When Jackie and Jim first rolled round in the sack, they were teens, mere beginners. All limbs and movement, no tact or grace. It didn’t matter, of course: enthusiasm and energy made up for lack of finesse. One night Jackie lay next to Jim, sweaty and heaving but confused. “There’s got to be more to orgasm than this.” Jim left the room quickly, returned with his mask and snorkel. “What the hell are you doing?” she said as he climbed up the foot of the bed with his snorkel gear dangling. “Free diving,” he grinned, snapping the strap on his head, “Going in deep, looking for treasure.” He found it alright, but it took a little roadmapping and a lot of giggling along the way. They spent years mapping each other’s bodies, diving and snorkeling and learning how to breathe deep.
Ten years later, Jackie’s holding her breath. Jim’s gone and Ralph’s down there looking for treasure. She’s not sure he’s ever gonna find it at the rate he’s going. She considers asking him if he needs a GPS, bursts out laughing. Then the tears come and Ralph’s out the door. It occurs to Jackie then and there that the years with Jim were good ones, even if in the end she needed less finesse and more constancy, more companionship. At some point it turned sour and the fights were as frequent as the orgasms. But it was real, and she misses real.