Love and Madness in South City

How did you spend Sunday morning? Did you wake up early and go to church like someone who doesn’t drink heavily on the weekends, or did you sleep late? Did you wake up slowly and make coffee, and then sit around staring off into space/at the TV/on the Internet for awhile? Did you have sex? Did you take a shower afterwards and at least brush your teeth because how dare you try to kiss me first thing in the morning, that’s so gross? Did you smoke a cigarette, take some aspirin, eat a lazy breakfast? Did you get to relax?

That’s nice.

I listened to my next-door neighbor scream at his married lover over the phone, and then she came over and they noisily broke up for two hours. Based on what I overheard, the breakup started with an angry phone call sometime around 10am, the subject of which was that the woman on the phone is a liar and a slut and a bitch.

Keep in mind that it was 100 degrees out yesterday, so nobody’s windows were open and this wasn’t something I was overhearing from the apartment my neighbor shares with his mother (he’s in his 40s, if it matters). He wasn’t having this argument inside the house. Instead, he was sitting on a lawn chair in his backyard and screaming into the phone, loud enough that I could hear him perfectly well with my windows closed (although I did eventually crack one just to get a better gist of what was going on). At one point, he screamed that she should come up here and either get or take the money (I wasn’t sure which) because he “sure as shit” wasn’t going over there, because if he did have to go over there, he would beat the shit out of this woman’s husband, who was also a liar but apparently not a slut and/or bitch.

If I were the one on the other end of this argument, I probably would not have come over to this guy’s place to get/take the money. If someone had screamed obscenities at me at 10am on a Sunday, I would have hung up, turned off my phone, and wondered what in the fuck I had done with my life. I also wouldn’t have screwed around on my husband, and certainly not with the kind of guy in question, who is not only nothing special to look at but as I mentioned, he is in his forties and lives with his mom. Thankfully, though, the woman on the phone was not me and therefore had no problem coming over.

It. Was. Great.

While I seem like the kind of person who gets loud and maybe violent over small things, I’m actually pretty reserved when I’m angry. This is why I’m so fascinated by other people’s fights, and why I love listening in when they’re too dumb to handle things privately. I sat by my cracked window for close to an hour while they broke up. This was enough time to learn that this woman was indeed married, that my next-door neighbor had gone to the house she shares with her husband to make a scene, and that everyone at the bar they all frequent knew what was going on and was pretty much cool with it. I also learned that although my next-door neighbor enjoys viciously screaming at people over the phone and occasionally in person, he’s also a big fucking crybaby who walks around his backyard with his socks on and insists over and over again to the married woman he’s been sleeping that she doesn’t really love her husband.

Oh, dude. No. Just no.

To my knowledge, I have been with only one married person in my life, and that was the person I was married to. While I would have liked to be with other people during this time (he was already doing it), I chose not to because a) I knew it was wrong and b) if anyone was going to officially screw up that relationship, it was going to be him. While I didn’t leave that relationship solely over his infidelities, they were enough of a mindfuck that when I came home and learned that a very good friend had begun a relationship with a man who was still married, I hung up the phone and didn’t speak to her for a month. Helping a married person to cheat is just gross. It’s so unnecessary, since it’s not like the relationship is going anywhere. People who actively pursue “relationships” with married people generally believe that they’re worth cheating with, which is absurd because if a married person wants to cheat, they’ll cheat with anybody. It’s not like they have scruples. Their choosing a partner to be unfaithful with has little to do with the partner’s merits as a person and more to do with having a wet spot to play around with.

And it won’t end well. It never ends well. I’ve seen it happen multiple times to people I know, and while I am always good for a few “there there, everyone is terrible and life sucks, too” drinks after a breakup, I refuse to participate in your misery after your married lover ditches you. Which they will always do, and I will remind you of this fact as many times as I can until you try to beat it out of me (and then I’ll keep saying it, just from a farther distance).

Example: A friendly acquaintance of mine went through this phase where she slept with several married men in succession, all of whom were in the same profession. It would have bordered on fetish had she not been so utterly hung up on all of them. Every time I saw her, she had a sad story about the latest guy to treat her poorly, which she just didn’t understand because he’d seemed so nice and the sex was great and he really seemed to care about her otherwise.

My answer to everything she said – every single thing – was “he’s married.” You feel like crying? He’s married. He said something mean to you? He’s married. He ditched you again? He’s married. He’s not committed to you because he’s legally committed to someone else, and as focused as you are on how badly you’re being mistreated, I guarantee you that his wife has it worse? Eventually, my responses were amended to “he’s married, you dumb bitch.”

What’s funny is that people who sleep with married people make the most ridiculous excuses for their behavior. The biggest one (according to my neighbor and multiple people I know who have said it) is that the person they’re sleeping with doesn’t love their spouse. Well, obviously, but the thing is? Whether or not someone loves their spouse is none of your goddamn business. Don’t act like you’re being charitable by helping them to fuck someone other than their spouse. This isn’t math, it’s common sense. Cheating is not the answer to not loving your spouse. Divorce is. Once those papers are filed and signed (by at least one person, I’m lenient on this since I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to make an idiot sign their name), you can fuck someone all you want. Until then, there are plenty of other non-married people to fuck, and chances are that they’ll treat you better than someone who is still legally accountable for fucking around on their spouse.

No one’s ever going to get unmarried just to fuck you on the regular, no matter how many times you insist that they don’t love their spouse. Even if you’re screaming it over the phone outside with your socks on and your blubbery man tears all over the backyard.

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About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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