A dream interrupted by sex …
Sometime during that night, as Joellen hovered between sleep and a vague sense of surfacing as if from a deep well of viscous liquid, she had an intense dream. She felt elated with a sense of physical pleasure moving through her like a warm mist, a feeling that expanded into particular zones in her body. In her dream she moaned and her arms seemed wrapped around a man’s shoulders as her hips moved rhythmically. The sense of pleasure increased. The man’s face was obscured but his mouth surrounded her left nipple and he repeated her name as his body moved slowly against hers and she felt him inside her. She felt weightless, as if she could rise into the air and float on this pleasure, so intense was it, and so near. It seemed to build until, in the dream, as the pleasure increased in waves, the man raised his face to look into her eyes as she reached the ultimate moment and it was the face of North Karlson.
Her eyes blinked open and she was awake. Brent was on top of her pumping and grunting, and in a moment he was finished. He rolled off and dropped back against his pillow.
“Well,” he said in what was for him a normal voice, as if it was not the middle of the night and she had not just awakened. “What did you eat for dinner?”
Joellen was confused. She was trying to recapture the delicious feeling and, at the same time, feeling ashamed for having the associate pastor in her dream –especially in that dream.
“What do you mean?” Joellen asked and looked over at him. She tried to see his face but the room was dark and she couldn’t read him as she usually could.
“For God’s sake, Jo, you practically raped me.”
“What are you talking about? You were having sex with me.” Now she was more confused.
“Do you really think after a hard week traveling and having to hole up in Newark for three extra hours because my flight was delayed that I actually had the energy to wake up in the middle of Friday night to have sex?”
She didn’t say anything. The fact that he had done just that was too obvious to point out and if she had, he would have argued her down.
“So . . . can I go back to sleep now or are you gonna climb all over me again?” Brent turned away from her, his back curved. He punched the pillow.
“You don’t have to worry about it. I won’t bother you again,” she managed to say, but the sarcasm was lost on Brent.
“Oh,” he said, turning his head slightly toward her, “it’s okay. But it’s not like you at all. I hope you’re not turning into one of those suburban sex addicts, drinking wine with the girls while the husband’s away and then needing to get laid every weeknight. Tomorrow’s Saturday so it was okay this time. I can sleep late if you take care of the kids and keep them out of the room until I’m up.”
“I’ll take care of them,” she said
He didn’t say anything else and Joellen lay there trying to remember what she had done. She couldn’t imagine herself approaching him the way he described. Her? Demanding sex? He was always the one who initiated. And never in the middle of the night. As a matter of fact over the past six months, their sex had nearly dried up. She remembered one unusual night when her mother-in-law was visiting from Wisconsin. She had taken the children to pizza and a movie. Brent had made a big scene in their bedroom about renewing their early marriage, about what had happened to them since they’d had kids. It had ended with him insisting they have sex on the floor – just to do something different he’d said. But it was pretty much the same sex, as far as Joellen could tell. It didn’t last long. And Brent left right after to go watch a game on TV. Was it baseball or basketball?
She could hear his sleep breathing already. It almost sounded as if he was stuttering as he let out each breath.
She tried to recapture the dream. Bits of it floated in her mind, like images reflected on a plate-glass pane, half transparent, moving in and out, slipping away. The only part she could hold onto was North Karlson’s face looking into her eyes as she clung to his body. And she remembered the feeling of pleasure.