My Cambodian Mistress
I rarely think of the consequences of my actions, or rather actions that have to do with my sexual needs. It is not that I am not smart in a great many matters—or so say my business associates. It is rather than when it comes to attractive women of a certain age I simply cannot help myself. And so it was in a rather spectacular way with M., who in spite of my quite good marriage and lovely wife Karen became my occasional mistress. Or to be more precise, she was my mistress for two weeks twice a year every year for three years. And some two weeks they were, of bliss and happiness and wild coupling in Phnom Penh, interrupted only by a day here and there when M. had to be with her family in Bantambong. This she had to do not just to satisfy the needs of her family but also to be able to credibly lie to her husband, a lie made easy by the fact that he spoke no Cambodian and neither did M.’s family and therefore her time with me would never be known. I thought it was the near perfect arrangement, one far distant from home and with my own near perfect excuse for being away I was certain that nothing could go wrong. But it did! And at times when I reflect on what happened I could kick myself for letting my guard down and giving into temptation.
The best place to begin, I suppose, is to note that I have been going to the gym for years, nine years to be precise, five and six times a week. My job makes it possible, and for reasons that go back to my last year in high school and my father getting me interested in the gym and keeping in shape I am what might in all fairness be called a gym addict. I love the workouts, I keep track of exactly how much time I spend on aerobic activities, and I rarely forget what machines I have used the previous day to tone my muscles and keep my weight at 165 pounds plus or minus a pound of two, and in spite of those nights when I cannot resist the alcohol and the second helping of lamb or beef and a marvelous desert that my caring and incomparable wife insists I enjoy at one of our many candlelight dinners beside our pool.
I’ll freely admit that I have long eyed women at the gym, those at any rate that are roughly between twenty-five and thirty-five. I’ll also admit that I have engaged more than a few in conversations, invariably with the thought in the back of mind that if the chemistry is right and they are willing, then why not? I’m still young—just hit the forty mark two months ago—and I cannot see any reason, moral, ethical or otherwise, to deprive myself of what my like-minded friends call the incomparable pleasures of pussy. That any sane man with opportunity would do so!
There is no need to get into the many stories about this or that young woman I picked up at the gym and have had for an afternoon or two. There have been several of them, some good, some bad, some that have left me indifferent. But fortunately, all of them–up to this point in life—while needy they have been discreet. I have been careful to reveal very little about my married life, and I have not been that inquisitive about the personal lives of those who enjoy sex as much as I do.
Now to M. Lovely, busty, gum-chewing M.! I suppose I had seen her in the gym, always at mid-morning on Tuesday and Thursdays and Saturdays (I go in the afternoons on other days when she is not there), for two or three months before I decided I would have to make a move, knowing of course that it would be risky since she had a big diamond on her left hand and always came to the gym with her two young children, one a boy of about two and a girl just under a year.
M. sure was dedicated! She was always on the Stairmaster, and always for at least fifty minutes, and always chewing her gum and reading her novel, and always with her hair pinned up, and by the time she was a half hour into her hard walk on the moving stairs she was sweaty all over, from brow to that fetching thin waist below those enormous breasts of her. God were they big! I loved them, I couldn’t get enough of them! When I first saw her I thought she was a Filipina. The skin color was right. There were four or five of them who came to the gym regularly and I’d had a brief affair with one who was a nurse and had just gotten a divorce. This and the fact that I’d had one other fling with a Filipina who had just turned twenty-one when I was thirty-four (she had wanted to try an “older man,”) led me to infer that M. was also a Filipina. But no, I quickly learned that she was Cambodian. As much as I have an eye for Asian women, I still have problems putting them in the right country. Well, except for Chinese women, and I’m usually pretty good at picking out those who have Korean blood. But I’m getting off track and onto matters that do not really matter.
Anyway, I resisted for a long getting on that damn Stairmaster. I just don’t like it. But then I saw that if I was to get where I wanted to be with M., about the only way was to take one of the machines next to her and begin by slipping in a comment here and there about what she was reading or how much she exerted herself. And that’s exactly what I did. She warmed to me quickly, and we chatted about little things like the business she was in with her husband, and all the reasons that she brought the two kids with her to the gym (it was not about money).
I worked hard on her for nearly a month before I got the information about her yearly visits to Cambodia. Slowly the details began to come out. About when she went, and how much it was a matter of catering to her poor family, and her not really wanting to go, and how her husband couldn’t go because of the family business—they made home mortgage loans and, if I was to believe her, were really quite successful. Anyway, it did not take all that much thought on my part to see that if I could get away at the same time that she was in Cambodia, and if I continued with this long courting warm-up, then I had it figured that we just might be able to spend a good deal of time together. Of course, this isn’t how I put the matter to her. No, I was much more subtle than that! Or at least I thought so.
It happened something like this. On three different occasions I convinced M. to have coffee with me at Starbucks, a mere fifty yards from the gym where we worked out. We sat and chatted and laughed and I turned on my charms. The kids were still in the nursery, so there was no worry about keeping her attention and finding just the right moment to make my move. A move, really, that was little more than getting a firm read on when she would next find herself in Cambodia, and then respond in just the right way, with measured enthusiasm. She came forth with the information, I mentally noted it all down, and then about two weeks before she would leave for Phnom Penh I off-handedly mentioned that company business (I worked for a transnational that sold pharmaceutical products) would take me to Bangkok and I would have a week or so free if I was lucky enough to get my business matters wrapped up. And should that happen, I said to her, perhaps we could meet up and you could show me around. Cambodia was a country I had long wanted to see, I let her know on a couple of different occasions.
That would be a great, she said. I am always looking for an excuse to get away from the suffocating family and sleeping in a hammock with pigs and barking dogs everywhere.
And so that’s what we did. Oh, did we! French restaurants and long and intimate walks along the Tonle Sap and music venues at night, and then all that time later and often well into the morning enjoying each other like two young newlyweds who were utterly glandular, oblivious to time and circumstance and the simple fact that all good things, and all bad things too, must come to an end. (How banal to have to say this, but it is true, is it not?)
It was inevitable that we would get into trouble, and I must take the blame for it. Yes, it was my fault. And I hate to say that it was nothing more than giving into temptation, doing what I knew I should not do. But then M. did play a role too, did she ever!
I am just like all men I have ever known. I can’t stand wearing a condom. I would never wear one were it not for being mindful that I must be careful. This is something that I would remind myself each and every time I found myself with a new woman. The simple fact is that I had to be very careful, since Karen and I have such an active sex life, and were I out of commission for even a couple of days she would be all over me with questions.
On the first two trips to Phnom Penh to meet up with M. I didn’t even consider going bareback with her. With two young kids I just figured she was as fertile as a twenty-year-old, and then there was the matter of whether or not she was also fooling around with other men and might have something nasty. On the second of these trips, she said I didn’t have to use anything, that there was nothing to worry about. I said, Okay, I believe you, and just went on being careful. (Well, not when we had oral sex, of course. Everything I read and knew told me that here there was nothing at all to worry about, and I never have with any of the women with whom I have had an affair.)
In the second year of our Cambodian adventures, M. returned to this idea that I didn’t need to use anything with her. And then she added that I really did not have to worry because after her second child, she and her husband decided that they didn’t want anymore. They also didn’t want to worry about her getting pregnant again. For a reason she didn’t explain, she was the one who had the small operation that, she said, made it impossible for her to conceive. By this time I had no reason whatsoever to not believe whatever she told me, and it was not therefore hard to do what we both wanted.
M., As I Want to Remember Her
Everything moved along to near perfection with our little semi-annual affairs. Each one in fact proved better than the last one. M. found a way to convince her parents that she could only spend two or three days with them on the front end of her trip and then she had to return home. I gathered from what she said—she wasn’t quite clear on this point—that she gave them more money than she usually did and this compensated for spending less time with them. Right away, we took advantage of the situation. We traveled to Hanoi and Vientiane and down to Bali, and if there was a good restaurant that one of us had come across in our internet researches we didn’t miss the opportunity to go there. Nor did we skimp on hotels, never staying at less than one with five stars.
And then there was that call on my cell phone, so unexpected and so alarming that I had to sit down and catch my breath. I was initially so stunned and so alarmed with the news that I had to put my head between my legs to avoid fainting. M. was pregnant! And not just pregnant, but she was certain beyond a doubt that I was the one responsible!
How could this be? I said, and not quietly. How could this possible be? You told me that you had been tied off.
I lied, she said. I had to. I just wasn’t enjoying what we were doing when I couldn’t truly feel you.
And your husband? I thought you told me you had a good sex life with him? He’s the father, he must be.
Honey, that was another lie.
How big a lie?
Do I have to tell you?
Now you do. Tell me!
He’s impotent. Or maybe I should be kind and say that he just has no interest in me sexually.
When’s the last time you had sex with him?
I don’t believe you?
Why do you think I was so horny all the time with you?
I didn’t know what to say. I finally said, trying to find a small amount of humor it this mess, I thought it was me.
She laughed. Okay, it was you.
I want the baby.
You can’t have it. It will destroy two marriages.
I must! I will!
She hung up on me.
I called her right back and she hung up again. I called an hour later and I said, Please reconsider. This is a huge disaster for both of us if you insist.
I must. I want another child. I just didn’t know it was going to be with you.
I didn’t call her for a day, and when I did I said we had to meet. We agreed to go to a nearby park, as soon as she put the kids in the babysitting room at the gym.
I pleaded with her to have an abortion, told her I would pay. I said, We can find some excuse for you to be away from the family for a couple of days while we get this taken care of.
You haven’t heard me. I want the child.
The conversation went nowhere, and we left, angry at one another, with no resolution.
We met again three days later, and this time I told her that I had had a hypothetical discussion with Karen, who she knew about. I said that she would immediately file for divorce and take me for everything if I were to get another woman pregnant. I bet your husband would do the same, I said to M. I had not in fact talked about this issue with Karen. I was afraid she might start asking questions I couldn’t answer. I had made all this up in the hope that M. would change her mind.
I haven’t changed my mind, M. said on hearing me. I want the child. End of discussion.
I now went to the gym at times when M. wasn’t there. I felt angry, depressed, and I tried hard not to blame M. for lying to me. I tried to accept the blame, knowing that I had been stupid. I had finally gotten myself into a pickle that I had avoided all these years. What was I going to do? This question came to be a hundred times. I could barely function. I don’t know how I was able to hide my state of mind from Karen.
The solution came to me one afternoon when I had to detour off the freeway because when there was a pileup. I found myself in a section of the city where there were lots of Hispanics. It was a part of the city that the newspapers claimed drugs were rampant and you could find a different gang every couple of blocks. At a stop sign I saw a couple of kids with arms covered with tattoos. They weren’t the kind I’d want to meet on a dark street at night. They looked downright scary. That night I couldn’t get these tattooed kids out of my mind as Karen and I went out to high-end Italian restaurant for dinner. We had a bottle of wine, and perhaps it was the wine that made me clearly see what I had to do.
Two days later, after work, I went over to the Hispanic neighborhood where I had seen the tattooed kids. I drove around for almost an hour before I came to a park and saw two brawny Mexican kids throwing a football. They didn’t have shirts on.They were covered with tattoos and like those that had planted the idea in my mind they looked rough, headed for a life of crime and lots of prison time. I approached them and said I was a business man who was looking for someone to help me with a small job. I was willing to pay the two of them $600 for less than an hour’s work. They looked at me suspiciously, unsure who I was, what I was up to.
Here’s what I want you to do, I said. Go to an address I’ll give you. I’ll tell you what time to go. When the woman comes to the door, I want the two of you to say the following words to her and no more. Tell her, You’ve been asked to get rid of something by a friend of yours because of your lying and stupidity. You know what we’re talking about. Now do what you have to do within the next ten days or you’ll never see one of your kids again. That’s all I want the two of you to say, I then said. Nothing more. Make sure you wear T-shirts to show off your tattoos, and look mean. Look like you might kill her. Don’t raise your voice, just look mean. Don’t answer any questions. Just walk away after you give her the message. Don’t let her see your car or motorcycle or be able to identify you.
When you pay us? one of them said.
Four hundred now, the rest I’ll put in an envelope and tape to the underside of that garbage can behind you. I will put the money there as soon as I find out you did what I want you to do.
One of them said, You on, man. Both of them gave me high fives.
I gave them four one-hundred dollar bills.
Three days later I got a text message from M. It read: I changed my mind. Tell me where I can have it.
I set it up and paid for it. I got confirmation that she got it done. I changed my membership to another gym. I never heard from M. again. I still work out as much as I always did, and now I’ve got an affair going with a blond high school teacher who’s twenty-seven. Boy, is she good and even a little kinky! I met her the first week I started going to a new gym. I’m thinking of ways to convince her to meet me in Phnom Penh when she’s off during the summer. I know all kinds of nice places to stay and French restaurants where we can really enjoy one another. I might even take her to Bali, where M. and I went bareback for the first time.