for to the woman whom we have loved most in our life we are not so faithful as we are to ourself, and sooner or later we forget her in order–since this is one of the characteristics of that self–to be able to begin to love again.

on sunday morning, m. texts me and tells me he is horribly hungover. we talk about our saturday nights, our hangovers, what we drank, who we drank with. after awhile, he says, i’ll send you a car. an hour later a benz driven by a russian stripper scoops me up and takes me to his house.

when i get there, we lie in bed in the dark and make out for a bit. he asks me whats wrong. i think about crying on the street at 6 on saturday morning, my friend b. asking this same question. i think about crying on the street at 4 on sunday morning, with a boy i picked up at a wedding, asking also this same question. because i know i won’t see the boy again, i tell him exactly whats wrong. he sits on the street with me. we’re drunk and far from home. when i’m done with the story, he looks up and says: wow, that guy really loves you.

nothing, i tell m. bending low to kiss him. i tell him about the wedding, my mother, safety and the crows. we fall asleep and when he wakes up, he is starving. he spends 20 minutes ordering sushi on his phone and we fall asleep again. m. is 6’0, pale and rich. he has kind of virulent intelligence that i have to keep telling myself to be aware of but often forget because i am lazy and consider the male species kinda dumb. but there he is, in the dark, drained but watching me closely for what i refuse to disclose. i like him. the food comes and we go downstairs. the afternoon light, filtered through the hills splashes cold on his gray walls. i say, i like this color. we talk about the color of the walls for a bit.

then we start on the food. i grab a furniture catalog and he begins to slowly go through his mail. he is a ravenous type A, a california roll in his mouth, seaweed salad clutched in his chopsticks, tearing open an envelope in the other hand. we don’t speak. i point at a picture, and he says hmm. i go back to flipping through the catalog. his house is cavernous, cold, and ready. there are corners and rooms that are haphazardly made up, filled with piles of junk and moving boxes, and other rooms which are curiously empty. he has no plants, no books, or even photographs. the most interior room, his bedroom is blacked out by temporary curtains, not an inch of light, but neat with a good bed. i am thinking that his house is an appropriate metaphor for m. himself. unwittingly vulnerable to occupation, like pre-vichy france. i look out into his backyard, what are you going to do there? he says, maybe a fire pit. hmm. do i touch his cheek with the back of my hand? do i dab at the corner of his mouth? do i kiss him? i don’t remember, but there was an elegant gesture.

a couple of weeks ago, i saw d. again. i got horribly drunk because of the things i had to say and the night ended with him throwing me out his car but not before we kissed, open mouthed, under a streetlamp. before that at my favored bar in ktown, in an alleyway, seated with the back of my head against a brick wall, i tell him i left the boyfriend because i knew that d. loved me more than the boyfriend did, or ever could. and that was the nail in the coffin, i said and began to cry. d. let out a tragic sigh, finished my drink and came over to my side of the table. he stood awkwardly over me and put two fingers on my shoulder and begged, his voice losing all jest or even personhood, don’t cry.

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