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SWF, 29 (ahem), seeks man who does not make her vomit; who does not clip his toenails anywhere within a 50-mile radius of her, refer to his cock/dick/schlong as "Little Whatever His First Name Is", or think that strawberries and whipped cream are the sexiest foods ever; a man who will never say "Let's make love!" but instead whispers, "I want to fuck you. Now." But not on the first date. Or the second. The third? Quite possibly. Oh, and he must have an evil sense of humor. And not live with his parents. Or wife. Or say "ciao".
Your email says, "10:00." I don't write back. I press your buzzer at 10:00 precisely. You let me in. Neither of us says a word. The room is dark except for a desk lamp that doesn't fully illuminate the sofa on which you sit, completely undressed, or the chair on which I sit directly across from you, completely dressed (coat still buttoned). You do not look at my face. I look at every part of you as you touch yourself the way I know you do when you are home alone. Upon your satisfaction, I leave, wordlessly. I am satisfied.
We've both had a few glasses of wine (red, please, thank you), and now we're leaving the smoky bar where for the past couple of hours we've had to lean closely into each other so we could talk without yelling ourselves hoarse. It's cold and windy, so we can't tell if we need to hang onto each other to steady ourselves against the wind or our own slight inebriation. Something – the wind? my brazenness brought on by wine? – forces you up against a brick wall in a darkened alcove and presses me up against you, facing you. What happens now?
I don't want to play it "safe" anymore. I don't want to force myself into adhering to my self-imposed style of "understated elegance". I only indulge one side of my sartorial aesthetic on a regular basis: the one that finds me in tasteful ensembles of black, gray, and white. The one that belongs in Banana Republic advertisements. There's another side of me that's begging to make more of a statement, more of an impact. I always say I don't want my clothes speaking for me, but still, does that mean they should barely whisper? I think it's time to scream.
I read somewhere that if something terrifies you, you can overcome your fear by facing it head on. I've always admired people who put themselves in those sorts of situations, because I know that if something scares me beyond a mere shiver, I tend to slink away and hide until the monster retreats. I prefer to pretend it's not there at all, because then it cannot reach me. But tomorrow morning that changes. Tomorrow I'm doing something that, even as I think about it now, ten and a half hours beforehand, scares me to near paralysis. I'm terrified beyond words.
You don't know it, but you went to the movies with me one cold afternoon. The theater was empty except for a few scattered people who sat alone. No one spoke. No one rustled a candy wrapper and no one kicked anyone else's seat. You don't know it, but you sat to my left, and when the lights finally dimmed completely, my left hand found your right thigh and rested on it for close to two hours, warm and happy just to be there. You don't know it, but I leaned my head on your shoulder and was in heaven.
I wonder what it's like to be wrapped tightly in your arms, to feel your heart pounding so furiously that I can feel it through your heavy winter coat and the sweater and T-shirt you wear beneath. Your heart (and mine) pounding so furiously because we've never been that close, and we both know that another minute won't pass before you bend down and I stand on my tiptoes and you sort of scoop me up ever so slightly so our lips can finally meet for the first time and we'll know immediately that it certainly won't be the last.
Joan Armatrading's version of "The Weakness In Me" leaves me weak in the knees that I pretend don't wobble, breathless in the same lungs that can easily handle a ten-mile run. Her deep voice fills my heart that is already overflowing with all the emotion it can barely handle or sustain. I listen to this song and am instantly fragile and even quite "vulnerable" – a word that I can't even say out loud without mocking it. Her voice tears into the soul I pretend is black and dead but which I know with all my heart is remarkably, achingly alive.
Hello, Penang? Penang at 109 Spring Street in Soho? Yes. I'd like to place an order for delivery. I'd like number 62, Peanut Pancake, described as "Famous Penang crispy pancake stuffed w. ground peanuts & Crispy outside, moist inside!" Also an order of Chendol, described as "Shaved ice w. green pea flour strips, coconut milk, syrup & red beans." I know that only comes to $9.95, and your minimum order is $12.00, so I suppose you should throw in some sort of vegetable dish at your discretion. (Something without shrimp sauce. Why do you ruin a vegetable dish with fish sauce?) Thanks!
I think I'm getting over you. I know "we" never were, and there's not too much of a chance of there being an "us" (I think you refuse to acknowledge that I'm a girl, which is really kind of a problem!), so I'm going to stop thinking about you that way. It's really a waste of energy, especially since not once have you picked up on the "vibes" that I tried to send your way. Or those that were just there, existing on their own, minding their own business, with no input from me – just a will of their own.
You know what? You bore me. I used to think you had a special certain SOMETHING. I used to think we shared similar "philosophies" about a lot of ordinary things – and by that, I don't mean anything earthshattering; just a simple approach toward dealing with certain situations. We "connected", as much as I hate that word. But now? Now you bore me to near tears, and I find myself wanting to smash your head into a brick wall along with any notions that I had of you being in tune with me. You're just like everyone else, you fucking hypocrite.
I found myself forcing laughter tonight, and I can't stand myself for it. You weren't funny, you weren't clever, you weren't amusing. I could barely stand you, yet I pretended you were the toast of the town. Not only the cat's pajamas but the meow as well. My laughs were hollow and were not the sort that come from deep within the "gut", but from an intellectual place where I felt that I had to laugh to keep up appearances. If I'd gone with my gut, however, I would have remained silent and stared into my drink, willing you away.
In a perfect world, London would be a neighborhood in New York, much like Chelsea or Soho. You and I could (and would) meet for coffee and the pie we always joke about. We would reach each other readily, call each other on the phone and arrange to see each other's faces across a corner table somewhere, breathless from just having come in from the wind and the rain. All of the wonderful things we've said to each other in different time zones could become a reality, and we could actually share our nights in the same one. And would.
I want out. I want out of this situation so bad I can almost literally taste it. I wet my lips like a starving homeless person standing in front of a plate glass bakery window, salivating as the shop owner places fresh bread on display. The aroma of the bread is beyond delicious. Overwhelming. Just beyond my reach, but definitely attainable. At this point I'm almost willing to crouch behind the bakery after closing and wait for the day's unsold bread to be discarded into a Dumpster. I will dive in and scrounge for the crusts. I am that hungry.
Hey, pretty girl in low-rise jeans with great belt and somewhat windblown hair. Yes, you. You who are approaching me, crossing a street in the 40s on your way uptown as I'm on my way down. You who are checking me out as I'm pretending not to check you out. You whose curve from waist to hip I can't help but fantasize about running my hands along, and whose long hair I want to sink my face into. Yes, you. Did you smile shyly at me from above the rims of your dark sunglasses at the very moment you passed?
Oh my god. Just talk. Just fucking talk. Just spit the words out, get the words out, say it already and say it fast, say it before I literally fall asleep waiting for you to string together a sentence or two of words that I'm not even interested in hearing in the first place. Why is it that everything you say is so damned boring? That you can even suck the life out of a story that has the potential to be somewhat interesting? My god. You should not be allowed to speak. I don't want to hear it. Ever.
R: Remember that summer night when we went to that too-chic restaurant in Philadelphia and I went into the ladies' room and came back to the table and pressed my underwear (a thong, actually!) into your palm? Remember how your eyes widened when you realized what it was, and how you put it in the breast pocket of your jacket? And how you told me you were going to pull it out and dab your mouth with it in the presence of our cute waitress? I did my part tongue in cheek. But you didn't quite get it. Imbecile. ~J.
Oh look at you. Would you just look at you? You're so original and so sexy in your pointy boots and your tits out to here and your jeans down to there and your hair professional straightened to remove any quirk or kink or hint of individuality. You're so original in the way you order skim milk for your coffee, your dressing on the side, your vegetables steamed. And oh so original in the way you come home and put on Band-Aids and sweatpants as you watch "reality TV" as you scarf down an entire pint of full-fat ice cream.
Oh, now, would you look at you. You're so. damned. cool. You're such a rebel with your "tatts" and your piercings and your ragged clothes that try way too hard to look like they don't care what they look like. You're such a non-conformist with those big plugs in your earlobes and that ball in your tongue. You and the rest of your friends who are here in the city courtesy of your daddy's money, going to art school because you're too original to do what your parents really wanted you to do. And your artwork? Garbage! Learn to type.
You're speaking to me, but I'm barely paying attention because you're wearing shorts. Ordinarily I'm not a huge fan of men in shorts, but I'm finding that I quite enjoy seeing your legs, especially since we've never been together "that way" and I've never seen them for more than a minute other than during a chance meeting on the street. I'm focusing on the shorts' hem, and want nothing right now as much as I want to slide my finger beneath that hem and feel the warm skin of your thigh and the hair that I imagine is so soft.
At last, we're in a taxi. We were going to walk, but the rain is too heavy. Traffic is backed up. We're quite wet from waiting in the rain, and we've had a few drinks. We're laughing like mad over something stupid that one of us just said. The seat is slippery, so when I tip to my right to say something to you, I slip, and slide into you. Hard. I "should" move away, but I sink more deeply into the seat and against you. Your chin is just above my head. Your lips softly brush against my hair.
You get off the plane. You're really tired. You worry about getting a cab, which isn't difficult, but just annoying. You emerge from the hallway into waiting area and see me standing there. You grin. I take the smaller of your two bags (I'm such a gentleman!) and lead you outside, where a private car is waiting. The driver puts the bags in the trunk, we slide into the back, and I gently pull you toward me so you can rest your head in my lap and I can stroke your hair on the ride into the city. Welcome home.
Peace. Love. "Make Love Not War". What I love is that the people marching/walking/whatevering in the anti-war protest down Broadway yesterday are the same inconsiderate louts who no doubt shove each other out of the way to get into the subway before letting the others off. The same cretins who don't know how to say "please" or "thank you". The same people who don't exhibit the commonest of courtesies on a daily basis now, all of a sudden, find it in themselves to become great proponents of "peace"?
Give peace a chance? Yeah. OK. But give me a break first.
It is now hip and chic and fashionable to claim you're a bisexual woman. It makes you sexier, or so the guys think. So you want them to think. Or perhaps you say you're "bi-curious". Who among us isn't, really? Anyone who says they haven't ever fantasized about someone of the same sex, or at least wondered what it would be like, is lying. Yes, this goes for you too, stud – you who think that pictures of two blondes looking straight into the camera holding one dick and touching their tongue tips together are the sexiest thing in the world.
I have not yet memorized your face. I have seen it enough times to be familiar with it, to know the general layout of its features and the way they interact with one another, but I have not seen it enough to remember it precisely whenever I daydream about you. (So often!) I'm not even sure what color your eyes are or exactly how your teeth are arranged. I don't know if your earlobes are "attached". What I do know is that I cannot wait to see it again so I can notice more about it for my next daydream.
"There's something on your jacket," I say, reaching to brush a crumb from your coat sleeve. You're looking the other way, and don't notice the crumb is imaginary. You don't notice that in the second it takes me to touch the wool of your sleeve, I close my eyes, pretending to blink. I pretend to blink because if I keep my eyes open, I will swoon at having touched you at all. In that second, my mind fast forwards to removing the coat to which the sleeve's attached, the shirt beneath, and kissing the warm skin of your naked arm.
Funny, how when I was 17 and he was 34 and he had a wild crush on me, I thought, "Wow, how cool! An older man!" He was mature and worldly, or so I thought. He must be, after all, if he was from another country. If he had an accent. If he was so ... old. He must know things the guys my age didn't. That much I just KNEW. Then one day I was 34, still felt 17, and I realized that he, when the age I'd just become, was really not much different from the 17-year-old me.
I hate self-serving opportunitistic namedroppers. I despise that garbage with a passion. I especially hate it when my own name is dropped into a situation where I don't want it dropped. I detest that the person with the intentional butterfingers thinks that by showing someone else she's associated with me, some of the relationship I have with that other person will somehow be granted to her. If you really do know me the way you pretend, you'd know that I don't associate with people who are impressed by namedropping. So, my non-friend, you just cut off your own foot. Delicious!
Because I am a woman of the world and oh so sophisticated, I am able to ask you innocuous questions about your wife after I have just had quite an interlude with her husband.
Oh. She's from Ohio?
Because I am that sophisticated woman of the world, I am able to ask you without blinking an eye and without any emotion creeping into my voice.
Ohio. How quaint.
Because I am that woman, I am able to laugh when you tell me something mildly amusing about her. I am sophisticated enough to be a bon vivant, you see.
Amazing, isn't it, how a half hour spent running on a treadmill at the gym takes an eternity to pass (and you think,
Oh my fucking god, I still have another half hour to go!
), and you almost want to cry because the activity is so loathesome. Amazing, even more, isn't it, how an hour spent devouring the lips and body of a lover during a rendezvous takes no more time than snapping your fingers or blinking your eyes, and you want to cry because the activity is so delicious. Next time I skip the treadmill. I kiss you instead.
The notes I want to slip in your pocket, the lunches I want to arrange for us to meet. No perfume. No lipstick. Just my handwriting. You recognize it.
The restaurant is secluded, but not altogether away from the crowds. I want to be seen with you and you with me, and we both crave that slight "danger" of people seeing us together. I want them to wonder if you're kissing me when no one is looking. If your hand under the tablecloth is reaching for my thigh. If we're secretly involved in something that's too fantastic to even discuss.
The Tip Jar