It’s not unlike what I imagine it’d feel to be warmly drunk on a carousel. The melodies piping out of the organs in the middle, the slowly oscillating animals impaled on gilded poles, the streaks of light smearing across a park at night, the captured smiles and snatched words as I slip past.
“You’re so beauti–”
“Yes, baby, that fe–”
“Can I kis–”
I returned from the mountains filled with the love of friends who’ve known me for half my life. Who were there when my baby was born and when I left my husband. Who knew me when I had just moved here, fresh-faced and intent on devouring the world. They call me loving names and accept me for all that I am: ribald, intense, caring, loud, big, and dry when I’m not sloppy wet.
I let Petya go before the break. We both agreed I deserved more than whatever hot mess it was that he was serving. And though I haven’t made anything officially over with The Soldier, I’ve let him go, too. Though because he is an injured soul, I figure the Universe might know what to do with the two of us. “Happy New Year, you,” he’d replied after weeks of silence.
I don’t remember who else I was maybe kinda sorta talking to before I left, only the ones I’d met and touched: The bad Tuesday night lay who booty called me this weekend, but I was busy in bed with another man. My old friend, Kevin, whose big, beautiful cock is attached to a guy who seems somewhat ambivalent about how he uses it; I was reminded of why we petered out before. The fella who happens to be local, but knows me as Hy, and whom has a complicated entanglement. Read: married. We met on Instagram and decided we’d be assholes together, a roaring fire in a fancy hotel the backdrop of our first, chaste meeting.
And there were new men to look forward to. Sex with one, lots of talk with two others, and an interesting combination of flirty, wicked-fast banter and some good ol’ fashioned titty-fucking with the fourth. Thirty-two, 32, 26, 25. My head spins even as everything around me is in sharp focus, the detail clear.
To my Saturday night date, the big burly fella with a dark beard and eyes to match, I explained that ultimately I was looking for a partner. He misunderstood me. “Hy, I might not be the man for you. I’m not looking for a longterm relationship.” I laughed and tossed my hair in that strategic way, pulled my boot-clad legs up under me a little more. Clearly he had no idea who he was dealing with.
“No, that’s an ultimate goal, but I’m looking to have fun in the meantime, too. I mean, how would you and I work, anyway? You’re deathly allergic to cats.”
He laughed like I wanted him to and then he grabbed my face and kissed me passionately.
Later, in the dark, I awoke with his heavy arm flung over me. The sex had been the kind of satisfactory that you might feel about the almost-fantastic massage you got that last time you went in for a treat. I enjoyed myself. I know he did considering his yells as I sucked him off and some kind words after I’d cum.
“Fuck, you’re fun to get off,” he whispered hotly into my ear, his hand filled with my ejaculate.
I’d rolled over drunkenly, sated, and fallen asleep, but now that I was wide awake I felt panicky.
I blamed the dog alone in my apartment for my pre-dawn escape, but truly it was because I don’t know how to have morning coffee with a man anymore. Would he expect to have sex again? Were we supposed to go to breakfast together? Would he look at me expectantly to leave? I couldn’t bear the unknown and so I dressed by the glow of his phone, kissed him warmly and promised to be in touch, and left.
Slipping through the dark, quiet city I wondered what I was running from. The idea that he’d want to have breakfast with me or that he wouldn’t? I couldn’t tell and ultimately decided it didn’t matter. Both fucking sucked.
The next day, as yet un-showered, I met my complicated friend for ciders and to ostensibly watch football. I stuffed my face with a hot BLT topped with an over easy egg. I thought the yolk rolled between my fingers like cum.
“Why are you here?” I asked.
He couldn’t answer right away. “Maybe I’m an asshole,” he finally said. “Maybe I just need excitement in my life. I don’t know.”
“Well I know why I’m here,” I said. “Because you make me feel special and I appreciate the lengths you go to to see me and talk to me.” I paused. “But I’m still processing all this.”
He walked me to my car and the sun shone in my eyes. I couldn’t see him as I leaned in and tilted my face up. His beard scratched my face as he only pressed his lips against mine. I smiled into his whiskers and pressed again. We broke apart.
“I’m sorry. I’m still not used to this,” he said needlessly. Of course he isn’t. He was an honest man before me.
I drove home, ran a hot bath and soaked away my sins. The previous 18 hours tucked away on the other side of the carousel.
The blond man waiting for me at the bar was handsome. I smiled and asked him what he was drinking. “Club soda with lime.” I suddenly remembered he didn’t drink.
I asked if he smoked and he said yes so we went outside where I watched him at once dance with the devil and fly with the angels.
With his sober recovery a binary lens for his life, he struggled to explain his feelings surrounding sexual relationships and intimacy since those are rarely black and white. I smiled, adjusted my bosom to rest on the table top and forced myself to reveal my most newly realized and deep, dark secret: I have intimacy issues and I, too, struggle with managing it all.
His eyes twinkled and we high-fived over the table. Oh, the irony to make a connection with a total stranger in under 2 hours. I’m really good at those.
The truth is, there is a part of me that soars high above the fray. The wind in my face, the ground below a beautiful patchwork of opportunity and hope. I will find a partner some day, I think. Then there is the other part of me, the one with no strategy whatsoever, the id which drives my daily search to have fun and be adventurous. That seems like fucking fun.
The two coexist, they’re not mutually exclusive: I want a longterm, stable relationship. I want to do whatever I want in the meantime. Also, what if one of the “just for fun” men turns into the partner man?? I’ll never know unless I try.
He walked me to my car and we hugged. I wasn’t sure how he’d fit into my life, what with his ambiguous feelings about pleasurable things — I need a man who can go all in with me and not pathologize the loss of control — but, because I am always open to surprises, I let him kiss me in the cold, night air.
He giggled and kept nibbling. It was pleasant and sweetly intense. His legs cut through the beams of my headlights as I watched him walk away.
The next day I met a different young man at the same bar. He strongly resembled Clark Kent in one of his Tinder pics and I was a little disappointed he hadn’t worn his glasses. Instead he had on a beanie and was painfully stylish. All super hip kid, no nerdy Clark, but Clark was special in other ways.
Not only was he stupidly hot, but the banter I’d come to look forward to in our texts carried over seamlessly in person. We parried zing for hilarious zing. His Makers on ice impressed me for some reason and the fact that he was 25 made no difference whatsoever.
His legs lay in my lap by the time we finished our drinks and I traced his new forearm tattoo with a finger, though I wished it was my tongue. “Wanna keep hanging out?” I asked.
We had to park down by TN’s building and when Clark grabbed my hand to walk up the hill I wished with all my might we might be seen, but it was midnight on a Monday, a true pipe dream. Instead I focused on a hot, intelligent, sexy boy grabbing my hand and my first reaction was to leave it there.
Clark was like me: he was open for anything in any form it might come. “I don’t want to limit myself by having expectations. I’m open to whatever happens.” Hearing him say that after all the other limitations which had poured out of the other men’s mouths was like aloe on a burn. Was I hearing him right?? Were we actually on the same page?
Back in my apartment, nervous, we fell into each other’s arms. He peeled off my clothes, pulled me to my feet, and walked me to my room. I grabbed a candle and set it down. When I turned around he was naked and glowing, his muscles dark dips and bright swells of shadows and light.
I had the vague idea that I did not want to fuck him — not only was I emotionally exhausted, but I was bleeding — but I laid beneath his naked body and writhed and arched all the same. I told him we couldn’t have sex and he bit my ear. I pushed his head down to my breasts and coached him to suck and nibble until the pleasure ripped through me to my fingertips.
Instead of begging him to fuck me I said between pants, “Straddle my chest, please.”
He hopped up, smiling, and pinned me down in one smooth motion. I took his cock in my hand and suckled and slurped, my other hand wrapped around and grabbed his bare ass and guided his thrusts into my open mouth. He grew even more rock hard and I lost my shit.
“Titty fuck me,” I moaned. “Please…”
He pulled back and grabbed, big, rough handfuls of my breasts and slipped between the mounds. “Goddamn this is fucking hot,” he said. I clawed his buttocks and closed my eyes and wished it was my pussy he was pile driving into. He cried out and fell back. The ceiling fan cooled the globs of hot cum pooled on my sternum.
He passed me a towel and I wiped my chest before he took me into his arms and held me. We dozed in that peaceful place that two naked strangers share, the one where you don’t know each other’s last names — though, for the record, we knew each other’s names.
When we came to a little while later I tried to get him to stay, but it was 2 am on a school night. It really wasn’t feasible. I wrapped myself in a robe and watched him pick up the trail of his clothes. Dressed and standing over me he pulled me in for a goodbye hug and kiss. I staggered back to bed and slept through my second morning workout without regrets.
I always loved the carousel, the movement and motion, the streaks of color when you look out and the curiosities when you looked in, the rabbit with a saddle and the zebra with a bridle. My life might seem like streaky chaos from the outside, but from my vantage point on my fiberglass steed it’s in motion, it’s twirling, it’s in a good place.
The big difference between my life and the carousel — despite their many similarities — is that, like that scene in Mary Poppins where they break off the ride onto their own adventure, one day I trust mine will do the same.
And I have plans to see Clark again this Friday.