so last night you, who know not a thing about me, not my name, my address, my favorite color, ask me to be your girlfriend. except you are so much cuter than that, in the way you say it.
“are you seeing anyone else?” you randomly ask.
that’s your lead-in.
we’re lying, once again, on the floor of your new and still-vacant living room when you launch into this line of questioning. considering that you have your fingers hooked exquisitely inside of me, one could say you have the current advantage.
“no,” i breathe, because already i’m misunderstanding, and thinking we’re doing a thing in which i show off how make-believe obedient i can be under your dynamic tutelage.
“i’m seeing one other person,” you mention. at which point i stop my gyrations, and begin to catch on that you’re engaged in an actual conversation, begin to suspect that the skilled movements of your hand are just a loosely connected after-thought.
this suspicion is confirmed when i slip out of reach from your touch and you, unnoticing, run the self-same hand through your dark hair, in a gesture of what i think might be worry.
“it’s a kind of on-again, off-again thing,” you say here.
i nod, sympathetically, then wonder if sympathetic is the correct expression for me to exhibit, given the circumstances.
i’m having a lot of trouble keeping up with what’s happening, and you’re about to make it worse.
“but, i would be your boyfriend, if you want that,” you tell me.
“you’d be my boyfriend?” i ask, not because i didn’t hear the first time but because i had no idea that we were playing the part of twelve-years-old innocents right now.
please understand that i broke into this man’s house, several times; i am a woman who competes obsessively with his physical superiority; i pierce his pressure points with no remorse, only amusement; i pour hot oil on his body; i wake him up in the night, wanting more, with sudden ice applied to his testes.
i have never, never presented as something even remotely deserving of relationship status.
as such, i’m flattered, while also thinking that this man has far more wrong with him than i initially surveyed.
even so, we’re in his recently-purchased house, with which i’ve been strongly identifying for the past week. he’s gutting its interior, with his own two gorgeous, brutish hands, and when we talk he’s been using words that constantly break my concentration. words like raze and demolish and dismantle. and there are broken tiles and men’s tools everywhere and even stepping across the threshold with my eyes closed, i’m wet enough to feel my essence dripping down the inside of my leg. so i’m more willing to entertain this conversation than i should be. is that enough to build a relationship on?
“why?” i want to know, as in, why would he want to be my boyfriend.
“i am really, really into you,” he says, honestly.
“would i have to tell you my name?” i ask, because i could almost just do this if he said no. i would even toy with marrying him if he’d go for that.
“yes, i would need to know your name.”
i go to protest, but he shakes his head at me.
“so you’ll have to weigh that carefully,” he says.
but actually, no, i won’t. i don’t have to even weigh that at all. because there is no fucking way, this far in, with things going this successfully, that i’m going to throw the sledgehammer of my name into the beautiful chapel glass of what we’re doing. is he stupid?
“why?” i want to know. “why would you have to know my name?”
“i want to know everything about you,” he says, even though he has no earthly knowledge of what the result of that sentiment could be. “i want to know what you do when you go home. i want to know if you have a cat…”
“you want to know if i have a cat?” i interrupt. “that’s been like a burning question for you all this time?”
he rolls his eyes, growing exasperated with me.
“look, just consider it. i’ve made the offer. that’s the most i can do.”
later that night, we go back to his condo. while he sleeps, so delightfully heavy, i listen to music in the luxury of his seven-foot speakers, and think about what he’s proposing. he assumes i live some charmed life, because i come over to his house, blithe and dominatrix and free.
but the things he’d have to accept in me are too many.
like oh, i have a son, we have one of those brazilian single mother relationships that make men want to kill him, or me, or themselves; his cultish father is either my best friend or the bane of my existence, usually both, at the same time; i have a sister, she was brutally beaten and had amnesia for 20 years, but oh, yeah, now she’s back, she remembers, except she’s dying of brain cancer, any day now she’ll go; and, oh, you should probably know, i come from a long, unbroken lineage of mentally unwell, and, as such, a fictionalized account of things, per my pedigree, is not only acceptable but encouraged; and, oh, i almost forgot, the man i loved most fell off the face of the earth, and i’m pretty sure i’ll never be able to feel again…
and besides, and more importantly: what is wrong with the way things are?
i mean, when we’re in your ripped-up house and you command me to kneel, i do so happily. moreover, i unfasten your studded leather belt with my teeth, and i purr at the feel of your hands in my hair, forcing me on you. i’m in love with the movement of your hips.
beyond those moments of perfection, i am at best an upscale wreck. a demolished library, containing a chaos of knowledge and archaic power. but please, don’t let’s stop and try to recategorize the volumes. let’s just go with it. the way things are. there’s so much beauty in my destruction.
that night, or early morning, or whatever time it is in the blackout bedroom of yours in which we sleep, i wake from a terrifying nightmare: in it, your penis is suddenly too small for me.
i grasp at you; you growl at me in that lovely way you do.
all is well. it was just a bad dream.
still, the symbolism is not lost on me. nor should it be on you.
it’s not you; it’s what you want from me. i can’t reduce myself to that, to one immobile identity. i’ll die even sooner than i already expect is planned for me.
and i want to be indomitable.
i want to be larger than life.