Living by Numbers: One

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I am being stripped away of my femininity. For once I want to be celebrated for my body, seen as a sensuous object, coveted and undressed, but my insides are broken, and even if it doesn’t show, he knows, and I know. Coincidentally, because I know that he knows, I feel safe, I imagine that he cares at least a tiny bit, and even if he’s working right now, I don’t mind. A little portion of his day is dedicated to my case, he understands what I am going through, he’s showing some interest, and he’s looking to save me. He knows me, inside and out. What more could I ask for? I could ask him to lusciously take advantage of me, on his desk, on the floor, against the wall, no one needs to know, and next time I’ll see someone else, and I’ll be married to him by then, and I’ll be faithful, and we’ll drive home together at around 7, when it will be dark outside. Once inside I’ll cook dinner and change into a silky dress while he does some more work at his desk. So dedicated.

Obviously it’s not just the physical part I fantasize about; I am also interested in the impossible. My heart and my lady parts become indissociable, how predictable. Love. I am the cliché, and I immaturely long for the ridiculously unattainable, the hopelessly inaccessible, beyond my reach, out of my league, all of these things.

I am this woman, my feet are anchored in the sand, and I am throwing stones in the ocean, hoping that they come back to the surface.

Twenty-two words, said with a semblance of a smile on his face, almost there and swiftly erased, but pronounced clearly, with intent, head still leaning very slightly to the right, eyebrows raised in a flash dotting the conversation with a fleeting question mark, are going to install doubt in me, torment, agony. Towards the end of the consultation, after 47 minutes together, and these 22 words later, I start to wonder, to consider the possibility that he is also attracted to me. As our calm exchange is coming to an end, I am most likely looking in his words, in his body, for the eventuality of reciprocity, hunting for desire, as always. Doubt, torment, agony. Then he says he’ll see me again in six months and I leave, sadly, haunted by 30 syllables, 22 words that I will repeat to myself over and over again.


It had been three months since I had first met him, and his aura had not diminished one bit. I would have expected it to subside. But no. We did everything together. We ate, we read, we talked, we listened to music while resting on the sofa. I could caress his face for hours, learning to draw as I closed my eyes the contours that define his features. We walked around the city on warm and humid afternoons and drank too much at night when the temperatures cooled down. We slept soundly together, we had a lot of sex, we were tired, and ecstatic, it felt so good, it was frightening. An orgasm became the sensation I would get when I could feel, touch, smell, and taste that he was coming. There was no pleasure greater than the experience of his joy. Next to that I suppose would be the expression in his eyes when he contemplated the very instant when mine heightened in intensity. Sometimes we were in concert, and sometimes we enjoyed each other after short intervals. Taking turns, we loved that. I could listen to him talk, I could look into his eyes, it’s hard to describe.

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