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Your Cheating Heart

            I happen to enjoy country music. A tenet found in many country weepers concerns cheating. These songs aren’t speaking of devious behavior on one's college boards. Being untrue to your partner is a favorite subject. I have been cheated on twice and it hurts. When someone you love lies to you, your world is turned upside down and trust flies out the window. 

            My one foray into the cheating realm wasn’t a strike against a partner I was in love with. I slept with a married woman (Ann), when I was 20. It happened in a vacation spot, where we were thrown together by chance. She was 38 years old and a friend of a relative. I came by to catch a buzz with my older, hip cousin and Ann was staying there. My cousin had gone out of town for the day.

            Ann offered me a beer, I pulled out a joint and off we went. That she was married never entered my mind. I was completely taken by her beauty, savoir faire and sophisticated West Coast manners. She was like no woman I’d ever met. We sat around and talked for hours, then smoked and drank some more.

            I was turned on by her dark eyes and cool ways.  We ended making love right there on the couch. I was extremely nervous and at first couldn’t get it together. Ann calmed me down and finally I managed to make clumsy love with her. We fell asleep for a few minutes.

            Now for the learning part of what started out as an evening of wonder and excitement. Around midnight, the telephone rang. Ann answered it and said “Hi honey.” It was her husband calling from the West Coast. I could have crawled under the door, I felt so low. In a weird way, I felt as if Ann was cheating on me at that moment by calling the man on the other end of that line “honey.”

            I had been so taken by Ann, and her focus on me, a young guy, the idea she was married never entered my mind. That moment was the worst I’ve ever felt, après lovemaking. I quickly put on my clothes and left, while Ann was still speaking to her husband.

            That was a painful lesson to learn. I went from feeling an incredible high, after being loved by a beautiful woman, to wishing I had never met her. I wondered how I’d feel if that was my girlfriend or wife. Later in life I found out the hard way, twice.

            I could never cheat on a woman I loved. I expect a woman that’s in my life to be my best friend. I wouldn’t lie to my best friend, female or male. That, and life is difficult enough as it is. Cheating would only make my existence that much tougher.        

General Manifesto is a Nantucketer.