tales of a girl in the city

octobre 01, 2005


I'm hiding.

A boy text messaged me today to with a (dim, poorly worded, but honest) proposition:


He was hoping I'd duck out of work for a half-hour quickie. So easy to arrange: a flimsy excuse to my co-worker. A short trip to his penthouse down the block, sly smiles exchanged with his doorman, who hasn't seen me since we were dating. His apartment door would've been cracked open for me, and I would've been naked by the time I found him in his bedroom. Easy to do in the dress I'm in today, just one smooth tug, and everything I'm wearing would slip noiselessly to the floor.

You're unbelievable. That's what I wrote back, realizing, even while I typed my response, that some part of me was equally unbelievable. In a matter-of-fact, Freudian voice, I heard my own enabling thoughts: Sex is a vaery nahtural tsing. Vehn two people can come togehser tsa pehsion szat rehsult is narmal unt healsy.

And as much as I hated to admit it, I understood W's next response:

I know but i work so damn hard i feel like being direct saves time.

Whoosh! Like in one of those laboratory tests, he had removed all the air from our particular glass container, leaving only the absolute reality of his proposition. Small. Hard. True. It offered itself up for study. Me at my desk on Sixth Avenue, him in his bedroom on Seventh: we are busy, we are single, we are attracted to one another.

We can still fuck.

Such a clear, pure pebble of an idea. It pings around the glass jar it has been placed in. It does not apologize for its simplicity. Entirely, only, openly--it is what it is.

But, I am not so easily reducible. What I am is complicated. What I am is lonely and angry and sad. And I would bring these things to his bed, contaminating the experiment.

For a moment, our trial run might seem to be a success. My anger, truthfully, might spark and catalyze. With my teeth, I might tell him how furious it makes me that I am the recipient of text messages and propositions, one night instead of many. I might pound into him, with my palms, with my thighs, the infuriating difference between being wanted and being loved. Rake my fingernails sharply across his skin, drawing at least something out from deep inside him. Hotter and hotter and more rough and more mad, our sex could be the kind that staggers toward the edge of violence. A brief, ecstatic punishment. My retribution for all the penalizing nights I spend alone.

My recent months of isolation might make the encounter seem meaningful. Skin on skin could open locked boxes, releasing from my dark, kissing mouth the moths that sleep inside of loneliness. They could land on his shoulders, confused by sudden contact, delivering messages filled with all the wrong, old things. They could cover his face and mute his features with their brown wings. With the help of their desperate fragility, he could seem to be someone he is not.

This is my hypothesis.

If it were an experiment only. If he and I could be just molecules, clashing together in an airless chamber. If, like chemicals, our interaction could make us vaporize, releasing us from the consequences of an After. If our mutual solitude were simply the result of our own elemental purity. Then I might have gone. I might have fucked him.

Instead, I'm sitting here. Hiding.