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June 16, 2022

Plus Ones

Hannah Gregory

For our first threesome, we asked our friend, George. He brought a fondue pot and his uninvited, on-off partner, Clarice. Surprised, but needing something new in our relationship, we all fucked and then ate fondue. The following week, they must have misheard when we said we should do this again: Clarice brought a girl who tasted like granola; George invited a mime who made gestures like sucking an invisible dick, like fucking an invisible person from behind, like being trapped in a box while watching everybody fuck, like smearing fondue on his face while being fucked from behind. It kept going on like that, week after week, one person inviting another person inviting another. After a month, we had to rent a bigger space and charged a nominal fee (“Donation, pay what you can!”) to cover our fondue budget. By the end of the year, we hosted our weekends at an empty warehouse (formerly The Spaghetti Factory) that overlooked traffic jams on I-84. Everyone found their kinks. Dom-sub. Leather. Bondage. Teacher-student. Plumber-leaky pipe owner. Electrician-fuzzy TV watcher. Freudian/Greek tragedy stuff. A tableau vivant of The Garden of Earthly Delights. Another one of Piss Christ. A bunch of HR professionals created an onboarding process, but only for folks who were into that sort of thing. It was a beautiful, sweaty tangle. And we tried everything. We were loved, coddled, and humiliated. Our wrists itched with bruises. We cosplayed as cereal mascots (sexy Cap’n Crunch and sexy Boo Berry). Hot, fondue cheese scalded our bellies, then wiped clean with crusty baguettes. But one weekend, several years later, we were tired with the choices. We had a hard time finding George and Clarice and even the small-talk-about-natural-skin-fermented-wines-while-watching-friends-cook kink wasn’t doing much for us. We skipped one weekend because we slept until noon. We skipped another because we liked the way the snow fell one morning, the sound of plows grinding a distant road. Then we stopped going altogether. Recently, we ran into George and Clarice at the Whole Foods. A stroller was in front of them. The child looked like neither of them. It teethed a plastic-wrapped brick of Emmentaler. In their basket: eleven more types of cheese (no crackers). “It’s been so long,” George said. “We stopped going to our little weekends. They were never the same after you left.” We hugged goodbye. They said they would find a babysitter when we invited them for dinner next Saturday.