Shinui / Change (Part 2 of 2)

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A180 kincks

Written by Noa. Noa is an experienced Jewrotica writer.

This piece is the continuation of “Shinui / Change (Part 1 of 2)“. “Shinui / Change” can be read as a prequel to Noa’s first story, In Total Darkness.

Rated R

07. WEDNESDAY

Wednesday is another nightmare evening. I’m afraid the neighbors are going to call the police the way the baby has been screaming on and off for two hours.

“No, it’s first stomach, then swinging,” I say.

The pacifier pops out. Again.

“Sucking is the last step,” I say.

The baby starts to wail.

“Make a bullet list!” my wife snaps.

“We’re supposed to shush her,” I say.

There is fire in her eyes. “Get me that Dr. Harvey’s telephone number. I’m going to call him and demand that he come here right this second and calm down this baby or give us a full refund for the price of this book. Plus interest. Happiest baby on the block, my ass.”

“Do you think he’s Jewish?” I ask. “His name sounds kind of Jewish.”

“Karp? I don’t know. Maybe. Why?”

“Well, if he’s Jewish, we can’t charge him interest.”

She groans loudly. “Okay, Mr. Comedian, it’s your turn again. Fix this swaddle –” which is almost completely undone– “and work this five S witchcraft.”

I grab the earplugs from the counter, insert them, then get to work.

Ten minutes later, I have a sleeping angel in my arms.

“Look at her,” I say, taking out the earplugs with my left hand. “Isn’t she the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen in your life?”

My wife looks at the baby. Then she looks at me. Then she starts to laugh.

“I need a drink,” she says.

I put the baby down while she pours wine into two glasses. We drink while standing, leaning on the counter.

“From the tone in your voice,” I say, “I was sure you were going to get out the hard stuff.”

“If by ‘get out the hard stuff’ you mean ‘drink vanilla extract straight from the Economy Size bottle,’ I considered that.”

Gross.

She takes a sip. “Did I really yell at her to make a bullet list?”

“Yeah, that was classic.”

“My brain is fried. Deep-fried. Like a… like a deep-fried Twinkie. I hope you enjoyed those few years of being married to a human being. Good luck with what you’re stuck with.”

“I don’t know, I find what I’m stuck with to be pretty entertaining.”

“‘Make a bullet list!'” she falsettos, and bursts into giggles. Her glass is empty, so that might be
related.

I finish off my wine. She rinses the glasses and then turns back to me, her face flushed from alcohol and laughter.

Then she hops onto the counter and crooks a finger at me.

I move in promptly, standing pressed against her for a few moments. Just feeling. My blood is going, pounding, for real, more than any time since last Thursday.

When she reaches for my zipper, I just need to make sure – “You’re not drunk, right?” It’s assurharam, forbidden, ix-nay on the opulation-cay – to have sex while one or both partners are drunk.

“I’m just relaxed,” she confirms. “It was only one glass.” She unzips me and takes me out and I just about lose my mind.

After a few minutes, I have to stop her. The counter is too high to do this comfortably, so we move to the bedroom and sit down on the bed, next to each other.

I hold her, caress her face as we kiss. Her mouth still tastes like wine, ripe for romance. My head is still spinning, from arousal or from the wine I don’t know, but everything is going in fast forward and slow motion at the same time.

It’s going to work this time. We just need to take things slowly, work up to it. I need to tease her so hard she’ll be crying from the frustration by the time I touch her.

I let my fingertips skim over her hips and lower back, just underneath her shirt. She shuffles closer and takes my head in her hands. Our mouths touch so lightly that it can barely be called a kiss – more a tracing of lips. In the meantime, she’s running her hands through my hair and I’m dipping my fingers under her waistline.

Then I hear the fussing sounds coming from the bassinet.

“No, no, no, go back to sleep,” I whisper in the relevant direction. “Or at least make a bullet list.”

Of course, she doesn’t listen, and of course, the wine’s secondary side effect hits, and of course, my eyelids snap shut as soon as I lie down – like one of those baby dolls – and they won’t stay open for more than a second at a time no matter how hard I will it.

I barely make it to the end of Shema before I’m completely out.




08. THURSDAY

Thursday night, they’re still nursing as I get into bed. They started about forty minutes ago, but apparently it’s a slow bedtime routine tonight. I guess I’m just in time, because the baby falls asleep a few minutes after I get there, and my wife gets up to place her into the bassinet.

I figure that since I’m awake for once, we can try this again when she gets back to the bed. So I’m sitting up, waiting patiently. But when she gets to the bed and settles in, she barely glances at me.
I cover her hip with my hand, and she shoves it away, letting out a frustrated sob. “Damn it, leave me alone! Haven’t I done enough for you?”

It doesn’t even take a second for her face to go white and her eyes to widen. She’s never spoken to me like that before. I don’t even begin to know how to react.

“I’m sorry,” she says immediately.

I’m still speechless. What did that even mean?

I made a point of asking her if she wanted to wait longer, and she insisted – she insisted. Not me.

“I wasn’t – I didn’t mean that,” she continues.

I snap out of it. “Don’t worry about it,” I say.”You’re under a lot of stress.”

Is she lying to me about what she wants? Is she afraid of how I’ll react if she tells me she doesn’t want to have sex? But just last night…!

“I am. But that doesn’t excuse… ” her voice trails off.

“It’s fine,” I insist. “I understand.”

I wish I did.




09. FRIDAY

This is too big for just the two of us.

On the one hand, I’ve never breathed a word of our sex life to anyone else. I don’t want to disrespect her – disrespect us – that way.

On the other hand, I’m running out of ideas here.

I think about adding an extra line in the freestyle part of Shmoneh Esrei for a solution – but praying in order to get laid reminds me too much of those football players on their knees at their fields, praying for a touchdown.

My boss has a one-year-old. My boss also davens in our shul and says good Shabbos to my wife on a weekly basis.

That won’t do.

My father and I have always had a strained relationship, which I prefer not to talk about. Maybe we’ll reconnect one day, but it won’t be over this.

My brother is still basically a kid. Not my mother. Certainly not her family; I’d never be able to look them in the eyes again.

My sister is a nurse. But she’s single and certainly has never given birth. But she’s a nurse. And she’s a woman. And she’s the smartest person I know.

I call her and ask her to come over Shabbos lunch, if she doesn’t already have any commitments.

She doesn’t.

And if any eyebrows are raised at the last-minute invitation, she’s the one who called me Friday morning and asked to come over for lunch.

She agrees.

And when I say mincha five minutes before Shabbos, I daven my heart out for an end to the drought, both physical and emotional.
Friday night, we don’t even try.

This is too big for just the two of us.




10. SHABBAT

When I wake up in the morning, my shorts are stiff.

Damn it.

This hasn’t happened to me since the week before our wedding, when the anticipation was taking over most of my thoughts and all of my dreams. Except then, I knew it would be over soon. I knew that the future was going to be wonderful. And it was.

The future was wonderful.

Now, it’s so different. I hope things will get better, but how can I know for sure? Sometimes, marriages really do fall apart after kids. Sometimes, people just have more and more kids, trying to cover up the rotten smell of their relationship until one day it all comes out and everything falls apart.

Damn, damn, damn.

Or maybe I’m completely overreacting over one lousy wet dream.

And on Shabbos, too. Perfect.

There’s no way I can make, “No pressure, but your lack of arousal is causing me to majorly sin in my sleep,” sound like anything but a guilt trip, is there?

Shit shit damn.

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Noa believes in romance, friendship and justice. She doesn’t, however, believe in the Oxford comma.

  • Ayo Oppenheimer

    Mm, that sister had good advice. And I love the ending:

    “I end up winning. But then again, so does she. And then again, we both do. And then again.”

    Both the content and the literary style are great. Looking forward to publishing your next piece, Noa!