On midnight mornings.

(Alternatively titled, on statutes of limitations and limits of stationary bodies.)

This is from a long time past.

The shift in the dynamic lurched me off my mind and into the chair and rendered me more aware of the situation around me—the tension in the room and the timbre of my breathing tipped me off, circled around me like vultures, obvious signals that I could only marvel at the sight of. Something had changed and I was caught in the crosshairs with no means of escape.

The only thing I could do was move closer and closer.

Before she told me not to worry, and went downstairs to bed, something was different about us. She piqued my curiosity. It’s not that I was worried, I was confused. I asked to touch her and she declined. I squirmed, steeped in uncomfortability—how can I give you what you want if you do not tell me what you want? When I get zealous, when I get aggressive, that is all that I truly desire. Tell me the result and let me make it happen. She looked me in the eye and would not allow me that respite, and that’s how I started to crack. I knew it when it started, I had no idea how it would finish.

“I hope you feel like prey right now.” I blinked and she was closer, though I saw her coming, though she took her time, there was no mistaking the deliberation in her voice. We are kindred in our documentation, our careful planning, and that is how I knew she meant what she said. That is why I told her,

“Yeah, I do.”

She wrenched me by the hair to the kitchen and pushed me to the ground. I was shaking, I was bisected firmly, a part of me wanted to halt, break the fourth wall and process until we’d ground our thoughts and emotions into a fine powder and swallowed them bitterly, but the rest of me want to see it play out. There’s no shame in hungering for it, there’s nothing to be pitied about curiosity, and there was nothing to process or discuss about the wetness seeping into the threads of my Levis out of my core. She was tapping me gently against hard things and I was curious to crumble.

Her tumbler was filled with cider and vodka from an unknown flask, and I parted my lips for a sip. She tipped the glass, pouring, choking, filling me with it until I sputtered and the juice leaked down my cheek.

Filthy.

But in that mess, I looked her dead in the eyes and she smiled. It was breaking me, shaking me, that I couldn’t get a quick read on her. My five-minute leeway for infiltrating the mind was cast to the floor along with my shirt and I was splayed at her mercy, displayed in the light of the kitchen at 2:30AM. Neither of us were tired, and either way, this would play out as it needed.

She grasped the front of my hair and pushed me backwards and I sank, blinded by her hand over my eyes and nose and quivering, my lips ebbing of blood flowing downstream. Her hand delved inside of me, swiftly, without hesitation, and when her hand went away, her eyes never left mine, her smile never faded. I was shaking from head to toe, nothing could penetrate my thoughts but for the knowledge and the notion of this intimacy spread out and seeping into the cracks of the floors.

Somehow, this would play out.

We plan before we say to elicit the maximum of impact, but on my knees, I was nervous and plaintive, plaintiff but accused, and she whispered in my ear above me from high,

“I like the way you look at me, but there’s something about you that I don’t like,” and I could feel my heart skip a beat, choking in my throat and locking my elbows rigid, clouding the blue of my eyes as I wrenched them shut.

“You’re everywhere. I want you alone sometimes, I want to be able to have you for my own,” and she sank back over me, she reared over my body and claimed me in shudders on the hardwood floor. I absorbed her words because I was too dumb to take my own for once, for again, and shook again and again.

She fell, and I held her, I held her until she stopped.

Even as I write now, I can see her through the tilted origami folds of our various laptop, magazine, paperback barriers, the corner of her eyes reduced to slits five feet way, but she knows what happened and how I broke. It’s not mine alone now, it’s a story shared, and I do not look away.

“What gets you off more?” she asks, “Is it the pain or the humiliation, or both?” in my ear, supine, sprawled on and over and around me as we breathe the morning back again.

“The fear,” I say, and she stands me up and slaps me across the face. It is the only recognizable sound in the room, outside of the murmurs and twitches of the house, and for a moment, seems to absorb the rest of the noise and rings in my ears. We are unstoppable atop each other, connected as if magnetized, hungry as if the only remedy to this is to swallow each other whole. I kiss her without abandon because I know I cannot hurt her, the curtains are down and we are cloaked in darkness and a flickering sense of sonorous closeness eclipsed in hours when most are dreaming.

We close ourselves in the master bedroom, her cock erect, her hands insistent, and I take her inside of me as far as I can go. She tells me I am dramatic, and I inhale with the utmost of gusto. She pushes me, with her hands, with the twinkle in her eyes. I’d have thought I’d be fading in the dusk and night sky, but I’m on a different level of energy, a frantic slip from one day to the next bracketed by the squeeze of her fingers on my upper arms, the taunt and bait of her slaps. I’m in rare form and she knows it because everything is on the table, every whisper and glance could be written down later on and I wonder if she’s holding back or pushing forward for that very reason.

I want to say, the things we do are more than just words on a page,

I want to appropriate inappropriate words for dissonant feelings: I lust you, I linger over you, they are statements and they are riddles.

I want to breathe in you that it is okay to break me.

That I want it.

That the things that I want make sense and the things I think are clear and smooth in the back of my mind, even if, as I bark them out, they are dark, steeped in strangeness. I am a fool unto myself, but things become far clearer when her hands are wrapped around my throat, breathing the clarity back into my mouth.

The cock sinks down inside of my throat, hair over heels as I lie with my head dangling over the bed. She goes almost all the way down, then again, and again, until she is sure I can take it. With each thrust, my vision blackens for a second, and returns. As my breath is stolen in steadied thrusts, I can smell her skin, taste the sour tang of lust and fear on the back of my tongue. Looking her in the eye solidifies my initial theory: this must play out, as she says, it’s the very first rule of writing. Show, don’t tell.

My mouth erupts in gasps of air broken off by the intrusion, I falter like a hanged man and suck her in deeper and deeper. Consummation of the soul, that’s how it feels as I’m beneath her, as if with each slip of the finger she works herself deeper within me, to horizons uncharted. I swallow her with my mouth, she plugs me and stops the flow of words. She taunts my inability to take her whole, but it only enervates me to higher performance, and with every gulp, I feel my body twist into itself, expose my tears and snot. There’s nothing left to hide.

I curl myself next to her, watch the rise and lift of her chest and work my fingers inside of her. She is taut around me, fitted to my form, and I angle myself atop her to take it all in at once. Holding both of her wrists underneath my hands, I waltz on the edge of the tension with reckless, feckless fey, each glance into her eyes a sample of what’s to come, dark and penetrating and never leaving mine. I crane my fingers inside her, she’s so wet and hot and I can feel her pulse from deep inside. I’m greedy, I want more, I want to give and take and I grunt my mounting arousal out into her. When she comes, it coats my fingers sticky-sweet, and I collapse atop her, my lips shaking and my cunt quivering. I want her, I fucking want her.

She takes back the reigns, looming over me and plunging inside. She squeezes me from the inside out to a runny pulp and breath of a scream bitten down upon. I want it so badly that I’m shuddering, that my words are shuddering though my voice is strong, that I’m begging for things I never thought would burble up from the depths of my scratched throat, I’m piling my indignities on the bed as she reaches up inside me and finally, it comes, I’m not asking, I’m not demanding, I’m not stating, I’m begging, bargaining for more, more, anywhere I can take it.

Her affirmation breaks me; my self-implication shatters me into sopping wet, sweating pieces on the bed. I’m panting and glowing on the bed, so immense was the orgasm, the sheer momentum of it all now just weighing on my eyelids. She’s under my skin, I’m under her thumb, and the sky is getting lighter.

-C.

On reconnaissance.

The winter cloaks me like a cure-all, despite the cramped parking, despite the shadowy figures moving across the street. I’m nervous. I try to tell myself that it’s for better reasons. The ones that make me clench my jaw and wrap my fists around my knees. The subjects in New York Magazine are getting younger, the fissures in my forehead and hips are here to stay. But it’s not that, it’s as far from that as Stubb and Wootten slippers are from my feet. I’m nervous to socialize. Out of the blue came The Photographer, as I alluded to, and out of the wind, she is here.

Technically, I am here first, as I please. A forgotten bible advised showing up to meetings ten minutes early or ten minutes late, anything in between being gauche and powerless. My proverbial tender heel. I soothe them with a fruity drink and a coo to the waitress. All the waitstaff is bedecked in plaid and at a moment’s glance, I can’t tell if she’s arrived or not. When she arrives, she sits with a sigh, and we mince our way through drinks and tacos to the chagrin of my palate.  Things are pleasant, it seems. She is partnered to a woman I tangentially knew from an ill-fated kink event and dinner, a clumsy-fisted stab at sexuality, I remember fondly. The Writer is in New Mexico, exercising and anonymously trailing off in phone calls. They’re not together anymore. It’s not mine to document, though, so I let her speak and dribble hot sauce atop corn chips.

From what she tells me, the scene feels cramped, like a burlap sack in the river and I find myself looking for ways to elbow my way out. So and so is sleeping with this one from school and knows all the people of the area and the region, even bleeding down into the next state like some toxic revolutionary. Everyone goes to the same places. I resolve to spend the evening staring at their FetLives, envying and turning my nose at their flagging. But it doesn’t bring the warmth of resolute misanthropy I so used to covet, instead, it blurs my face, it makes me want to move to Los Angeles and run, run away on my own two feet. We order another round of tacos and I lick sesame oil off my fingerprints, I make blasé sexual jokes. And, we’re back.

All good nights have to end, and this one leads us back outside. There’s a chill in the air, and I suck in warmth from my Gauloises. They are preserved as if ambered, carried in the bag of a speechless boy who tells me, after he gives me the carton in his drunken haze, to do good things and never, ever choose between my life and my morals before he got on a train to Tennessee. My mouth is sealed. I may have made the decision in my footsteps. But before we depart, I share one with The Photographer and we bisect at the intersection. The cigarette passes between the tips of our fingers, and she fades into the dark. There’s no ticket on my car and no song in my heart, just the empty scent of smoke when I get back to home.

-C.

On relocations.

My love holds me close at night and whispers in the big, smoked room,

“I miss your old apartment,”

That dark place, that low-ceilinged excuse for a dwelling wrenched from the arms of the most beautiful days in Africa, in Paris, in Pays-Bas, in Belgium, in Germany, extracted from the sky and plunked down in the middle of a snowstorm, supported by air and polyester, she misses it because she says we fell in love there, and I warm, because I can admit that, I can see the facts, nose them out, burrow into her and thrash in the night.

But,

However steadfast of an anchor she is, I’m far worse at being a buoy. I drift, I drift, I ding my bell in its tinny shriek and in my bright colors, serve as a warning, a beacon. There are new and there are old, plenty of bites and I want them all. There’s the dashing submissive transman, a competitive biker. The Olympian has resurfaced, confessing sleepless nights and a cruel streak waiting to flash, The Filmmaker with reels of film and a professed lust for topping. All of these people, I want their bodies, I want their beating hearts under mine for brief instants. And then I want to be alone. The ebb, the flow of this is consistent. It works.

Drinks ensue this week with The Photographer. We’re good when we drink. I have fond memories of warming up in bars together.

The Connection is in my quiver, but I’m trying not to shoot myself in the foot this time. To admit a vulnerability would be another fedora on her hatrack.

I listen to The Query’s CD on my commute from work to home and sing along with ‘Famine Affair,’ realizing that I am gorging myself, realizing that I am starving her, and I swallow it before I open the door.

-C.

On records of masturbation and adulthood in no particular order.

I.
It’s been harder and harder to get off to the writing I used to pant for, due to boredom, due to frustration both emotional and sexual, but on the bed after Torts (wrongdoing to another) I need something to get me to the other side of the day. My shirt is tight around my belly as I position myself on the bed, trying to ease myself into the prose, the blowjobs, the blurred realism wet between your cock (figurative) and the words you use to bring it to life. I think of better things, I imagine your connection. The final push isn’t the orgasm or the dynamic as I grunt against my vibrator, it’s the sunlight splayed across my back, the soothing scent of clay in the air, source unknown. I’m masturbating for masturbation, though I can begrudgingly admit your coos of daddy and boy don’t hurt the matter. When I come, I’m almost forcing it, I’m casting my phone aside and shifting the focus, and after all that tension is released, if even for a minute, I look to the insurance policy to my left, the papers splayed around me where I left them. Renewal. Liability. Coverage. Loss.

II.
The moment you leave is the moment when I decide I need to come. I don’t need you in the flesh like I used to, and we don’t want each other, not for this, but I need the trail of your mess, your hazard across my bathroom tile and pillowcases, I need the difference between a good partner and a better one to remind me why, so I take my faithful cock from beneath my linens and try to get myself off, plunging from above with a ferocity that will never match yours. I try fruitlessly until my alarm sounds, despite that I’ve been up for hours, despite that I’ve been gone and back. Even in absence you frustrate me.

III. 
Around midnight, I peruse the internet for evidence of things seedier than my quiet fantasies in the dead of the afternoon, in the heat of the night. I click through repeated ads for companionship, compensation, and settle on one with capitalization and a plea for ruthlessness. He is eighteen, he is gay, he wants to be used, but his photo is earnest and unfiltered in the interest of honesty, he wants to be beaten, but his body is kept pristine. He needs to cry, but something is holding him back and he needs to be pushed. In this one-sided kinship I touch myself ever so slightly, wanting to feel the thrum he feels when he looks at this ad and wonders who is reading it, who is waiting on the other side.

IV.
She offers to masturbate for me because she is hurting too much for me to touch her so I watch the valleys of her skin move with magic and luxuriate in her body responding to my touch. She exhales as I move my fingers across her skin. Even just the smallest touch is enough to ripple through her, touch her where fingers cannot go.

V.
“I, Me, Mine,” is playing and I am up against the wall, groaning against the weight of my own self-importance. That’s enough.

-C.