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Headache. My head aches. Or, my jaw aches. I've been grinding my teeth in my sleep. Head fuzzy, thoughts disjointed, I palpate my eyeballs and imagine what might happen if I removed them from their sockets.

D. came over tonight, his usual spicy vanilla cookie cologne wafting into my house before he had cleared the front door. He is very thin. At work I always stop what I'm doing to watch him walk away, down the long hallway -- his white dress shirt tucked into the too-big dress pants that are cinched tightly, bunched up, at his waist. I often wonder if his wife cooks for him.

At first I was awkward around him, painfully aware of the gold band on his finger and painfully aware of my desire to kiss him. He showed me how to access the pinball game on my computer. He's much older than I (I forget sometimes) and I'm tickled by his excitement when he demonstrates this or that new technology. Boyish wonder. Glee. I see who he must have been as a child. His eyelashes are girlishly long. They splash against the lenses of his glasses when he blinks. At first I was awkward around him.

I am the cute, quirky, friendly girl in the day-glo orange and palm-treed scrubs. I find it hard to believe that anyone takes me seriously. My laugh disguises the real me. My stomach was in my throat when I first put my hand on his. Work would be forever awkward if he pulled his hand away. But he didn't. And it isn't.

The smell of his cologne makes me salivate. He grins when I lick his neck. It's only when I unbutton his shirt that he gets serious. I get goosebumps when he gets serious. Because when he gets serious he looks me straight in the eye, and I cannot hide.

He is in a bowling league with his wife. When he told me that, I laughed. Maybe he is less worldly than I like to think he is. "Do you wear matching shirts?" I ask. I like to ask questions about his wife. At first he was annoyed, as if I wanted to hear him put her down. He seems comfortable talking about her now, comfortable with satiating my curiosity, but he never brings her up unless prompted. Some nights I lie awake picturing the two of them sleeping next to one another. I must make peace with the frustration of knowing that there are sides to him that I'll never see.

Tonight he fucked me as I perched on the bathroom countertop with one foot in one sink and the other foot in the other sink. I still have the imprint of the faucets on the backs of my thighs. I end up with bruises in the most unusual places, and I admire them until they're almost gone -- the yellowing of each bruise marks his imminent return. He raised his head and gazed into my eyes when he came, and I looked away.

Tonight, as I buttoned up his shirt, he took quick, short puffs on his cigarette, in a hurry to get home. "How's seven thirty on Thursday sound?" he asked. I fastened his tie and tried to ignore the Patsy Cline song playing in my head.