2 min

Dear Babycakes

The vacation arrangement

Credit: Xtra West files

Dear Diary; Back at parent’s place for the summer. Lying on the flannel
sheets from years ago. Itchy on my elbows and tummy. But the itch
reminds me.

Reminds me of the first few times I jacked off-back when I didn’t
fantasize about anyone. Before the magazines, or the internet porn.
Before all the fucking confusion that other people bring on. There was
just me and this good feeling. There was just a warm unconscious

Odd to be back in the deep quiet of this house, with quiet memories
like that, after the clamour of university rez.

Is very odd. And parents seem hardly there. Like characters from the
beginning of the play, and they reappear at the end to say something
poignant. But you can’t even remember if they were good guys or bad

In other news: letter from Jamie came today.

Dear Babycakes,

How are things?

Ever since I got home, Dad has me doing lawn work and painting his
fence. Is much like Russian work camp, I imagine-though am getting
excellent tan and not eating fish-eye soup like in Russia.

Toronto’s clubs are so great! I’d completely forgotten.

I know we never talked about it, but how do you want to work this, over
the summer? Do you want to make it an open thing? I’m thinking that’d
be better than lying to each other, wouldn’t it?

Maybe we could talk about it on the phone.

Hope everything’s going swimmingly,

Je t’aime,

Jamie Arnstein, Esquire


Is clearly malicious catch-22. If I say no then Jamie will feel he has
crone-like wretch of boyfriend with greedy talons still in him. Then
he’ll fuck around anyway out of instinctive rebellion spirit. But,
since I voted for monogamy, he’ll feel compelled to keep it from me and
our future relationship will be smothered under pathetic blanket of
lies. Will die like Victorian Poet of Syphilis years later, clutching
handkerchief to my fluttering bosom. And never know why.

On other hand, if I vote for open relationship, that means Jamie can
enjoy even more wild orgies with guilt-free abandon.

Don’t want him to have orgies without me.

Am stupid throwback to 19th century sex-politics. Where did the hippie
spirit go?

Red-hot face. Bit of tear in my eyes. Trudged downstairs to join family
in the den.

Mom asked what was wrong. Dad turned on the TV and promptly melted into
the couch.

A little thought bubble appeared over my head: “Gee Mom, just trying to
decide whether I want my boyfriend to fuck around on me over the
summer.” No. The truth wouldn’t do.

So. Just kept quiet and my face went redder and my nostrils flared.

Mom’s face crumbled. “Honey.”

Looked out the window. Stared at a puddle dancing in the rain.

“Sometimes,” went Mom, “sometimes . . .” But she just trailed off and
started staring at the puddle with me.

Finally, under the crowded noise issuing from the TV, Mom spoke again.

“Remember when you were in Cub Scouts? Remember those long trips in the
woods you’d all go on? You kids would eat nothing but candy for seven
days straight! And you wouldn’t sleep a wink, I swear! You’d be fine as
long as you were at camp. But as soon as you came home, the very next
morning, you’d be sick as a dog.”

Felt her looking at me then, but I kept on monitoring the puddle. She
said, “It was like you’d keep everything at bay, but it would all catch
up to you, as soon as you came home.”