I slept with my mother’s best friend — who was also my fourth-grade teacher.
The first time I slept with my mother’s best friend I was twenty-three-years old. Echoes of our moans reverberated throughout a house that belonged to my parents. We held palms to each others' mouths to keep ourselves quiet. Creaks made by our jostling bodies sprang from the bed where I had slept as a child. We put a pillow behind the headboard to dull the noise. At last — our backs sore, our hands bitten, our bodies slick — Ms. Caruthers whispered how she hoped my mother, asleep less than ten feet away, had not heard anything.
“Even if she did hear us,” I said, tossing a stuffed animal across the room, “she wouldn’t believe it.”
That year I had been living in my family’s beach house and doing almost nothing at all. Since graduating from college, barely nine months before the night in question, I had been a complete mess. I’d worked at a magazine and quit working at a magazine, and I’d worked at a high school and quit working at a high school. I’d lived in New York and moved away from New York, and I’d lived in Mississippi and moved away from Mississippi. Now I was living in Florida working at a resort. My job involved grilling burgers, chopping salads, and frying chicken as a short-order cook at a poolside bar, and my recreation at the beach involved lounging under the sun, reading novels, and swimming through the gulf. In every way I was treading water. Therefore it came as a welcome distraction when my mother and Ms. Caruthers showed up for a visit that particular weekend in the spring.