Unspoken over the breakfast table, “I thought you only dated teenage rape victims.” My fingertip tracing the rim of his coffee cup, bright as bells, as unmerciful as gravity. He looked down at his plate, pretending to contemplate, needing to look away, “What did she say? Was it something embarrassing?”
Accidentally, I let him kiss me. His mouth on mine is soothing. I feel undesignated, like I could be any human flesh, living outside myself. The hotel room surroundings help. I can feel his pulse through my arms, his heartbeat matches the anonymous drapes, the extra h’aich’s of his french accent. Next we’re in the shower, it’s too late to push him away, half-disgusted with my apathy. Unthinking, I’ve already taken off my clothes and asked him to turn down the cold.
He sat at the foot of my bed like a one night stand, cigarette casually in hand, the solitary cherry a note of courage in the dark. We met as strangers twice, but never again. The freshly drawn line between the outside and this room has been too firmly pencilled in. Quest and conquest, though neither applies. Here, we are parallel. Watching him I know tomorrow he will trace over my body in memory and decide how much my warmth is worth. He will run, but not very far, only a month away. I can see why she must love him.