Ms. Awesomely Dangerous has always been a personality I can slip into and then discard when I need to. There is me, slightly awkward lil ole me, and then there is Ms. Awesomely Dangerous.
She’s my favorite armor.
I need her to survive these affairs because they take so much out of me. I don’t want anyone to get too close to the warm squishy bits underneath.
But Mr. Exec is getting a healthy dose of the actual me. It’s become nearly impossible to utilize Ms. Awesomely Dangerous as a defense mechanism. I knew this was going to be an issue- given how I know him. But I didn’t expect it to be so incredibly taxing on my little brain.
I don’t get a break at all.
Every weekday I am forced to confront his wife. I don’t need Ms. Awesomely Dangerous to interact with her, though. In fact, I prefer to be my normal self because it helps me to relax. However, she does remind me of him. And in that sense, I feel naked without Ms. A to help me remember that there is no need for feelings or longing. I need Ms. A to remind me that this man is a wicked, wicked game. Without her I stumble.
For St. Patrick’s day, we got out of rehearsal early. My best friend and I were already planning on getting drinks at the bar across the street. She’s not a drinker, but I am and she always volunteers to be my DD. Which I appreciate. On a whim, we decided to invite a few select cast mates. We stopped one of the chosen few as she was packing up her bags.
BFF: “Hey- we are going across the street for some drinks if you are interested.”
CAST MATE (Let’s call her G, because she will appear in later entries I’m sure): “Oh for sure. Mr. IT (G’s boyfriend) and Mr. Exec are already on their way there.”
My face turns red and I feel like I’m going to pass out.
Why is he suddenly everywhere I am? To torture me?
I grab my BFF and we quickly rush out the door.
“What was that about?” She asks me. “Are you mad that I invited her?”
I’m distracted. Trying to figure out if I should bail on tonight. My BFF would be disappointed with me. “Huh? … Oh, no. She’s fine. I like her. That rehearsal was just stressing me out and I wanted to be done.”
“Totally get that. Everyone was being a Kiwi tonight.”
Kiwi = stupid. It’s our secret code word for when we are over something. Kiwi, kiwi, kiwi. I want to smash a Kiwi. Oh, look at that Kiwi. I want a Kiwi. We have too many Kiwis. Mr. Exec is a kiwi.
“They really were.” We pile into the car and I put it in drive. My stomach starts to churn. The air feels heavy, but also electric. As much as I protest about being around Mr. Exec- I relish in the experience. He. Is. So. Fucking. Delicious.
We pass a car on our way into the parking lot.
“Oh hey! Mr. IT and Mr. Exec are already here! Let’s go say hi!” And once we’ve parked my BFF happily jumps out of the car. Mr. Exec drives off, likely back towards the theatre to pick up his wife. I relax again. I have some time before I’ll be faced with him. I can get a good buzz going.
We stop and chat with Mr. IT before adventuring off on our own in search of drinks. He’s already smashed. He admits that he and Mr. Exec have been pre-gaming. I’m even more desperate to knock a few back.
I watch my BFF flirt with Mr. IT with some amusement. She hasn’t yet admitted that she would venture into an affair with him if he asked. So far, she will only admit that he is extremely attractive, and she wishes she could find someone like that in our world that’s still single. I know it’s coming though. And I think he would be a willing dance partner for her if she was adventurous enough to take it. I’d have to help her. And at this point I’m not certain whether I will even survive Mr. Exec.
Eventually they break apart after making plans for a relatively benign date. I eye her suspiciously. Is she aware that she’s upping the ante? That she has no business going out with him solo? She is, after all, 20 years his junior. Just as I am to my Mr. Exec. Something wicked this way comes.
After procuring some drinks, cider for her- champagne for me, we steal away to a hidden booth in the corner. I insisted we get a seat where we can watch the door for when the rest of our party arrives. I wonder how many drinks I can sneak in before Mr. Exec waltzes in. Were I alone- I could muster three. But I’m not alone. And BFF knows my history with alcohol.
Thankfully it’s a Holiday and drinking is sort of the theme of this one. G and Mr. IT join us in our corner booth and buy a round of jello shots for the table. BFF licks one and decides it’s awful and hands me hers. Thank god. I dig my tongue around the edge of the cup to easily free the jello. I wasn’t aiming to do it sensually. I notice Mr. IT watching me with a smirk on his face and a slight twinkle in his eye. Of course. What am I? A fucking magnet? I toss him a cursory glance and quickly look back down at my jello cup.
I am thoroughly buzzed by the time I notice Mr. Exec walk through the door. He comes first. His wife trailing behind. He’s all smiles. My breath catches. He’s just. So. Perfect. Dazzling. Delicious. I. Have. No. Self. Control. Around. Him. Ms. Awesomely Dangerous begs to take over. I want her to. But there are far too many people here to let her have free reign. Who knows what sort of trouble she’d get into. I let her seep out in small moments. She takes over when I walk to the bar to get another drink. She takes over when I lock eyes with my Mr. Exec.
But for most of the evening I remain in the driver’s seat. The alcohol helps me relax a little bit so I’m not too incredibly socially awkward. It also helps that I’ve gotten to know these people quite well over the last year. They have become friends, of a sort.
When we move towards the foyer to sit with the rest of the group, Mr. Exec makes sure to clear a place for me on the couch next to him. He motions for me to sit down but I ignore him and select a seat adjacent to him. This seat also happens to be directly next to Mrs. Exec.
Mrs. Exec and I engage in casual conversation. I ask her about her work. About her weekend plans. About the show. About her theatrical talents that don’t include being a member of the ensemble. I don’t dare look at Mr. Exec to see how he’s handling our close interaction. I wonder if it makes him uncomfortable, his two women interacting like this. Or perhaps he gets some sort of sick thrill from it. The latter is far more likely. He once remarked to me that being around both of us at the same time felt oddly comfortable.
Mr. Exec and Mr. IT disappear into the bar to retrieve more drinks for the party frequently. It’s clear they are intent on tying one on. My BFF follows them frequently under the guise of getting water. I think she just wants to get Mr. IT alone. I join her in following. The four of us sit at the bar and chat easily. We joke. We laugh. They are flirting with both of us. It feels so comfortable. This foursome, though forbidden, feels right.
And then my heart starts to run away from my brain. I imagine what it would be like to swap places with Mrs. Exec. To be his other half. To work a crowd with him. To meet eyes with him from across a room and acknowledge a strange life we’ve built. I begin to crave it. I want to go to sleep with him each night. To wake up with him each morning. I want to know how he likes his coffee. I want to know what his conflict style is.
My mind catches up to my heart and thoroughly chastises it for letting me get caught up in that romance. I suddenly need a break from everyone, and I rush outside to suck down some nicotine. I’m surprised to feel tears streaming down my cheek. Unexpected. Ms. A is rolling her eyes at me. Emotions. Not. To be. Felt.
Later I’ll check my phone and find several messages from my Mr. Exec. One of which is “B, where did you go?” “I was worried.”
I don’t know how much longer I will be able to carry on this charade. It’s keeping me stuck in this heightened state. And one cannot live there for very long without some brain-damage…
The sad reality? I’m not sure I will be able to stop no matter how injurious it becomes.