After the act, the banter, the thoughts, the pain...
“So, that was amazing,” the seductive tones of a woman fully satiated physically, now craving confirmation of emotional equivalence.
“Yea, amazing,” he says it with conviction, although not quite enough to soothe her.
“Wait, what?” the seeds of doubt fashion themselves upon her thoughts, growing rapidly with the memories of failed loves, her questionable self-esteem now deflating with the rapidity of a breached balloon.
“I said you were amazing,” he adds passion, conjuring emotion and intensity from the recesses of his body, places that currently call for sleep, wishing he did not have to suffer the interminable habit women have of, in the immediate moments after sex, wanting to discuss the previous moments, or in this case hours, of sex.
“Oh, well, it didn’t sound like you meant it.” she declares, now curled away from him, regressing back into a near-fetal state, tucking her legs up into her chest and bringing her hand to her mouth, practically suckling herself in an attempt to recover some promise of safety, reliving with every second the doubt and ineptitude of her sexual prowess, and wondering whether she will ever find a man who is satisfied with her performance, a man she can love and who will hold her and provide for her and appreciate the concentration with which she grinds and undulates upon his body in an outright attempt to bring him pleasure.
“Of course I meant it.” he states, considering whether to continue patronizing her, for she truly wasn’t all that amazing but he’d been in such a dry spell for the last three months that even average sex was better than none at all, and burning the bridges with women of even this lowly caliber would not strengthen his chances of finding adequate sexual release in the future, for women like this had many friends, and many friends meant many more friends, all of whom talked and gossiped and discussed the sexual exploits of men like him, making this present attempt to appease her a moral imperative for his sexual future.
“Yes, well, you could have been a bit more enthusiastic about it.” she responds, rolling back over onto his chest, now hoping to find that passionate moment which all women desire after a sexual escapade, and which all men understand comes along with the act, but inherently despise, for at these moments the most pressing thoughts revolve around a good rest and perhaps half a sandwich and a cold beer.
“You’re right. I’m sorry.” the acquiescence escapes easily from his lips, though the darkness of the early morning hides the truth in his eyes, and for a moment he feels like a politician, smiling at his constituent with a Cheshire grin, making false promises in order to raise funds for his upcoming election, only now he is here prostituting his morality in search of a few physical releases and at the expense of a sweet girl, a pattern he’s kept for ten years, and one which causes him endless moral debate but always leaves him in the same predicament of questioning himself in the exact moment of inappropriateness, that moment being when the sweet girl is lying right beside him asking him if he could be more enthusiastic with his enthusiasm.
“So what are going to do today” the suggestion that they will spend the day together hovers over the bed like steam sticking to a mirror and he wishes he could reach up and rub out a spot to see through it all, such that clarity would issue forth in a way that he’d be able to just say, with complete and utter honesty, that all he wanted was the sex, just the act itself, a night of sweaty rhythmic grinding to satisfy the physical urge gnawing at his groin for the past months. But that couldn’t happen, for society says it is inappropriate and he’d have to consider the fabricated potential rape charge of an angered woman, or even worse, the rumors she’d spread to the rest of her gender, rumors which would lead him back into the desert of sexual anonymity, dry and desperate, only this time with no recourse, as though his picture was posted on the nightclub equivalent of the post-office wall with a note above shouting UNWANTED. No, acquiescence is easier.
“Whatever you want to do, baby,” adding the “baby” because, for women, terms of endearment are the verbal equivalent of an emotional cuddle. Staring at the ceiling, he realized this was the punishment for his depravity, the hours after sex where one feels obligated to spend senseless moments discussing the virtuoso performance of the previous night, dissecting the in’s and out’s like some Monday morning football analyst, and then the breakfast, pondering the decision to stay in or go out and choosing to leave the house because staying in would mean the possibility that she’d want to stay all day and, though it might lead to another physical exploration of her body, there was the ominous threat that she wouldn’t do the dishes and he’d be stuck wasting his late- afternoon over the sink with a scrub brush and soap bottle performing a five-knuckle shuffle back and forth across some green and white pieces of ceramic that were purchased for three dollars apiece at some flea market near the dark side of urban America. No, no, better to go out, and he’d spend twenty bucks on some greasy omelet and her fruit plate, as thought she wouldn’t go home and throw down a bag of tortilla chips before vomiting them out five minutes later in some superficial and morbid attempt to maintain her girlish figure, the figure which he last night so thoroughly ravished, a thought which brought a momentary smile to his face, cured only when he returned to his thoughts about the obligatory meal he was about to purchase along with the manufactured conversation and the frequent subvertive glances at his watch in a futile effort to determine how much time he’d have to let pass before she felt satisfied with his emotional commitment to last night’s soiree.
“How ‘bout I make us some breakfast?” she offers, as though, in some unconscious tribute to her maternal and nurturing instincts, cooking food for the man who’d recently fulfilled her sexual cravings would help her realize the complete satiation of her female desires, or perhaps it was a subconscious longing to pay penance, restoration for draining the energies and spirit of man, and this deep want to provide a morning meal was merely an endeavor to replenish the font from which she so greedily drank. More likely, cooking a meal represented her efforts to impress the man, to illustrate her domesticity, to make him feel that she was more than a sexual object, that appealing to his appetite would leave him wondering what he was missing if he let her go, and sadly, she could believe it might work. In fact, unbeknownst to them both, her passion for a post-sex meal was manifest out of a stab at reconciling her childhood abuse, the reassurance and comfort of food representing sanctuary from a father whose sexual proclivities included the repeated violation of his daughter’s innocence. But she didn’t know that. Neither did he.
“Let’s put some clothes on and just go out. I don’t have much here anyway,” the lie was so easy. After all, he’d been to the market just yesterday and had stocked up on eggs, chicken, and enough berries and veggies to start a roadside produce stand, not to mention the myriad juices and vitamins he’d procured in a passive-aggressive attempt to maintain his athletic build, the added bonus of which led to these sexual forays on account of the superficial sexual inclinations of women who believed a man’s chiseled body represented his inner emotional strength rather than some obsessive commitment to exercise.
“Aww, are you taking me out?” the outright declaration of her neediness, the blatant proclamation of a lifetime of abandonment issues, the concentrated pining for connection, all expressed here in a simple question. If she knew how expensive he thought this breakfast was becoming, she’d shut her mouth, get dressed, and run out the door screaming, wringing the guilt embarrassment and sorrow from her shaking hands. Instead, she nuzzled her head up under his chin, wrapping her bare leg, the one he had over his shoulder last night, over his stomach, and her slender arm, the one that she’d thrown back over her head with a rapturous “UMHH-AHHH!” last night, around his neck, and tussling his hair as though petting a kitten, ironic since his hatred toward cats was only slightly more adamant than his hatred for post-sex hair-tussling.
“Just for breakfast ok?” because the hair-tussling had pushed him over the edge, making him realize that suffering another three minutes with this girl, let alone an entire breakfast would cause him such pain that the option of a steak knife pressed slowly thorough his eyelid and threaded gently into his skull and given a final thrust and twist to cause instantaneous death, was beginning to look eminently more attractive.
“What does that mean? I thought we were going to spend the day together?” a result of the female interpretation of dominance, of a victorious escapade, the upshot of which meant she would now have a companion, for meals, dates, romantic movie-watching, and post-sex hair tussling. With those expectations, ruminated about by her friends at the bar last night, their words suggesting her obvious desperation and abandonment issues –although they too were unaware of her abused childhood, however several made the rather bleak and accurate assumption that “something” had happened in her younger days- she posed this question in fear, truly closer to terror, wondering if she’d just been used by this man, this incredibly sexy man whose physical prowess had aroused in her such unbridled passion and sexual freedom that in the midst of it all, she had looked up into his big brown eyes and imagined him proposing to her –in fact, the actual image was him on one knee staring up into the bottom of her naked breasts, placing his head against her inner thigh and exclaiming “I love you and want you to be my wife” as she tussled his hair and smiled-and now she sat awaiting an answer, wondering how she could allow herself to jump into bed with a man so quickly (hell, she barely knew his name, but was fairly sure it was Damien).
“………” his silence hung over the room like a thick layer of bong smoke, choking them both.
“Well, are we?” she pleaded for something, anything, and yes, it was definitely Damien.
“I have some plans today, but we can have breakfast.” the tidying up of a near fatal slip, for one should never imply immediate dismissal to a woman, especially not a man who’d just found an oasis in the sexual desert, especially not this man, Dylan. Delicately removing her slender arm from around his neck, he rose from the bed, not looking back to see if she was staring at his bare ass, not because he wasn’t curious, because every man retains a touch of vanity regardless of age, but because his ego wasn’t invested in this woman, and his curiosity to witness her longing stare at his bare ass or the absence thereof, was rather inconsequential compared to his desire to get to the toilet for a piss.
“You’ve got a great ass.” the dirty comment passed him on his way into the bathroom, and slammed into the shower to be cleansed with the scrubbing of his loathing. He grabbed himself, holding his raw manhood in his hand, making certain to aim for the center of the bowl, for few things compete with the utter humility and filth of scrubbing ones own poorly-aimed urine from the bathroom floor, and relieved himself, wishing he could do the same with the girl, a quick shake or two, and a flush to watch her swirl away down the drain and into some pipe, never to be seen again.
“Let’s go.” sitting on the bed and reaching down to slip on his sandals, still dirty from the trek through the Gobi desert he’d done six months ago, and smiling at the irony of having conquered now, two deserts. He felt her slide off the bed, and she drifted towards her pink thong lying on the floor, then shyly picked it up, covering her nakedness from him, as though just now recognizing her frailty and vulnerability. He wondered for a moment, why women do that, release themselves in some furious physical outcry for sexual exploration and then withdraw into reticent submissiveness when confronted with their acts of depravity, and while he was thinking, she began wondering if this whole thing was a mistake, the coming to his apartment, the sex, the over-indulgent undulations, the obvious sympathetic offer of breakfast, and the strange way he rolled his eyes when she spoke hoping she wouldn’t notice his blatant annoyance at having her still in his room this late in the morning.
“Ya know, maybe I should just go home.?” she proffered, leaving the door open, a veiled olive branch to see his reaction, whether he might seek an immediate escape, or if he could actually care for her, or perhaps, something in between, the kind sympathetic “no no it’s ok” nod of the head and a clasp of her hand to lead her out the door to a Last Supper before casting her off onto some divinely designed eastbound subway to nowhere.
“Yea, that might be best.” because why bother spending the twenty bucks when you can use it for another few rounds next week at the bar.
“Yea, well, here’s my number if you want to call.”
“Ok. See ya…and um….thanks.”
“Ugh.” she leaves.