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Shannon Bradley-Colleary Headshot

A Brush With Disaster Changed My Married Sex

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I'm not sure what moon my cycle is in, or which lunar orbit is pivoting across the satellite of my luminescent chakras and third eye, but I'm feeling sentimental about my man.

Henry turned 54 in August. Can this be true? I met him for the first time when I was 30 and he was 35. He was deliciously intelligent, and Quaker-proper. I instantly wanted to scandalize him, and think I still succeed in doing so almost nineteen years later.

He maintains a boyish profile, bearing a striking resemblance to that rugged, uber-masculine, swarthy, action hero man's man, Tin Tin.

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Yet I know the clock ticks shorter for the two of us.

My natural morbidity, coupled with a four-day business trip to Colorado in which I had a brief encounter with a tornado on the tarmac of the Denver International Airport whilst seated in a miniature American Eagle 50-passenger Bombardier CRJ700 facing certain death (which also instigated a wildly inappropriate conversation with my seat mate), ramped up my passions when I finally arrived home.

There I found my husband, just back from one child's 4th grade Open House and the other's Little League softball game, tidying up for my arrival. He welcomed me with a great deal of affection, but mostly with the gratitude of a man relieved to see his parent-pinch-hitter ready to step up to the bat.

That night, after the girls were off to bed and sleeping soundly, I soaked in a hot tub. As I decompressed, unexpected tears welled in my eyes. Somehow I'd fallen to wondering how many years Henry and I had left together. Ten? (if we were unlucky) Twenty? (still not enough) Thirty? (if our luck held) Forty? (if we're the first zombies in the Apocalypse or cryogenically frozen.)

I was struck by the fleeting nature of life and our ephemeral love.

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I came to bed humble and eager to embrace the man whose presence I take for granted day in and day out. Our lovemaking that night was different. It wasn't really married sex at all. It was communion and connection. A loving pause in the rapid, surging, time-lapse photography of our lives.

I was reminded of one of my favorite passages from Roland Barthes' A Lover's Discourse, quoting French Philosopher, Denis Diderot: "Bring your lips to mine/so that out of my mouth/my soul may pass into yours."

My darling, I breathe you in, I taste and touch you. I love you now, in our bodies at the midpoint, hurtling forward into the unknown. And, if I can have it my way, I'll love you through to the other side. xo S

How long have you been married and how do you take the time to keep love alive?
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