Atmosphere.

My only concept of time was the light of dusk, creeping across her face like a veil as the hours slipped by, dramatically highlighting and rendering stark the softness I touched. Intimidating on equal footing, but downright terrifying incapacitated on the bed, bound by electrical tape and a spellbinding gaze, she became otherworldly, blue as the sky above.

Later, we would talk about the moon in metaphors as the orb, unusually bright, watched us hurtle across the sky. So much negative space, so dark and vast that the moon almost appeared to be a small tear in the curtain, a peek out into the light and consuming brightness of perfection, taunting us from above in an endless cycle of redemption and rejection. My life is bitter with thy love to inhale Paris consumes the soul to thee I sing, I whispered the words of others before me into her ears as she spoke of riding in the backseat of a car as a child, followed by the moon, tattoos, bamboo, and I lost myself in the quiet of the night.

“I don’t mind getting lost.”

“Well, it seems like you like being found, too.”

Two days ago, a classmate and I were shivering in the wind of Saint-Malo, on the beach as the masts of the yachts and ships, boarded for the winter, intoned a ghostly rhythm unto the dark of the night. Our words were punctuated by its high-pitched whine. It’s not that I don’t like The Traveler, it’s that, in name as well as personality, he reminds me of my father and I like to think of myself as more than a cliché, a little better than that. I distance myself but he keeps coming back. What I feel for him is the same begrudging affection I feel for most men, the wisdom of hindsight forever keeping me careful of how hard I laugh and how long I gaze.

What he said stopped me in my tracks. I considered leaping into the sea—“Who’s lost now?” and never coming back, an impressive gesture for nobody to see. I considered kissing him, tossing away my principles like a handful of sand into the inky black, because secretly, I wish that my words were so pithy and succinct that someone would do that with me.

Instead, I walked back to the hotel. Got high and drank Pernod, held a baguette in between my legs and bit off the top. Bawdy butch. Rowdy butch. Butch of the night, of the sleet, of the wool and water, of the Baskervilles and hills of France. I walked to the beach alone and screamed into the vast, and in the end, all that came back was the sound of my own voice.

She sat on my face and enveloped me in her pussy, laughed in my ear as I struggled for breath. Each orgasm only feels as good as the last, and with every sensation felt in an instant, I can feel a little bit of myself dull each time, that ache in my stomach forcing me to crave more in the next encounter, and the next, and the one after that.

“Tell me something I don’t know about you already.”

“I can’t have an orgasm,” I told the moon, pure and clean, “as hard and as intense if I’m being fucked tenderly.”

Insatiable, I say, and she slaps me in the face. Bombastic, I yell, and she shoves her fingers down my throat, pushing back hubris, aloof, power-hungry, the sweet heat of her hand and bite of her nails quelling the darkness of angry, impassive, absurd, futile and I come hard and fast, gagging and fighting it.

There is no moral to the story, only words on a page for you to decipher. Hedonism loved and lost, the sweetest regret in a city of two million people.

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