My girlfriend’s other girlfriend was a novelist
who every other weekend had a tryst
with B, a hedge-fund manager, in a Manhattan
hotel room, while another woman,
also a novelist, sat beside the bed.
All three, it should be said,
were very rich. The second novelist—
who was, I’m told, romantically obsessed
with B—got off on watching him ejaculate inside
my girlfriend’s girlfriend, while begging from the bedside
that he stop. At home B had an infant
and a wife, for whose unwitting absent
body my girlfriend’s girlfriend’s made a kind of proxy—
absorbing the animosity
of the second novelist, whose true object was
the woman B had married. The ménage à trois
also qualified as field work, since both writers’ manuscripts
narrated their relationship.
(Each hoped her own, of course, would be
the better book, eventually.)
When I thought about their triangle—devised,
it seemed, to make perverse the otherwise
bourgeois and corporate days
in which their creativities were caged—
my mind went to my own. My vanity.
My wile like the quiet savagery
inside a dog that gets the dog put down
If there was a distinction to be drawn
it was only that the thought of my betrayal
didn’t turn me on at all
but pained me in a way I couldn’t fetishize.
And the jealousy that would arise
in me did not increase my selfish pleasure
but threatened—so I felt—to snuff it out forever.
From Couplets (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2023) by Maggie Millner. Used with the permission of the publisher.