(Day 46 of shelter-in-place)
When out of his dark room strides our son, victorious as a cowboy, opening his mouth to reveal a fresh emptiness, thrusting his fist towards us, in his palm an offering, a glistening star, still red on one end from the tussle, I know our plan to have sex has disintegrated into a trip to Target— such is the unpredictable sex life of the Tooth Fairy. Once we were like other Tooth Fairies— sliding silver dollars under pillows. When our son developed a chocolate fixation we hid netted clusters of gold- covered chocolate coins beneath his head. These days he has eyes only for Pokémon cards. My partner and I don't say Target will destroy our sex, but when he arrives home two hours later, weighed down by three bags of groceries, Pokémon cards and war-veteran eyes, we both know a full recovery is not in the cards tonight. By this time I am so deep into Netflix and my resignation, I barely care. Maybe this is the silver-crusted lining of long-term love in quarantine— sex comes and goes, a light switched on and off, a child discovering their power over electricity, and we are able to observe our sex flitting away, like a meditator catching and releasing a thought, because we know our barren calendars will stay this way for the next 365 days or so, and parents are practiced at waiting out insolence, plus sex is lousy at hide-and-seek. Noisy and prideful, sex always gives itself away.