Polyamory: Harbinger of Divorce Before 30
Last winter, Layla came home from her new job, as usual, at 5:30. It was Thursday, and I stood in the kitchen cooking. Layla set her purse on the counter and removed her coat. She wrapped her arms around my waist and kissed the back of my neck. She lingered, kissed more. I smiled, “How was work,” I asked.
“Good,” she said still pursing gently against my skin. I turned to see her. She was always so pretty coming from work — a perfectly painted face framed with beachy, blonde waves. Fitted skirts complimented intricate blouses.
Her unrelenting affection surprised me though. Mostly, I’d just get to admire. But today, apparently, was my lucky day.
Fully embraced we made our way through the dining room, — stopping at every ledge, or wall, to smash our bodies together — then slowly up the stairs tasting on every step.
After, we laid naked. Her eyes were wide. Her body was relaxed, nestled into mine. “Do you remember that time we talked about polyamory,” she asked
I remembered. She seemed to mention it on a cyclical basis, like every 11 weeks. I actually thought we were already in an open relationship. “Didn’t we confirm that last summer, in St. Louis Park when you saw me without a shirt on and said, ‘you’re so gorgeous that it’d be selfish not to let other women…'” I asked.
Even then I knew any girls flirting at work weren’t worth the trouble, and I left it at that. I was content in my marriage. And at least at this point, I was afraid we hadn’t evolved enough to handle the emotional turmoil that would certainly surround such a lifestyle.
Every couple months the same conversation would come up, but this time it was clear she wanted to fuck someone specific.
It made sense. We had just pulled thousands of dollars out of a retirement account to pay for her new-found sexual confidence. I assumed it would be for us, but I guess a lot of guys are into that, and who was I to stop her.
Yes we were married, but the point of polyamory is to overthrow ego and jealousy, to relinquish any archaic right of owning another body in order to live and love fully. Or so I thought.
Looking back, I blame the Citalopram for inadvertently medicating away any impulse control and good sense I once had. I’d lost all perception of consequence, and to be honest, open relationships were trending pretty hard. It seemed so sensible for a young, attractive couple to explore their sexuality before it’s too late. But it wasn’t that simple.
Two months later, after Layla had had her men — her old men, her fat men, her Tinder fuck boi who would eventually bring a friend — I had had my medicine. My ego left, and I learned to disguise the disgust in my stomach with an artificially induced high.
I was happy sitting alone, two thousand miles away, pulled over onto a dirt shoulder, lost in an array of pink-blossoming almond trees — sun beating through the car’s black paint.
I had arrived in California, and I was determined to build a better life for both of us.
Unfortunately, Layla had a different vision, one clouded by fear and insecurity. This is what had worried me to begin with. At first she didn’t have a woman to blame, so she blamed her feelings on California. She spit accusations of me being on vacation and demanded I come back. She needed me, she said. She couldn’t navigate the daily rigors of home-ownership and pet-parenting alone.
Maybe I shouldn’t have been so dismissive. But I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at my fingertips, and I figured if she’s adult enough to coordinate consensual gang-bangs, she’ll find a way to work out the dog walks and dishes.
I couldn’t leave California, but soon it seemed I had no choice. My new employer called bullshit on a Native American heritage and religion, which should exempt me from certain conditions for employment.
Right before I was scheduled to piss, I met Brianna. She and I went for coffee, we walked around the low, SOCal hills for hours, and spent our first night together watching the stars. When I told her about my dilemma, she offered to piss for me.
The next day, she bottled her bodily fluids. I put the three-ounce, travel container in my taint, and went off to the testing facility. Believe it or not, I got the job. I thanked Brianna with a camping trip, then drove six hours back up to the Bay, ready for work. Brianna and I continued to talk until eventually she decided to join me in SF. I was staying in Airbnbs, and we were fucking, so I offered her a place.
Layla hated her.
How could she hate the first person I’d dated since we officially opened our relationship? I mean, I offered to let her crash while my loving wife was having the time of her life going through partners and casually dating.
Apparently I was beholden to a different standard, because as soon as I began to participate, Layla was ready to call it quits, and she gave her ultimatum without hesitation — ‘End it with Brianna, or End it with me!”
She couldn’t bare the thought of me sleeping with another woman. Of course, she would continue to see Cody, that low-life Tinder match who she fucked in our bed because he didn’t have a place to stay, but that’s beside the point.
Given the circumstances it was an easy decision, regardless of any consequence. Layla wasn’t bluffing, and I, being a champion of fairness and equality, was done with the bullshit.
Now divorce is imminent, and I’m to blame. My sole satisfaction from our year of “polyamory” comes from the confidence that I did everything in my power to recover from such a naive attempt at an open marriage.
Unforunately, the insecurity of a fake-tittied 26-year-old is real, men are easy, and random dick is just too filling to give up for some silly commitment from that time she thought she knew about love.
Politics in America, Election 2016
The Political Activist — North Minneapolis
Last Saturday, around 10:00am, a man approached my north Minneapolis home. He was black, middle-aged, overweight. He wore clean khakis, wire-rim glasses, and a hat to cover his bald head; tattoos crept from his sleeves and collar. He walked up the steps and through the porch, then beat an unthreatening rhythm on the front door. When I heard the knock, I assumed it was Kaos, my eight-year-old neighbor who often comes over to play, work or learn. I had taught Kaos to knock in the same manner so that I’d know it’s him when he comes. I raced Audrey to the door and swung it open.
“Hi, I’m Kenny. Just out…” Audrey could sense his nerves, and she began barking incessantly. Kenny’s eyes widened as he glanced over my shoulder. “That’s a big dog,” he said. “That dog could do something to me.”
I hushed Audrey and apologized. We walked out to the front steps, and after a few vocal breathes, Kenny continued. “Like I said, I’m Kenny.”
I extended my hand. “Roman, nice to meet you.”
“Likewise,” he said, gripping my fingers. “I’m just out canvassing the neighborhood, making sure folks are aware of the upcoming election and answering any questions they might have. Are you planning to vote?”
I wasn’t planning to vote, and like many Americans, I’ve been extremely disturbed by this year’s political contests.
“Fuck them Presidents,” I said. “Vote? Because I’m lucky to live in a free and democratic society and it’s my duty and privilege? We have the choice between a lying, cheating, career politician who has publicly mishandled situations and information, and an old, born-and-bred one-percenter with a reputation for exploiting people and systems.”
Kenny paused but didn’t visibly react. He wasn’t here for that election. “Even if you don’t vote for President, at least vote for school board, and please, we’re asking everyone to vote yes for the kids. You a D-F-L-er?” He handed me a flyer.
I laughed through my nose, then glanced at the paper. “No,” I said. “Who’s running?” There was a picture of Kerry Jo Felder and Kim Ellison. “Is she related to Keith Ellison,” I asked, examining the flyer?
“Kim? That’s his ex-wife,” he said.
“I sent that bastard a letter when Jamar Clark was killed, asking him to consider creating or amending the law that defines acceptable police force in America. He never got back to me — probably because he’s super busy with all those finance committees.”
Kenny paused again, ignored the comment, and continued with his talking points. “Well, they’re both backed by the DFL, and they both support the referendum, which is asking for 74 million dollars — money the schools already get, but are gonna run out of— to keep classes sizes small.”
“How big are the classes now,” I asked?
“Minneapolis public schools have a 1 to 50 ratio…”
“No fuckin way.”
“I’m sorry, that’s how bad they could get without the funding. Right now they’re about one to 30. And most classes have a teacher’s assistant.”
“So basically one to 15? At a public school? That’s crazy. Even I learned with 22-25 other kids in primary school. How long have they been this small in Minneapolis? Clearly, small class sizes are ineffective in closing the achievement gap. Minnesota has one of the worst, if not the worst achievement gap in the whole country. And I’d be willing to bet we also have one of the lowest student-teacher ratios. One to fifteen!”
“You know man, I’m just a volunteer. I’m a single father of three. I just…”
“Why don’t we take that money and give these kids access to high-speed internet? I know schools already lend out computers to low-income students. How much internet do you think we could get for 74 million dollars? Give these kids a computer and Google, teach them basic academic use, and I guarantee you they’ll learn much better. The world lives and works online. If we are going to educate these children, if we expect them to live, work and compete with their counterparts, they must have the same access to information throughout their lives.
Or better yet, why don’t we pass a law that says if your child isn’t reading at grade-level, you’re guilty of child neglect, and you must take extensive parenting courses and go to family counseling; and you must attend tutoring sessions with your child, so that you can learn how to teach and encourage learning. How many el-ed undergrads you think we could pay with 74 million dollars? And fucking finance committee Keith Ellison’s ex-wife — who apparently kept his name — wants 74 million dollars to go to a classroom management program that has contributed to the largest education gap in history?
I’m not saying they shouldn’t get the money. I’m all for the kids. It’s just we should fund better programs. You can’t tell me that’s not bull shit, and that Kerry Jo Felder and Kim Ellison care about education or equal opportunity. Politicians only care about money. And it’s an easy fucking living.”
“Like I said, I’m just a volunteer. Please just vote, go to the forum. I gotta knock on the rest of these doors. You have a good one, sir.”
“You too, thanks for the info.”
I watched Kenny latch the front gate and went inside. Laura met me at the door. She had a curious look on her face. “What was that about?”
“Oh, nothing, ” I said sarcastically. “He just wanted to make sure I knew when and where to vote and to see if I had any questions. And that Kim Ellison and Kerry Joe Felder were running on the Democratic ticket for the Minneapolis Public School Board, and are supporting a referendum for the kids. And even if I don’t vote for the candidates, be sure I vote yes for the kids.”