July 28, 2009

Adulterous Adultery


I've been reading a lot of short stories lately, and you wouldn't believe the number of affairs, infidelity and adultery taking place in these things. Either cheating on your significant other is much, much more common than I realized, or that's just one of the go-to dramatic turn for literary short stories (another one would be the unusual childhood friend with the normal narrator).

Anyway, I've been thinking about this question for a little bit in light of the Steve McNair drama and now with all this infidelity I'm reading about now, it's been bugging me more.

If you find yourself in an affair. So there you are, cheating on your significant other, let's say that person's name is Larry, with another person who I will call Buster. But then you go out and sleep with a new, third person, named Javier. Now, obviously, you're cheating on your Larry by sleeping with Javier. That's just one more drop in the bucket, another reason to DTMFA (the MF in this case would be you). However, have you also cheated on Buster by sleeping with Javier?

There are a lot of ins and outs to be considered about this potential soap opera. Like is Buster aware you are in a committed relationship with Larry? Maybe you're just being all around devious and everyone is in the dark. But, regardless of all potentialities, does Buster have a right to feel betrayed if you cheat with someone else who is not Buster? Even if Buster is aware of your committed relationship and everything, if you were to sleep with someone else besides him, which is already out of bounds, shouldn't Buster, well, sort of expect it? And, anyway, what do you call this sleeping with Javier instead of Buster business? Is that infidelity, too? Assuming of course there was a kind of implied fidelity to Buster?

I don't know. Maybe there's a short story in there somewhere about this odd childhood friend of my first person narrator mixed up in all these humpy shenanigans, oh and I'll need an epiphany...there's always an epiphany.

viva el mustache


Philly Baby said...

If this is for a story you're writing, I would suggest avoiding the common turn of the cheater ending up alone--it would be a much more interesting story in 1st person if he manages to keep these affairs going for years, through marriage, various children between three women, deaths, etc. It would make an interesting psychological profile. The thing about a cheater personality is either a) hiding the truth from both partners or b) cheating openly so one partner knows that there is a wife waiting for the lover at home. Given the names you mention, if your characters are gay men, that adds an interesting twist, but plays a little off stereotypes. Consider you have two gay men in a commited relationship, and one starts cheating with a woman--an older women, missing a leg or arm or something, maybe she has some kind of degenrative disorder, so the man is acting out some kind of hero-protector fantasy with this relationship as much as for sexual gratification. Hmm--yeah, maybe it's a little lame.

Jorge said...

I think the rule of thumb in this situation is knowledge. If no one knows about anyone else, then you are cheating on everyone. If Buster knows you are committed to Larry, then you aren't cheating on Buster, but you are cheating on Larry. And if Javier knows you're cheating on Larry with Buster, but Javier doesn't know that you haven't told Buster about you and Javier, then you're cheating on Larry times two, Buster times two, and Javier times one (because you're not telling him he's the affair, even though he knows you are an affair haver).

It's all so confusing. But when you're involved in the infidelities, it all makes so much sense and is so clear. It's a weird thing. Totally not worth it, but weird all the same.