While I tend to be a private person and keep what happens in my relationships to myself, I think you’ll find what I’m about to tell you fascinating and, because I will not be naming names, I don’t feel like I’m violating anyone’s confidentiality.
If anything, it’s more of a referendum on me (us?) than her.
While I wouldn’t classify myself as a playboy by any stretch of the imagination, I have slept with a number of women. I mention this only to make clear that I’ve had some experience with the sleeping part of sleeping with a woman.
She was unique in the fact that when she went to sleep there was no tossing or turning involved. Once the deep breathing began she did not move a muscle the rest of the night. Time-lapse photography or a still photo of the moment of initial moment of slumber would reveal the exact same pose come morning. There was no ‘drifting off’ for her, it more like she turned off. Powered down.
It was how I knew she was a robot.
This thought was confirmed some weeks later when just before she shut down for the night her right leg lifted up as if to place itself over the left. Instead it froze a few inches from the mattress. And stayed there. All night.
I looked at it from a number of angles just to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I wasn’t. I was spending the evening with a flesh-covered mannequin.
You might be asking yourself “What was she like during the day?”, an understandable question. The answer is simple; she was delightful. Ever since the ‘Night of the Lifted Leg’ (as it came to be known) I was on guard. I didn’t want to fall for a robot so I asked her about her childhood and who she was as a person. I even asked a question right out of the Turing Test playbook; “If you were to draw yourself as an abstract painting, what colors and shapes would you use and why?”
She passed with flying abstract colors. I was happy and she seemed to be as well. All was going well.
Until, as it would be later called, the ‘Night of the Spread legs.’
We’d been drinking. A little too much in retrospect. Maybe way too much. The evening ended up with the two of us in bed, in the throes of passion. Just as things were coming to a climax she passed out/turned off. On her back, arms at her side and knees pulled up by her head.
I never blamed myself for finishing.
It was the following morning that caused the moral dilemma. When I woke she was lying there next to me in the same position. I might not have mentioned it thus far, but she was a strikingly attractive woman. A strikingly attractive woman in an achingly sexy pose. If you don’t think that ‘achingly’ is a good word to describe it, it ‘s just because you weren’t there to see it. My head swam.
The noted psychoanalyst Adam Phillips once said “Our lived lives might become a protracted mourning for, or an endless tantrum about, the lives we were unable to live, but the exemptions we suffer, whether forced or chosen, make us who we are.”
The exemption I was considering suffering made me wonder if I was taking some Turing Test of my own. Just to clarify and confuse things a little bit further, exemption can also be defined as release or discharge.
Do we understand each other now?
Can we ever hope to understand ourselves?
The question you might be left with is “How did the ‘Morning of the Spread Legs’ end?”
How do you think? That’s your test.
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