Frustrated Wife of a Ph.D. Student

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As I had expected, Spring Break until today had proved dreary with rain and lonely. I had discussed this with my husband in advance, of course. I had told him I was tired of being left alone while he worked on his damn dissertation, and he had told me to stop being so whiny. I tried a seductive tack, and he told me to use my own hand because he was busy and that’s just the way it was.

My husband is a Ph.D. candidate in his final year at OSU. It should have been possible for him to analyze his data and write from home, which is here in Ocean View, but instead he prefers to stay at his folks’ and analyze and write from there.

Summers were not so bad; I am a teacher so for the past four years, when school lets out, I pack up and go to work for him as an unpaid field assistant. It benefits me personally, because I get to be near my husband, and it benefits me professionally. As a science teacher, I can share the field techniques I have picked up working for him and his colleagues with my own students. Summers are good. We camp out and cook over a fire and laugh a lot, and I remember what it was that brought us together when we met in college fourteen years ago.

Fall, winter and spring are bad. He spends Monday through Friday at his folks’ in Corvallis, where as he says he has access to the library (“What about Inter-library loan?” I asked and was told to stop whining) and powerful computers (“Can’t you telecommute?” I asked and he chastised me for challenging what to him made sense). Friday he makes the five hour drive to the coast, usually starting around seven or eight in the evening, when he is satisfied that he is done for the day. He arrives exhausted and hostile, and then sleeps in until noon or so, leaving around noon on Sunday. He’s not good at taking vacations, so Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring Breaks I can either travel to Corvallis to stay with the Miller horde or visit my own family and friends, by myself. This is married life? I have tried cheerful patience, reasoned argument, pointed questions, and by myself I have howled in loneliness. Crying doesn’t work with him; the women in his family are all criers and he sees it as manipulative – not that my tears are meant to be manipulative. I just get so blue by myself that sometimes it just comes out as tears. He doesn’t know. If I died and he found my journal, then he’d know.

You may ask, why don’t I teach in Corvallis? Well, I started teaching right when he started his Ph.D. program; my school is a Title One school, which means that over forty percent of our students are on the free or reduced lunch program. If I stay here five years, then a major portion of my student loans will be forgiven. We didn’t know when I got hired that on the recommendation of an undergraduate advisor, he’d be accepted to OSU at the same time, nor did we realize that it would take these four years (and possibly more). Anyway, I have another year before my student loans are forgiven, and then after that, who knows? Maybe we can live in the same town.

I was kvetching about all of this to Katy Michaels, a teacher in her second year at our school. Katy was also in town for Spring Break, and we had gone on a hike that morning up one of the peaks in the Coast Range. It had rained, as it had every day so far, although under the Sitka spruce we hadn’t gotten too wet.

I felt bad about unloading onto Katy; she’s younger than me by about eight years and so perennially cheerful that I didn’t want to burden her with my self-pity and married woes, but once I started, I just couldn’t stop. I even gave her details of our non-existent sex-life. That is, I said very bitterly that our sex-life was non-existent because he was too stressed out on Saturday or Sunday to have sex and that during the week he’d told me to “use my hand”. I was sick of using my hand, I said.

Katy listened with interest and sympathy.

Katy is a crazy teacher. Her kids are wild about her. She runs through the halls just like they do, her red hair streaming behind her. Teachers and prissy students yell at her, “Miss Michaels! Slow down!” She just smiles and nods at you as she dashes by, a stack of books or papers in her arms. “Can’t!” she’ll say, or, “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!” as if she’s the White Rabbit.

Her teaching partner, this old busybody named Annette who taught Humanities, delighted in sharing stories about Katy of a scandalous nature in the faculty room. Katy typically spent her lunch period in her classroom, working. That’s how it is your first few years. I am not sure why the principal kept them paired this year; Katy and Annette had had some explosive arguments last year about how best to teach their sixty kids. Annette was all for chairs in rows and worksheets; Katy worked more on an open-ended, group project-based model. Annette was extremely organized to the point of being rigid; Katy didn’t necessarily know what she was doing with her students from day to day, letting the process of discovery and scientific inquiry guide her somewhat extemporaneous lessons.

Annette’s bahis firmaları conversations in the staff lunchroom were typically about how annoyed she was with Katy. Also, she told this crazy story about her and this math teacher, Sandeep, sleeping together under the shore pines on the dunes, which I was not inclined to believe at the time because I thought Sandeep and this other teacher, Adina, had something going on. Since then, based on a casual intimacy between Katy and Sandeep that I have witnessed, I could believe that she and Sandeep had at least slept together, if not in full view of everyone on the dunes. Annette went on to insist that Katy, that hussy, had even seduced her ex-husband, which struck me as paranoid in the extreme.

For her part, Katy didn’t talk much about Annette at all. I felt privileged while on the hike with her today when Katy went into an imitation of Annette that was so true that I almost tripped over a root and fell off a cliff I was laughing so hard. Katy always struck me as such an ethical person because of her unwillingness to gossip that I felt we must have been drawing together as friends.

After the hike, back at my house, she shocked me, and that’s the state that I am in right now.

We were muddy from the hike, so we had changed into sweats and t-shirts, and I made grilled cheese sandwiches on whole wheat bread, stuffed with sautéed mushrooms and fresh basil and tomatoes. I was washing and rinsing dishes and Katy was drying them and putting them away. I was pointing out a Varied Thrush to her in the backyard under the feeder. She came up behind me and hooked her chin over my shoulder to have a look. Her touch surprised me, and then she put her hand on my hip, pressing her breasts into my shoulder blades.

She said, “Michelle, you are so frustrated and my sexual appetite is so huge that I think we could benefit from getting together now and then for some mutual pleasure.” She slid her hand from my hip down to my inner thigh, several inches away from my crotch, but her words had made her touch unambiguous.

I went rigid with terror. The first thing out of my mouth was simply, “Katy, I’m married.”

She said, “Yeah, but we’re both women – it doesn’t have to count.”

I turned around to face her. I said, “Katy, I have gay friends who have been in exclusive, monogamous relationships for over ten years who have gone through very complex legal processes to have children together, whether through AI or adopting girls from China. Furthermore, our state last year married gay people for the first time. I can’t believe you think that it doesn’t count. I can just imagine what they would say to you!”

She backed off and leaned easily against the counter behind the sink, regarding me out of hazel eyes. “Ok, I see your point. What I mean is, we could just fool around without any strings attached. Just be fuck buddies. It would be fun and no one would have to know.”

Next barrier: “This is a small town! We have students who live on this very same street! I’m sure they would notice!”

“Teachers can’t be friends? So what if I’m over here every now and then? I always have been over here every now and then,” she said.

Final barrier: “What about you and Sandeep?”

Her response: “Sandeep and I just sleep around occasionally. It’s totally casual. No strings attached.”

“He wouldn’t care?” I asked.

“If he does, that’s his problem. I’m not a jealous person and if he turns out to be jealous, too bad for him,” she said. “Are you jealous?”

“No, of course not. I have no reason to be, given that I am married and in an exclusive, monogamous relationship.”

“That’s SO fulfilling to you,” she said sarcastically, but smiling. “Just think about it, Shell. No strings. This conversation doesn’t have to mean anything, either.”

“Just how many ‘fuck buddies’, as you put it, do you have?” I asked, and added, “Not that I’m jealous. I just wonder what you do to protect against STDs.”

“Condoms,” she answered, “and regular visits to the gynecologist, discussion before hand about sexual histories and hygiene and so forth. I don’t have sex with people who have hepatitis or HIV.”

“Uh huh,” I observed, feeling less than brilliant.

Upon throwing that bomb into the conversation and bestowing me with a new nickname, she left shortly thereafter. It was early afternoon.

The more I thought about her proposition, the hornier I got. I sat down at the computer and wrote my husband,

“If you were here right now, I’d give you a blow job. :)”

He replied, “Stop distracting me. I’ll be home Friday as per usual. Data is intractable.”

I was too discombobulated to read or correct papers. I sat in the easy chair and played lightly with my nipples. There had to be something other than my hand in the house. Zach and I don’t have any sex toys.

I went to the refrigerator, and rediscovered the organic carrots I’d bought at the food co-op. They were thick and squat. I removed one and carefully peeled it. I held it in front kaçak iddaa of my face above the sink, and feeling wicked, got a small fruit knife from the drawer and began to whittle my impromptu dildo into the shape of Zach’s circumcised dick. Carefully I created the glans, and used the tip of the knife to approximate a urethra. Again I held up my improvisation.

I took it to the bedroom with me, undressed and lay down on my back on the bed. I rubbed my clitoris in circles and then reached down to my vagina and spread my juice all over. I took the carrot and pushed it in. It wasn’t quite as thick as Zach, but almost, and the penetration was satisfying in a way my three fingers hadn’t been of late. I thought about Katy, and suddenly imagined myself eating her pussy.

I’d never been with a woman, and I decided to make this masturbatory session one to remember. I slowed the circles on my clit and the pumping of the carrot in my pussy and imagined pulling Katy’s t-shirt over her head while she was leaning against the counter today. I imagined exposing her pale breasts and sucking on her tits while I pushed down her sweats. I imagined kneeling in front of her and opening up her labia with my fingers and letting my tongue explore all her folds while she moaned above my head. I imagined pushing my fingers up inside her.

My breathing was starting to come fast, so I slowed down again. I imagined myself leaning against the counter this time, and Katy removing my shirt.

I remembered a strange dream I’d had several months before. Zach had been home that night, but there had been no sex. I’d been ovulating and was horny as hell, and I was too worried he’d be horrified to wake up and find me masturbating in bed next to him, so I just dropped my frustrated self off to sleep. In my dream, I was in a large city, running from business to business on a hot day. I’m not sure who was chasing me or why. A woman wearing a tight, ruffled white dress took me in and hid me in her bedroom. She started making love to me. I was lying on my back and she was eating my pussy. Without warning she shoved her finger up my ass, and the unexpected pressure made me keen with pleasure. I’d never put anything up my ass before – I don’t know why it came to me in a dream – and furthermore, Zach thought it was gross, so I decided to try it with the carrot, knowing Zach would never do that for me.

I pulled the carrot out of my pussy, opened my knees wider, and placed the tip against my anus. I pushed. It wouldn’t go in. I took a deep breath and released it. I tried again, but it wouldn’t go.

“Lube,” I thought, and pulled out the half-full tube that we must have bought over two years ago from the bedside table. I coated the carrot and slid my hand around my ass crack to distribute the lube there.

I lay down again on my back with my knees wide and tried again, but my hands slipped on the carrot and I dropped it. I rolled over and from my hands and knees, tried to shove the carrot in that way. Then I tried propping the carrot vertically on the bed and lowering myself onto it in a sitting position, but each time and from every position, the tip would press against my anus and then slip either up or down without entry. I think I was too nervous. It still felt nice, though, so I went back to lying on my back, rubbing my ass crack and anus with the carrot in one hand and bringing myself off to orgasm with my other hand.

I laid on the bed staring at the ceiling for a while, saw that it was starting to get dark, and felt a little silly lying naked with a dildo made out of a carrot in my hand. I got up and dropped the carrot in the kitchen compost bucket. I thought about disguising its obvious appearance as a penis, but then I thought, Screw that. If Zach sees it, maybe he’ll catch a clue.

I hopped in the shower with the water on as hot as I could stand it and washed my long hair. I dried off and put lotion over my body. I dressed in a set of longjohns, the type with waffle weave, and pulled a full-length white cotton nightgown on over them. I caught my hair up in a spring comb to keep it out of my face.

Instead of feeling complete from my session with the carrot on the bed, I kept thinking about Katy and my husband and I could feel that my labia were swollen, wet and still ready for more. I put on a CD of music from West Africa and was about to settle down with a book before going to bed and fantasizing more about possibilities with Katy.

The doorbell rang. It was fully dark and raining hard.

I opened the door to a young man, probably Katy’s age, dressed in a Gore-tex jacket and hiking boots.

“I’m Joel,” he said, offering his hand. “I’m canvassing for the Sierra Club. Can I talk to you about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?”

“Sure,” I said. “Come in. It’s raining. I’m Michelle.”

“Thanks,” he said. “I’m about to call it quits for the night.”

I led him into the living room and offered him a seat on the couch. “Want tea or anything?” I asked.

“Sure,” he said.

Our house is kaçak bahis a rental and very small. The living room and the kitchen are open to each other, so while I put the pot on to boil I could watch him as he looked around the room, from our few framed pictures of nieces and nephews on an end table to the books on our shelves.

He was quite tall, with large hands and feet, but thin, as if he was not finished filling out his frame. His short brown hair was wet and tousled above a round, tanned face. He probably thought of himself as plain.

“Do you live here or are you just here on Spring Break?” I asked.

“I’m just down from Portland. I thought Spring Break might be a good time to come and get some members for the Sierra Club.”

“Uh huh,” I answered, putting three bags of peppermint tea into a small cast-iron pot. I wasn’t planning to tell him I wouldn’t join his club; I disagreed with their xenophobic position on immigration that they took in California, no matter how much I agreed with their environmental policies. My problem with much of environmentalism is how anti-human much of it is, as if humans don’t belong to the earth, as if humans aren’t earth made conscious.

The water boiled so I poured it over the tea bags and put the pot and two small cups on a tray and brought them out to the living room.

Joel broke off his perusal of our books and returned to the couch. I sat down on the other end and smiled.

“Have you gotten many new members yet?”

“No,” he said. “The residents of this town are stingy and the tourists are all drunk, as far as I can tell,” he said ruefully. “You live here?”

“Yes,” I said. “In this town, you’re either a have or a have-not. Most are have-nots. Of course they’re stingy. They barely make ends meet and they send their kids hungry to school.”

“Sorry,” he said. His large hand curled around the tiny ceramic teacup. His knuckles were knobbed and his skin looked rough.

I drew my knees up to my chin on my end of the couch, and tucked my feet under the edge of my nightgown. “Take your boots off, stay awhile and get dry,” I invited, wanting to smooth over my defensiveness about my adopted town.

“Thanks,” he said, and set down his tea to remove his boots. He was wearing rag wool socks.

“So what else do you do, besides canvass for the Sierra Club?”

Joel told me he was at the School of Education at Lewis and Clark; that opened up a more pleasing conversation to us both once I told him I was a teacher in this town. He was leaning in the corner on his side of the couch, his arms spread out over the back and the high arm. I had been slowly inching forward, using the need to pour him a second cup of tea as a pretense to get about three feet closer and occupy the middle cushion.

“Are you staying at a hotel?” I asked.

He said, “Nah, some of my friends rented a house a few blocks from here. It sleeps ten. It’s pretty sweet, completely furnished, with lots of bikes hanging in the garage we can use. I brought my own bike, though.”

“Do you have a girlfriend?” I asked.

“Huh uh,” he said, somewhat woefully. “You?” he asked.

“Oh, not so you’d notice. It’s kind of a long-distance thing. We don’t see each other very often.” I’d removed my wedding ring when I’d showered earlier. It’s loose enough that I was always worried that if it got too soapy it would slide off my finger and get lost down the drain. I kept it in a little dish in a cabinet in the bathroom when I showered.

I smiled and brushed the back of his hand. He immediately caught my hand in his and massaged my palm with his thumb. He met my eyes and smiled, wrapping his hand around my wrist and pulling.

After the events of the day and Katy’s proposition, I decided sex with an out-of-town stranger couldn’t count any more than sex with a friend and coworker. I allowed myself to be pulled onto him.

I unfolded my legs and laid my ear on his chest. He was wearing a pullover fleece and through the pile I could hear his heart beating, fast. He stroked my back; I looped one leg over his and lifted my face. We were kissing immediately, mouths open, hands to face. He was such a different shape than Zach. I was struck especially by the curvature of his head behind his ears, and kept rubbing his head as if to memorize his variance. His movements mirrored mine.

I put my hand under his fleece and pulled his t-shirt out of his jeans and laid my hand on his belly, encountering a light down under his navel that dove to his waistband and presumably beyond.

He spread his arms over the back and side of the couch again, inviting me to do as I pleased. It pleased me to unbuckle his belt, unbutton his jeans and coax his cock out of his boxers. It was still half-soft. I surrounded it with my mouth and started flicking my tongue around the top. I circled the base with one hand and began sucking, hard. I looked up at his face and saw he’d tipped his head back, exposing his throat. He was still wearing all his clothes; it made access to his balls difficult. I focused simply on the head and shaft and unfolded my legs along the length of the couch. I was lying on his inner leg and I began humping it and rolling my hips, my wet labia rubbing against each other as they pressed into him.

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