When my girlfriend and I moved in together 10 years ago, we both agreed that monogamy was for the birds — literally.
She’s an ornithologist and says that many bird species mate for life.
We are very much in love and share many common interests, but have an understanding that sometimes we might want to sample other goods. We also like to travel, but not always together. I think separate expeditions have kept our relationship strong.
For instance, she is frequently going off to academic conferences or on a trip to a country I’ve never heard of to watch some grackle in its native habitat. That’s great for her, but it would be deadly boring for me. Similarly, I love contemporary music. I was a DJ for my college radio station and have amassed a huge library of sound. I like to go to music festivals that she would hate. She favors classical music.
Now, neither of us goes on these excursions with the intention of philandering, still I’ve noticed how she can come back from a stuffy conference on bird migration with a rosy glow in her cheeks. Apparently, ornithologists are very horny and kinky. On occasion, I have scored at music festivals. My girlfriend and I have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which I think reduces the jealousy factor.
Last spring I packed up for a weekend in the desert, to attend a festival, of course. That year’s concert had a lot of artists I wanted to see. I always discover new bands that become favorites, too. I was excited for the music, but as usual I would be going there alone.
That particular festival allowed camping, so I brought my tent and a bunch of food, supplies and gear, which included a second sleeping bag. I like to use it as extra padding even though I can do without. But why rough it?
It can get pretty fucking hot in the desert, so once there, I slathered myself in sunscreen, took a refillable water bottle and put on a hat before heading in.
Like many big festivals, there are several different venues. I consulted my schedule and headed for the place I wanted to be. I was having a good time and keeping hydrated. I was especially enjoying the vibe of people much younger than me — I’m in my 30s, but felt much older. Occasionally I even caught a glimpse of female nipple when a girl decided to flash the crowd.
It was getting on twilight when I noticed a girl standing next to me. She was lost in the moment, swaying to the music and snapping her fingers. I thought she was a stunning California blonde. That is, until she spoke, and revealed one of the strongest Boston accents I’ve ever heard. But it didn’t diminish her beauty one bit.
“Hi!” she said cheerfully. “Are you having a good time?”
Without thinking too much I said, “I’m having a much better time now.”
She laughed appreciatively and extended her hand. “I’m Lily, all the way from Boston.”
I told her my name and said, “That’s a long trip.”
“Wicked long,” she said. “But I always come here. Well, for the last three. I love it. It’s the highlight of my year.”
I couldn’t help but notice she wasn’t with anyone, so I asked, “Are you here with friends or a boyfriend?”
She frowned. “My boyfriend dumped me just a few days ago. He decided he didn’t want to come. So I’m here by myself!”