It's a quiet friday night two days before our big move. While new floors are being installed at home, my partner Craig and I, and our two cats, Newton and Chester, will stay across town with a friend of mine. Sounds simple enough. But in my mind suspending a rhinoceros from the ceiling with dental floss and gum would be less challenging.
Home improvement projects aren't enjoyable for me. The end result may be desirable, but getting there is not half the fun. It's exhausting, not foreplay. And worse, with it comes a certain sacrifice - abandoning the needs of my libido: think Little Orphan Fanny until this special project has been completed. Tiresome circumstance can be an unforgiving obstacle to opportunities waiting in the bedroom.
But recent experience has reminded me that some things are worth the wait. Like hot and meaningful sex, for example.
I'm on a second glass of wine when my thoughts turn to the upcoming week. My stomach quickly follows suit.
First there's the prep work to consider, like shifting all the furniture from the living and dining area into the bedroom before the workers arrive Monday morning. Carpeting must be disposed of, too. Then the entire process needs to be reversed and repeated Tuesday night so the bedroom floor can be installed on Wednesday.
Suddenly, cuddling on the sofa by candlelight and enjoying a bottle of wine doesn't seem as romantic as it did 10 minutes ago. Neither is it the best use of my time.
I look at Craig, who seems relatively calm, relaxed and oblivious to my sudden wave of anxiety.
Things that are clearly beyond my control now begin to enter my mind with the regularity of visitors at a funeral home. How will the cats react to their new - albeit temporary - surroundings? What happens if the new floors look like hell after they're installed?
As if peering into a crystal ball, I find myself saying, "I don't think we'll be having sex next week."
"Oh, yes, we will", Craig lobs back into my court with a mischievous grin.
"When we're back home," I add, hoping that's what he meant.
"We can't have sex because we'll be at your friend's place?" he asks in a slightly surprised tone.
"It just seems weirdly inappropriate to me," my defence begins. "You know, like the idea of having sex at my parents' house. Knowing that they're down the hallway from me? Having sex in a friend's home, it's sort of the same thing."
It's odd how the truth can sometimes sound more like a lie than a lie itself.
Craig glances at me incredulously.
"Besides, I doubt if we'll even have the time or energy for sex, what with everything else going on next week," I conclude.
Even more peculiar is how a lie can quickly become the truth, I note a few days later.
Night after night, Craig retires to the guest bedroom and effortlessly surrenders to the temptation of sleep - what, no attempt to seduce me? - as I lie awake beside him worrying about my cats. (The sounds of an unfamiliar house have forced one into self-imposed exile in the cellar while the other has become the feline equivalent of Jack Nicholson in The Shining.) At this point, sex would be a welcome distraction.
When Thursday night finally arrives, it feels like the last day of school. I meet up with Craig at home, where we're dazzled by the floors. After a few hours, the furniture - including the bed - has been reacquainted with its proper resting place. A celebratory bottle of wine is opened and dinner ordered before I make the journey across town to retrieve the cats.
Back home, having survived a gruelling week, I treat myself to a hot bath and collapse ungracefully into bed. Chester is purring, and Newton is once again his tranquil and affectionate self. All is well.
And Craig is horny.
He soon joins me in bed and places a loving hand on my back while the events and emotions of the week replay in my mind one last time. After being partners for nearly two years, taking on a project of this magnitude has reaffirmed for me that we make a pretty damn good team.
My remaining anxiety is relieved by the comfort of that moment.
A sensual kiss to my shoulder releases desire from the prison it's been in for the past week, and my body magically springs to life. Hungry not only for sex but, more importantly, for the opportunity to reconnect with my lover, I turn to him and happily receive my reward.
As Craig reaches for the box of condoms and I for some lube, it's clear that a new floor won't be the only thing getting laid this week.