buy one get one free*

you pulled your pants down in a way really as unsexy as the phrase “you pulled your pants down.” i did the same and maybe in retrospect i blame it on the unwieldy light or maybe the mirror that through scratched disfigurement functioned sort of like a playhouse mirror (it also could have been the cocaine) and rendered our bodies obtuse and alien — my stomach ballooned with helium and my head was a dimly-lit cave and your ribcage splayed open and pushed your beating heart out into the cramped grocery store bathroom.

or maybe it was your unforgiving behavior (you kept saying: c’mon already) or maybe it was, like all things, a product of these factors and also of many, many others that cannot be articulated here because this is a short story not a bureaucratically long novel. but what i am dancing around is the fact that there was a pit in my stomach and not very much blood rushing to where in erotica they say “blood rushed” or sometimes they even use the word “engorged.”

so you went down on me and not in a way that seemed to care for my experience but more so as a utility; as if in attempt at a quick-fix. i felt very bad because your knees (soft and gentle) were touching the dirty, dirty floor where some might say unmentionable liquids were spilt.

i also felt very bad because there was too much suction on something limp; you were pulling me into you and i was scared that maybe through some miracle (maybe the miracle of 2am grocery store magic) you would swallow all of me and i would wake up (come to, as they say) within you, within your stomach or your head or somewhere else and i would be like jonah and you the whale and i would eventually have to fight or slice my way out of your prison-like body.

but as this fear piqued then waned it felt as if you were spitting me back out, thrusting me out of you with your mouth and tongue and those vague muscles that make your cheeks thinner upon demand and then i became scared not of being swallowed but of never again being in you, of being formally discarded and abandoned like the shell of a sunflower seed.

i opened my eyes and stopped focusing on myself so much and said: slow down, please.

you stood up and kissed me, lips on lips and there was moisture (things were suddenly moist) and your hand (aggressive) held the inlet of my lower back, a part of my body it seemed that was particularly topographical. i asked what you wanted and you said, very coolly: you.

this was a turning point (and if i was a more cinematic reteller of tales there might be a sudden change in music, a speeding up of tempo but also a switch to something genre-bending that would indicate momentary sublimity). i was then viewing the situation removed, as, i think, you were too. we were no longer bodied beings but floating aimlessly and administering feelings and sensations to our flesh-vehicles below, above and around. i held your ethereal soul-hand and you held mine as we watched (maybe we ate ghost-popcorn too) our two bodies fuck in the grimy grocery store bathroom.

there was leaning and grunting and of course thrusting but these physical motions were unimportant. more significant was the way that every once in a while (and this means probably three or four times within the six minutes) i could feel us vascillate back into our bodily form, back into full-fledged terrestriality.

these moments were very visceral in their unfolding. there was hot breath on cold damp ears; very soft moans with ambiguous origins; there were instances of mutual hatred — pure “unadulterated” hatred i think — caused by deep-dug nails into thighs and carnivore-teeth that crossed far past the rubicon of pleasure. then there were the humanizing (but we were always and also never human) moments of disjunction where a zig was met with a zag, as they might say, where one or both of us would laugh then quickly forget things like humor and pour back into one another.

there was also, and this was surely a moment of bodilessness, a shared segment of spasming and subsequent exhausted relief, unconsciousness, bliss but also blankness. a quick traverse into something other.

in a romantic twist we awoke cuddled on the horribly dirty white tile floor. but, like a cottony condom, protecting us from infection and an intense need to shower and recompense was an oversized blue and green flannel shirt which had transformed into something like a picnic blanket or a comforter in a log cabin on a mountain near a lake in december where outside white powder stacked up around us gently, where a fire burned in a fireplace and hot chocolate in tin cups with the little marshmallows beckoned us toward mid-afternoon naps and lazy immersion into books and magazines.

you got up first, seeming far too comfortable and at home. you stood and brushed your teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste you had swiped from aisle three. you splashed water on your face (transforming it) and nuzzled your way back into our king sized bed composed of a j. crew button down and my arms and also your arms and my shoulder and also your head.

*this is an excerpt from a longer unshared story