the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Feeling Up


Westchester, NY  -  Tuesday night

I went shopping for some bread and juice.  Afterwards, I sat in my car for two hours playing checkers on my iphone.   My foot had fallen asleep.  I hobbled out of the Prius and entered the house.  She was watching All My Children on Tivo.   She had just taken a shower and was wearing a towel.  I walked over and put my hands on her breasts.

“What are you doing, Matthew?”

“I want to feel you up.”

I pulled the towel down and covered massaged her breasts with my hands.  I was rougher than usual.

“What are you doing?  Stop it!”  she said.  “How about a hello?”

“Can’t I feel up my own wife whenever I want?  Isn’t that in the marriage contract?”

“I’m watching TV.  Don’t grab me,” she grumbled, as she pushed me away.

“C’mon, Beth.  I really want to feel you up.  I need to feel you up.”

On All My Children, Stuart Chandler had just died, and mega-millionaire bad guy Adam Chandler was grieving.  Stupid soap opera.  So unrealistic.

I grabbed her breasts again.

“They’re not bicycle horns that you squeeze.  Be gentle.”

She told me to sit down, like a teacher instructing her student.

“Sit behind me and you can feel me up as we watch the soap.”

During the commercial, I rubbed against her.  I was hoping that she would reach for my hardness.

“You want to fuck?” I whispered in her ear.

She swatted my nose.

“Don’t say that.  It sounds disgusting coming out of your mouth.”

I found that insulting to my manhood.  She curses all the time.  I should be able to say what is on my mind.

“I want to fuck you now.”

I bit her neck.

“Stop it.  You don’t know what the hell you are even doing.”

“You know, screw you!” I screamed as I slid from behind her like a snake.

Orange peels were scattered all over the coffee table.  This bugged the shit out of me.

“Why don’t you throw out the orange peels?”

“They were here this morning.  Why didn’t you throw them out?”

“I didn’t eat the orange.  You did.  Are you waiting for me to throw the orange peels out from the orange that YOU ate?”

She pointed to the remote sitting on the coffee table next to me.

“Can you pause the TV.  I’m missing the soap because of you.”

“Screw you.”

“No, screw you!” she said as she reached over and threw an orange peel at my chest.

I considered that an ultra-violent act, and I thought about retailiating, but couldn’t think of anything appropriate other than pulling her hair, which would just be too girlish for my ego.  I imagined punching her.  The horror of the thought brought shame.

I quickly gathered up all the orange peels and huffed and puffed my way into the kitchen to toss them into the overflowing trash can, filled with all sorts of crap, none of it sorted for recycling like I wanted.   My bad.  I just couldn’t concentrate on being green this month.  Fuck the environment.  Let the normal married people worry about the planet during their happy little lives.   I decided to take out the garbage, but my body could not move.  I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of seeing me do it, walking past her with a sack of garbage, smiling in that ass-kissing manner of a maid in the Sheraton Hotel.

Dirty dishes were in the sink, and I hate unwashed dishes,  with the smell of moldy leftovers filling the air, so I would wash the dishes.   That, I would do for MYSELF, not her.

I turned on the water to wash them.  She immediately called out from the living room.

“What are you doing?”

“The dishes.”

“Can you do them later?  I can’t hear the soap with the water running.”

I turned the water on higher.  I am spiteful.  I know.

“I’m doing the dishes now.  Sorry.  Didn’t you ask me to do the dishes?”

“No.  I didn’t ask you to do the dishes at all.”

“Well, ONE of us has to do it.   Is it going to be YOU?”

Fighting words.

“OK.  OK.  Do the dishes. ” she said.  “I’ll pause the TV again.”

Good.  I won the battle.

I could hear the TV sound stop in mid-sentence, as I returned to the dishes, the hot water burning my hand, but somehow enjoying the pain.

She entered into the kitchen, naked, smiling.   She always has that contented look when I am doing the dishes.   But I don’t find it sexy at all.   It feels manipulative, like I am caving into the master.  I want to be loved all the time, not when I am doing stuff for her.

I could feel her breathe on my neck as I scrubbed the burnt rice off of a pot that has been sitting in the sink for two days.

“Let me kiss you,” she said.

I half-turned and gave her a small peck on the lips.

“No, a REAL kiss.”

“I’m busy.  I’m scrubbing shit off this post.  I don’t want to kiss.”

“Well, put down the pot and kiss.”

I turned to the naked woman and we kissed.  I had an intense urge to finish cleaning the pot.

“Don’t you know how to kiss?” she said, with a tone of disappointment.

“I don’t want to kiss.”

“So why were you feeling me up before?”

“Because I wanted to feel you up.  Not kiss.”

“Well, if you’re not going to kiss…”

“Forget it.”

“You just wanted to fuck me on the couch without kissing?”

“I don’t want to kiss or fuck ANYONE who leaves their orange peels on the living room table and waits for me to clean it up.”

“Why don’t you go upstairs and go back on Twitter and fuck someone on there.”

“You’re a bitch.”

She spit on the floor, which I always assumed was some insult from her homeland.

Later on, we went out for frozen yogurt and played Yahtzee on the iphone, and never mentioned what happened before.  Which is not unusual.

I won both games of Yahtzee and that made me happy.   We slept in separate beds.


  1. Miss Grace

    My mom always leaves orange peels on top of the woodstove. She likes the way it makes the living room smell.

    Drives. My. Dad. Nuts.

  2. churchpunkmom

    I hope I was supposed to laugh, Neil.. cause I totally laughed. 😉

  3. Neil

    Uh, no.

  4. Christophr


  5. amy

    i almost totally cried.
    also saw this:(I’m scrubbing shit off this post) hmmmmm.

  6. churchpunkmom

    I was kidding, silly! You really think I’d laugh at you?

    Anyway, like I said, if you need to talk.. I’m happy to listen. 🙂

  7. Lola/Laura

    Run, run for your life.

  8. Elaina

    This made me really, really sad.

  9. abbersnail

    Oh, Neil. I wish I could just offer you a hug right now.

  10. abdpbt

    On the one hand, I can see both sides of this argument. On the other, argh. Sucks. If it makes any difference, I think most marriages have little tiffs like this going on all the time–the difference is just how they work them out and/or communicate about them.

  11. Twenty Four At Heart

    Your fictional fights are so much more interesting than my ficitonal fights. And I wonder how long I have to wait to have my revised boobs felt up? Revised boobs?

  12. Amy Sue Nathan

    Excellent story telling. The end got me.

  13. SciFi Dad

    Fictional or not, no one can write about stuff like this would experiencing something related.

  14. teahouseblossom

    My Husband is always trying to grab my breasts like that. But he usually waits until after he’s done the dishes.

  15. brettdl

    Oh my God.

  16. Danny



    I would have punched her.

  18. p.huong

    Funny story. Too bad nobody got a happy ending. I guess that’s what they get for being stubborn and playing hard to get. And actually… I’m craving orange juice right now.

  19. Lisa @ Unfiltered Insanity

    I think I had the same argument tonight… hmmmm

  20. sarawr

    Way to write about my marriage. Wow. 😛

  21. Jen

    Painfully, wonderfully sad. My first thought was, “This is the kind of fight couples have before they have children to pull everything into perspective.”

  22. mrs.clean

    “This is the kind of fight couples have before they have children to pull everything into perspective.”

    Christsakes… right! When “these couples” have children, he has the inevitable affair (because, really, who wouldn’t?), she finds out (and while months of punishment feels good, it does come with an expiration date), and ultimately, finally–the divorce.

    It would be nice if we could skip the having children part and put an end to such self-flagellation when we recognize it. Children just make such behavior even worse.

  23. MQ

    Damn, what a horror show.

  24. talkwithnothought

    I fucking loved that! Read it twice in a row.

    (I’m new here but I’ll be back)

  25. Kymberli

    Just for the record, I’m on the husband’s side of this “fight.”

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