When I am embarrassed, I take my phone out and stare into it, the way a cat licks its own asshole after it falls off a table. I have my phone out; now I can no longer see you or feel required to deal with you in any way.
And I’ve been feeling embarrassed a lot this week. I recently sent Connecticut a link to one of my posts about him, over the cries and lamentations of my own diminished sense of social occasion. I do it because I need to get some of this whole thing out in the open, this thing where it seems like there’s something going on between us only there isn’t really. He then goes off to band rehearsal, leaving me trying not to check my phone every eleven seconds, and failing.
He will ultimately thank me for sharing, along with some other boner-killing texts such as the one proclaiming that the way he sees it, we’re platonically dating. Sweeping relief, just in giving this thing we are doing a name, even if it is a name of something terrible, because dating means introducing parts of our bodies to one another while also exchanging stories about what our childhoods were like or arguing about which cookie is the best. Platonically dating: it sounds like something young Amish people would do. This is not their fault; they have so many buttons and so little Internet porn. But I’m not sure it sounds like me.
I am a sex addict, and after a few weeks without sex, I get shaky and start looking at men on the street the way someone who is drowning will look at flotation devices bobbing just out of reach. A couple of months without sex and my senses heighten, the borderline superpowers of the experimentally deprived. I am not a person whom one platonically dates. I kiss people the way a baby puts things in its mouth—to learn things, to know them, to understand where I am in relation to them, where they end and I begin.
But at least now I know exactly where things are at; I’ve found if you tell someone the truth, they will likely return the favor. Even if you tell the truth by blogging at them, and you can tell they read it between their fingers because you scare them.
There is such a thing as too much talking. I once dated a man who would ask me, “Do you want foreplay?” Ugh. Not anymore I don’t. Also, no one should use ever the word foreplay, which conjures up images of men with their dress socks pulled up halfway to a solid Republican boner, a copy of The Sensual Man on the nightstand. Gross.
Sketch never asks me questions about what I want. He just does things to me. The first time he put his hands on me he said, I’m going to kiss you now. He doesn’t ever ask me any questions. He already knows what I want.
I get sick this week; the flu is very on-trend in New York right now, some virus that makes you burn at 101 and cough until you gag on your own lungs. I, ever disciplined, attempt business as usual: driving lesson, a yoga class, making dinner plans I’m not terribly interested in keeping, until I am finally forced to concede that I am actually on fire and take a day off from work.
Being stuck in bed means one thing: I will watch porn until the Internet is disgusted with me. It seems that anyone I spend enough time with I end up wanting to fuck, including, apparently, my own feverish self. But it does start to wear a little thin after a while; it starts to remind me of coming down off cocaine, watching the same filthy VHS tape over and over again, trying to pry an orgasm out of the dwindling dopamine supply in my increasingly miserable brain. I think that VHS tape is still kicking around my apartment somewhere, maybe behind the box of Christmas ornaments. It’s like Jacob Marley’s ghost, only in tranny-porn form, reproachfully moaning.
Masturbation is a lonely pastime, but it’s being sick that makes me most vulnerable to wanting the kind of things other people have, like a car to drive to the doctor, or a husband who will go pick up the cough syrup and gingerale. I could take my bike to Urgent Care, but I’m pretty sure I can’t make it back home up the hill with my lungs intact, so I just google fever cough possibly dying before giving up, deciding to just spend the next 36 hours in bed.
Sketch Facetimes in twice, and I almost don’t pick up; I’ve got no makeup on and my hair is sticky. But I do, and he is sick too, naturally, as I was just over there the other day licking things and leaving germs everywhere. We lay in bed, and we are together and separate at the same time, laughing at what our flushed faces look like, zooming in close to the screen before pulling away slowly, turning our devices around to show one another what’s going on in the background. He has no girls over there, unless they’re hidden out of frame. It’s just us, shimmering with fever, locating one another on our screens and marking each other for the next time.