In Our Bedroom After The War

I have stopped dating. I have cut them all off. I just can’t go through these motions anymore. I’m sick of the cocktails, the text messages, the poorly-chosen restaurants for the second or third dinner, the nervous jokes, the lies, the abrupt honesty… And I don’t miss being in a relationship. Maybe I’ve forgotten how. It doesn’t matter what I remember and what I don’t, anyway. I’ve sunk myself too deep into my cynical isolated cut-off New Yorker shell.

Last week I found myself in an intense conversation with a travel writer. And after a discussion about Amsterdam, or Prague, whatever we talked about, the canals or the Vltava, and after his lips grazed mine, I pulled away and crossed my arms. His hand slowly brushed my cheek and he shook his head, searching my eyes for signs of life. My thoughts, my eyes, whatever fire I had in them, were drifting. I was drifting. It happened so quickly he was caught off guard. He leaned in again and press his lips to mine. The warmth was gone. I was gone.

How does it feel to kiss a girl and lose her in the same instant, I should have asked. Tidal? Is that the inertia of romance?

Excluding minor exceptions, I have been alone for the last year. I sleep in a cocoon of quilts, paperbacks, pillows and the white noise hum of a box fan. I rarely think about the past, the hands, the breath on my neck, or the sweaty early-morning snow angels we became in my sheets; the fog of the smoky darkness as the evening thrashed unrelenting, beneath the covers, between my legs. I almost completely forget the flinching gasps or the slow-stroking fingers tracing my spine.

These transient men across the table at the bar, the restaurant, wherever they plan on seducing me, have no idea how I lie in bed now: alone, curled up, the white noise of the box fan soaking the bedroom, my warm back pressed up against a future fantasy’s arms.

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One response to “In Our Bedroom After The War

  1. Be curious to know how much of the talking he was doing. I always make sure to follow up 60 seconds+ of talking with a question. I’ve found never to mistake a common interest for a true connection.

    Sometimes this approach works too well. Recently let an attractive girl tell me about her travels throughout Canada. At the 2nd date, she picked up and continued, and provided way more depth than I needed about the bar scene in Vancouver. The date ended successfully, but she was surprised when I ultimately didn’t want to take things further. But she mistook my ability to discuss certain topics with her with a real interest in them.

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