As noted yesterday, Lovers of Hate is partly about a 40ish guy sneaking around and peeking at a couple (i.e., his estranged wife and younger brother) enjoying an erotic weekend in a Park City mansion.

This triggered a recollection of a true story that happened to an old high-school friend — let’s call him Gerry — during his first or second year of college.

I forget what university town this happened in, but Gerry was enjoying a back-door romance with a young wife of a blue-collar guy. He was in bed with her in the middle of a weekday, presumably because daylight hours were safe and private for the wife, when all of a sudden they heard the husband’s truck pull up or maybe the front door opening. Something sudden, no time to think. The buck-naked Gerry quickly leapt up, threw his clothes under the bed and ducked into the closet.

The wife didn’t have time to do anything. The husband walked into the bedroom and found her pretending to be sleeping or just waking up. The guy became aroused by her bedsheet nudity and started making some playful moves. The wife, obviously anxious if not freaked, reciprocated her husband’s interest as a way of distracting him or making herself feel less guilty or whatever. Before you knew it they were rolling around and the husband was shedding his greasy overalls and work boots.

Naked Gerry was four or five feet away, peeking and listening and getting more and more freaked. He started imagining what might happen if the husband did the whole nine yards with the wife and then happened to open the closet door. The guy would have obviously exploded if he discovered Gerry when he first arrived, but if he found a naked peeper who’d watched and listened to him make love to his wife from inside his closet he might resort to a knife or a gun or a baseball bat.

After a few minutes of growing panic, Gerry figured it was slightly better to be found out before the husband fucked the wife than after, so he opened the closet door and stepped out and said, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be here, I have to leave,” etc. Shouts and punches resulted, but Gerry escaped and lived to love another day. I assume the trauma of this episode ended the affair with the wife.

If I had been In Gerry’s position I would have stayed in the closet and hoped for the best. If there’d been no discovery he could have kept the thing going with the wife. And if he’d been found out he might have been slugged or bloodied, okay, but he could have pushed the husband off at some point and run out into the street and caught a nearby bus. (Maybe.) Or at least scurried around in back alleys and eventually made his way back to the dorm and picked up his clothes and wallet and keys from the wife later on.