Bradley Cooper, Foreign Languages and the Dirty Monkey

Okay, here’s the thing. I’ve watched that video clip of Bradley Cooper speaking French four times. I’m supposed to be writing yet each time I pause mid-sentence, searching for an elusive word, there he is. Bradley…my extra-marital freebie. I have to admit, until recently I only truly appreciated Bradley circa The Hangover. He was the ravishingly handsome bad boy, all unkempt but still beautiful. I’ve always like my boys that way – gorgeous, confident and well-dressed. Just like my husband was that day I met him eleven years ago. Last weekend, David and I watched Limitless and I marveled at how Bradley wore those English suits with such ease. Who doesn’t appreciate a handsome man in a perfectly tailored English suit? 

Esquire magazine June/July 2011

A few days later the movie was forgotten. Bradley the movie star slid into the background because, let’s face it he’s just a dude who’s in some movies that hired great stylists. Then the video clip appeared. Oh God, the video clip. I could dive in and take a swim in those liquid blue eyes. Is it weird that I’ve watched it four times in the past 48 hours? Is it? Go on…be honest.

Somewhere in my questioning, I was reminded of a monkey I once knew. Okay, I didn’t actually know the monkey. We never had a conversation or anything, but I still feel like we knew each other on a relatively intimate level. He lived in the pet store at the Aviation Mall where I recall standing with my mother, watching him perform behind the glass. I was 14 and still relatively innocent about all things involving sex. I was really only there to see the funny little monkey. He was eating a banana and jumping around his glass house. Boy, did we laugh. Then he scaled up to the highest level of his platform and proceeded to rub one out. Vigorously. 

Now, since people in Bloggy Land tend to take things so literally, I feel compelled to explain that I am not doing The Monkey while I watch Bradley speak French. It’s just that somehow my oddly-wired brain took me on a trip from French speaking Bradley Cooper to the masturbating monkey. I suddenly wanted to tell my husband about that masturbating monkey but I’m sure that he was already in bed, resting his gorgeous blue eyes. While I was pondering my mini-Bradley obsession and the masturbating monkey, David was sleeping just feet from his closet filled with perfectly tailored suits and impeccably shined Alden’s.

If he were awake, he’d patiently listen to my random recollection of that self-pleasuring monkey and probably wonder how, exactly, that memory surfaced while I was upstairs writing…and watching Bradley Cooper speak fluent French. Maybe today, I can coerce Dave into wearing a suit on the weekend. Perhaps he’ll forego a shave and speak a little Italian to me after we’ve tucked the kids in tonight. Did I tell you that his blue eyes still make me swoon? He smells good, he’s gorgeous, he makes me laugh and, after nearly ten years of marriage he has never done The Monkey in front of me. And that’s a good thing.

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This ain’t your home…

We bought that house together months before our wedding but it was never really mine. In his mind, he did all the work so he became the sole owner and he made that clear. I didn’t care. In the end, I just walked away from it all and threw everyone into a state of confusion. Who walks away like that unless there’s another man?

I do.

I tried to be like them and, in conforming, I began to drown. In the end, I went back to get my things. I left half of everything – half of the towels, half the dishes, half the sheets, I left the bed, I took the couch, and I left the house. It was never mine. I cleaned it. I cooked his dinner in it. I tried to be his wife in it. I wanted to die in it.

One night I went back to pick up my cat. His new girlfriend, the Bud Girl from Vegas, was allergic. The dog was off limits though, because she liked Jack. He’d left her picture at my sister’s house. Had he planted it there as if accidentally, so that I’d see his new girlfriend? She was cute. She wore her Bud Girl uniform proudly and stood beaming next to a hairy overweight and heavily bearded biker. I think his planted photo scheme bombed. I simultaneously thought it was funny, sad and desperate.

The night I picked up my cat, I stood in the living room and he moved closer to me, trying to pull me into an embrace that I didn’t want when the telephone began to ring. My telephone number, my telephone, my answering machine. “Hi, Baby it’s me…” my eyebrows rose as I spun back to look at his face. I stared at the person who had been accusing me of cheating for a month and a half. I glared at the person who threatened to change the locks on our house before we were divorced because his father told him to – the person who was just trying to pull me into an embrace. I moved to pick up my telephone and say hello. “Wait!” he pleaded, “Don’t.” My hand hovered over the cradled telephone as I weighed the importance of picking it up. What did she know about me? Did she know I hadn’t even moved out yet? That we weren’t divorced? Did she know that he was trying to sleep with me while I picked up the cat? Did I really care enough to tell her?

 No.

I took a step back and listened to the disembodied voice calling my husband ‘Baby’. I looked around the room that I hated and my eyes finally came to rest on him. He had no idea what to do. Was he waiting for me to confront him? Was he waiting for me to retaliate after the accusations that I’d cheated? Did he need me to explain again that sometimes people leave because they’re drowning? Should I scream that I’d slept in my car because of him? That my own family stepped away from me because of my alleged cheating?

 No.

I stepped away from the telephone and picked up the crate holding Rosie. He reached for me again as she hung up, trying to pull me closer but I resisted. “I’ll be here with the moving truck in two weeks.”

She moved in a month later. I moved to Greenwich and a house full of single girls.