From our bed I can hear the unused tube of KY rattling around as Tim searches his drawer for a watch, for a handful of loose change. Over his pale, freckled shoulder I see the sunlight is orange now. It will soon go white and the day will shuffle forward.
With two weeks left before school, I have these days, alone, to consider it all. (“All” meaning: everything wrong with Tim). I think I may be going crazy with boredom. Yesterday I stared out a window for 30 minutes with my mouth open. I watched a cat, and it watched people walking by. Even the cat grew tired of this and, heaving its flab onto all fours, padded down the alley.
Today I must do something. I could hop online, hunt for sex, but I never know how to get what I want. I always end up playing therapist to suicidal teenagers in Idaho; talking them down off the ledge.
I wonder if those people are even real. Or are they suicidal adult men in Idaho? Are they really middle-aged, but shaken with pubescent anxiety over their uncooperative libidos? Are they balding, sweaty souls in makeshift home offices with wives making dinner downstairs, furious and silent, checking the temperature of a bloody roast?
And even if I do find someone to chat with, someone who turns me on, what then? I’m not the turnstile type, much to my disappointment. I fall for men and lie there.
For example: Tim proposed a threesome last week. He was measuring coffee beans, shirtsleeves rolled up to the elbows.
“Why don’t you just dump me?” Was my answer. Practical.
“Don’t be stupid. I thought we could try something new is all.” The grinder snarled for 30 counted seconds-every morning, this fucking ritual, this brew.
“What are we doing trying something new? It hasn’t even been a year yet.”
Tim wouldn’t look at me. “It builds trust.”
“Fucking around builds trust?”
“You’re being irrational.”
“You’re being a whore.”
I’m very unenlightened, it turns out. Or painfully uncool, at least. “I thought you were more open-minded that that,” said Tim. In the end, because my fear of abandonment is stronger than my prudery, I agreed to Tim’s plan. But for the record: I am close-minded about all this, yet open-bodied.
The guy we found (name?) had a mohawk that left gel crusties on my stomach. He was dangerous (if danger is measured by piercings), and that excited Tim but made me hide the valuables when I got up to pee.
Threesomes are complicated. Limbs! A hundred sweat-salted limbs. Further complicating things, mohawk boy was of the conversational school and insisted on rasping out a running commentary of not just his own but everyone else’s actions, expressions, and excretions.
It was fine, I suppose. Very democratic. One for you, and one for me. The sort of threesome my kindergarten teacher Miss Avery would be proud of. The two of them slept curled into each other and I, left with the poor man’s share of the sheets, felt my body shudder and cement to a patch of remnant cum between my shoulders.
Mohawk boy left with the lark, and I slid closer to Tim, happy to find his smell unchanged, unmasked. Dozing still, his nose dug into my chest, his limbs unconsciously wove through mine. It felt so easy. And sad.
And no sex since then. (Well, we have been busy). The KY tube is full as unpeeled fruit. Maybe we should switch brands.
I have failed, here. I know I have. I wish I didn’t mind. I wish I knew why I mind so much-wish these empty days would come to me like movies, fully planned and always correct, timed, directed. But my days are just this. This dim dale. Blue balls. Blue brains.
This sweat-stained bed, here where I write, seems so pointless (or just pathetic?) without him. I am supposed to do the sheets today. He called back, asking as much, from the doorway.
When he leaves, it feels like a refrigerator has stopped its harmless hum, causing my head to shoot up, shocked at finding, here, a stranger silence, beneath what I called quiet.