He remained lying next to me. If he were a man he would have called a cab. When he kissed me it felt boring. To pull away was mean and satisfying. He could have gone, but instead curled up, a sharp whisper thrown in my ear when he thought I was asleep. Hairy back invading my bed.
It was our second date. He got off the tram and I knew. He said he wanted something ‘light’ for dinner. He was sad about going home to the US next week. He was going to be staying with his parents for a while. On the edge of my bed as I showed him Supertramp he told me,
‘My mum will be so happy to bake me a big batch of cookies when I’m there’. He’d never had a lamington or an Anzac biscuit.
The first time I saw him was on stage. Songs about love, electronic tones. I sat down and knew the inside of the music. There was nowhere to go but I thought there might be. We had drinks and waxed inadequate. He had a copy of Moby Dick. I bought more drinks than he did. I stood to go to the bathroom and felt his dark eyes on my behind. His words were to please me. My actions were compatible.
At my house, the first time, I realised he was much drunker than I. I was thinking too much, during. I was feeling obliged. He had girth and it pained me.
‘Are you okay?’ Just fucking get it over with.
Stroking. On the second date, the hand floats up to my bent over lower back, fluttering like a moth. I can feel it in my throat. I sip deep into my glass, I go get us another one (though he’s had enough, again). When I get to the kitchen the vodka bottle and the lime cordial bottle have the wrong caps on. He made the last one.
I still remember the lover I was most happy with, every time I’m with someone else. The memory of how it could feel. On holiday once, we stayed in a cabin, and went in the room with the bunk beds.
‘This would be the kids room’ he said, then pushed me down on the bed.
‘Squeeze my wrists, hard’, I said. He did. Later we ate thick raisin toast and he burnt his hair on the stove trying to light a joint. It was quiet and we watched the stars. In bed later I wore a black plastic corset. But with him I felt sexy even in pyjamas.
At the beach, when we splashed like children, I would be proud of the fingernail marks screaming down our backs in the broad daylight, the bruises on our necks. He could pick me up and bounce me, in front of the full-length mirror. He looked like Michelangelo’s David. Long hair my breath got caught in. And it was never enough. I was jealous of the floor he walked on, the water in the shower that caressed his skin.
To the American. A whiny curved back on the side of the bed I like to sleep on. I thought about the razor in the bathroom, dragging it across my fingertips (an injury that pays off for days). In the morning I said he could stay in bed for a bit, while I got ready for work. He said okay and a large breath exhaled from me. I concentrated on the muesli. I had told him ‘Sorry, I think I’m used to being alone.’