Everything looks dramatic by night, even my ho...

It’s not, though, is it? Not really. It’s just like a thought murder or a wet dream. I’m not actually doing anything. Well, I am. I’m doing something, but adultery? Am I? Really? Isn’t it more like – yes, it’s healthy. It’s medicinal. I must remember to go to the doctor about my varicose veins.

But – no. I’m not hurting anyone. No one’s affected by it. I’m not breaking any promises. I don’t even know who they are and they don’t know who I am. As long as I delete my browsing history. Catherine won’t know.

So. Let’s have a look. What do I type in? Porn? No. That’s too obvious and if google remembers the search I’ll have to delete cookies. And if I delete them Catherine will know. She’s not stupid. She knows computers. She knows men. No.

Is this a good idea? The secrets. The breach of trust. It’ll be like having affair – no, that’s too much. A one night stand maybe. But if I like it? The laptop will be my little bit on the side, and isn’t that the same? It’s physical, a living thing. It might even have feelings for all I know. Might get jealous. Might sit in the corner of the room giving me the eye while I’m chatting with Catherine. And it will forever be associated with that, my adultery, if it even is that.

But then – don’t be stupid. It’s hardly going to boil any bunnies. No. It’s perfect really. Won’t make any demands. As long as I delete the history it’s as if it never happened and it’ll keep my little secrets. Only I can give it away.

What did she say when I got it again? Got yourself a new toy to replace me. Yes. Was she ever a toy? But then maybe that’s a good thing. It’s a toy. It’s play. It’s experimental. I’m satisfying a curiosity. It’s nothing serious, a learning experience. But shouldn’t I do that with her? Doesn’t doing it on my own mean something different even if I don’t use it for that? Then again, I’m not doing it with someone real, am I? Like Gavin. I’m not hurting anyone, though neither’s he, I suppose. Jill doesn’t know. And what she doesn’t know.

So, what should I put in? Something obscure, something unrelated, something untraceable. I could do an innocent picture search and follow the links from one site to another. Put anything in and you get something filthy. And then I can delete my history.

What were those sites Mike mentioned? God knows. Boobtube or something like that. Maybe there’s a facefuck or something equally witty. There were those old movies, parodies of Hollywood – Once Upon a Time in the Bum.

Am I like Gavin, though? Or just some pathetic mirror image? I don’t have the balls to do it with someone real so I’m resorting to this. I’m not brave. I’m not courageous. And if anyone talks about it, generalising, I’ll say something like, oh, it’s so boring, it’s for people without imaginations. Something I think seems urbane and detracts from the fact that I’m doing it, that I have no imagination, though – no. Maybe it is imaginative. How many years have people been committing adultery? How many years have men been using computers to have extra-marital affairs? I’m at the vanguard of something new. Yes. You could say that. Yes.

Right, so – what can I write? Porn, sex, tits, cock. Maybe I should put something childish in like willy or fanny. Make it seem like Patrick did it – that’s it, blame the kid. God, am I that pathetic? What was the name of that website? I’ll put it right in, swerve the search engine, leave no trace behind, delete my history.

No. Maybe I do think I’m hurting someone – my wife, my children, the actors and actresses (can you really call them that?), performers or whatever. If I didn’t think it was going to hurt someone I’d just get on with it, wouldn’t I? Find a website, unbuckle my belt, flop it out, get it over with.

But am I hurting them if they don’t know? Can you be hurt by ignorance? Eventually maybe, but I’m keeping people employed. I’m supporting an economy, an industry where women get paid more than men. Isn’t that a good thing? Or just another form of sexism? The industry shouldn’t exist in the first place. And all these women. Usually been abused. I’m keeping them from getting help. I’m letting them play out their trauma, but don’t we all do that in some way without getting paid for it?

Yes. I’m paying them. Well, maybe not, if it’s a free video – is there a copyright debate within porn? Do they care as long as it’s out there? Or do they want to protect their art, so to speak?

No. Stop. Why am I being so abstract? Maybe I don’t want to do this at all. I should give up or go to something innocent. I should fight it. Show my moral fortitude, but – no, I don’t have any. What am I talking about?

What about page three? Yes. That must be online by now. I can say I was looking at The Sun for the sports coverage. It is pretty good. I just need to make sure I keep another window open so I can quickly tab to it if someone comes in.

Yes. Look at that. I can feel something now. Energy. Adrenaline. The risk, the illicitness of it, the sex. Whatever.

What was that? No. Nothing. No one’ll be up now. It’s gone one. Unless they’re popping to the loo, but there’s no weak bladder in this house. Must be a draft. Better pull the curtains, though. Just to be safe. There are still lights on across the street. Don’t want anything getting seen.

Right then. The Guardian crossword. That will do. Say I couldn’t sleep. Tab quickly away from it when I hear movement. I’ll put the radio on too. With my headphones, though I better keep one earpiece out otherwise I won’t hear if someone gets up, opens the door, comes in and sees me here. She’s pretty. Yes. I need some tissues. On the table in the living room. Down the loo after I’m done. Wash it all away. Delete my history. It’s all gone.


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