Now seems like the right time to remind you of the threesome only two of us participated in. We were at that terrible party with all those uninteresting people giving each other massages. I was so bored and strangely resentful of you for having taken us to it. You got plastered, making it even less interesting, so I started avoiding you.

I talked with some Australian guy about free market environmentalism; with that insufferable black girl about what a mean man she thinks Mr. Trump is; with the sociopathic autist about weird stupid shit he thinks.

Then a few people returned from a Taco Bell run. Suddenly, everyone at this party did that thing drunk people eating Taco Bell do where they tell you how amazing it is to eat Taco Bell. A few even felt like arguing me into eating Taco Bell with them.

It was so unbearable that I strongly considered getting drunk. I thought better of it, though, and just read Viewpoint on my phone. Finally, everyone left, except for that charming Canadian. He took over the Chromecast and put on an eclectic playlist that he narrated with gusto. It was great. That guy knows so much about so much, and none of it is remotely meaningful. Crazy.

Wow. Isn’t it pathetic how apparent it is that I still resent you for taking me to this awful, awful social gathering? That was like 200 words about how much I did not enjoy myself at a thing you brought me to. I’ll add it to the list of things to get over.

Anyway, unbeknownst to me, you’d spent like the last four hours in Ursula’s room drinking with her since her mom was about to die from all that cancer. Fucking heavy. You two popped out at like four in the morning, after even the Canadian had left. You were both plastered and you asked me to “take us home,” and it was unclear who the “us” was.

It was the three of us. I can’t quite remember what we talked about on the drive, but I know I felt uncomfortable and apprehensive. When we got to the apartment, you two started fucking, as I had suspected you might. It was weird for a lot of reasons. For one, Ursula sort of reminds me of my sister (the gay one). For two, getting laid because of another person’s tragedy is awkward. Like, is it really a win if she just fucks you because she’s losing her mind because her mom is about to burst open with cancer? For three, Nick was so totally in love with her and I’m too old to fuck girls my friends are enthralled with. For four, remember that time you were wasted and convinced us to fuck your bestie? Remember rubbing my balls and encouraging me to cum all over your bestie’s face? Remember how that all ended?!

At the time, you took none of these four reasons into account and were so fucking mad I was not fucking you both. It was unbearable. Once you two made it to the bedroom, you kept calling for me to join you. It felt wrong and I couldn’t do it. Your fucking was getting really loud and I had this big hard-on and I was unsure if I should just jerk off in the living room. I decided not to, since that was, like, too close to a threesome. “Nick, bro, I didn’t fuck her, I just jerked off to the noises she and my girlfriend were making in bed. No biggie, right, my man?” I would have gone outside, but it was so fucking cold out.

You got more and more aggressive in your calls for me to join you two. Ursula, being a real lesbian, was more ambivalent. The calls got to be way too much, so I decided to brave the freezing wind for a cigarette. Incredibly, I had forgotten the pack in the car, so I had to hike it. When I got back, I realized I’d left the pack in the car again. I guess you could say I was distracted.

The bedroom door was open now, and I saw Ursula on her knees fingering the hell out of you as you lied on your back and came. My skin was still cold to the touch from the outside world, but I was hard as a rock again. I turned on the TV and started watching Chinatown to try and drown out the sound. Weird how that’s the movie I watched, given that the director raped that one child in the ass. I swear it was a coincidence. We had just moved and that was the first tape I could find fumbling around in the dark. But still, it’s a little weird. Just the film itself is filled with infidelity and incest. Good movie, bad timing.

I started texting my failed novelist friend being like, “Man, you’re gonna have to write about this one. You’re not gonna believe it. Holy fucking shit, man. I wish I could call you right now.” Of course, he didn’t respond because it was like five in the morning by now. My dick got limp again after a while; Chinatown is a serious film, after all. You two did great fucking work on each other, though, from the sounds of things. Lesbians can just keep going and going, after all. One of the last times you called out to me, in a sort of whimper, I heard Ursula say, “Uh, I really don’t think he wants to come in here.” It’s safe to say I felt retarded.

Y’all finally finished and came out to smoke. I remember looking at you both naked, standing there and saying, “You two better have eaten each other’s assholes.” Ursula giggled and said nothing. I think you didn’t even hear me. I explained that the cigarettes were all the way in the car and you two decided not to bother. Ursula looked cute, and not half as worn out as you, which seemed appropriate. We awkwardly talked about sleeping arrangements.

When I woke up, I was on the couch and Ursula was gone. You seemed sheepish. You thanked me for not fucking you both. You hated it when I’d tease you about it later on, especially once you and Ursula started working in the same office. But look, if you’re gonna get plastered and fuck the brains out of a lesbian while I just sit around and feel dumb, I get to tease you about it later. Whenever I teased Ursula about it, she always thought it was funny. Like, “Hey Ursula, how’s my girlfriend in bed?” She’d always giggle and not respond.

My point is just that this was my peak nice guy: remember that time I did not fuck our mutual friend and just dumbly listened while you two fucked in our apartment? I didn’t make that menage an a trois because I’m not an asshole and don’t get shitfaced the way you do. But you still dumped me, like, just a few months later. Who the fuck else would have not banged you both that night? Dear Lord, you and I were having incest fantasy sex all the time at that point; imagine the fucking possibilities!

What the fuck am I supposed to do? Always live like a hedonist and nihilistically make destructive choices just because nothing nice ever works out? Surely that can’t be the answer. That’s for fags.


“Two-Thirds” is an excerpt from Richard Power’s new memoir, Letters from a Heartbroken Pervert. You can purchase the book from Terror House Press here.