helena almost two years after our break up. Of course there was no way for me to know where I was that night.
“Kitty, sweetheart, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know where I was that night; how can I? I can tell you I wasn’t with a woman, not on a date and definitely not in bed with anyone. I wish I had been home that night. We could have talked at least, but honestly, I don’t know if I would have said yes.”
She looked stunned, like she never considered I wouldn’t say yes and run off and marry her. “Artie, now I don’t know what to say. You might have said no?”
“Kitty, we broke up because I couldn’t covert to Catholicism. I had to marry either in a Jewish ceremony or non-denominational. If we had run off like that, how would your parents have reacted? They would have been so upset with you and we would have been in the same situation we were worried about months before.”
“Artie, you don’t understand. I was willing to forget all that. I still loved you so much. I decided that my happiness was more important to me than making my parents happy.”
“So why didn’t you keep trying me? Even if it was 3 in the morning by the time we spoke? Even if it was 6AM?”
“I don’t know. It was then or never, I guess. It took all the courage I could muster to try that one time, at a little after midnight. After that I just lost my nerve.”
We held hands and I passed her a napkin to wipe her cheeks and eyes. This was not the way I expected the night to go. Before I could say anything else, Kitty said “Artie, can we get out of here? Maybe sit in your car and talk. I just feel like I need some air. Suddenly I feel like I’m suffocating in here.”