It wasn’t a real relationship, so it wasn’t a real break up. It was merely a falling apart. A bursting at the seams. A riff. A rip in the fabric of casual fucking: one day we were fucking, and the next day we weren’t talking. These kinds of things happen. I’ve weathered it before, and I’ll weather it again. In one moment, the feckless copulation and then – nothing. It’s the small thud of emptiness. Of meaninglessness. Of opening up your legs and seeing nothing there. Checking your phone and finding no new text messages. Going out to bars and seeing no one there. Wandering aimlessly through your own sexual fantasies and finding that you lack the inspiration to give your former sexual partner a starring role in masturbation material. Things have fizzled out, and that’s okay, but it’s also fairly boring. The attraction has waned, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, there’s always that ebbing hope that maybe it could have been more than just a fling that faded to black. All the ‘what if’s of wanting something more than just another dead end fuck feast come nipping at heels, even if the apathy of attraction has muted your once raging desires. It’s not a real break up, it’s just the end of the road with that one particular person. The story is over, and the ending is dull. There are no fights, no nasty text messages. There’s no screaming or hoping or fighting for each other. There’s no hope beyond the ending, no thought of a second chance. There’s just an ending. A short, stubby, fat, hairy, dull, unattractive ending. A queasy punctuation at the end of the sentence. And while it still incites some certain kind of sadness, it’s not the all consuming depression that seems to accompany rejection and heart break. It’s just resounding emptiness. It’s an unexciting sadness, like watching a badly directed drama end on an awkward note. It could have been so much better, but it wasn’t, and now it’s over, so it’s time to move on. But I still feel sickly on the inside, as though there’s a part of me that is still finding a reason to believe that he must want me or love me even in the face of our mutual romantic apathy. It’s the disappointment of knowing we both tried to love each other, but neither of us were brave enough to make it happen. I would like to be brave on day, but today is not that day.
We see each other from across the room, but we look away. We pretend not to see, which is easy, but comical if dissected on a social level. There are forty people standing between me and him right now, and I think that we both like it that way. It’s easier that way. It’s easier to scan the room and scan over the face of someone I used to fuck when there are forty other people worth looking at instead.
We edge closer and closer, mostly because his friends are my friends and my friends are his friends, but not in such a serious way that mandates some sort of perfunctory meet and greet amongst friends. We merely overlap in dark bars like this, and the noise level and the crowd make it easy for us to keep looking away. To keep looking beyond. To pretend not to see. To not acknowledge each other even though in the past in dark rooms that are hot like this but with only the two of us, the things we have done and the things we have said – he has seen me naked. He has seen me cum. But now he doesn’t see me at all, as I sway with this drink in my hand and look for any other attractive man to come to my rescue and sweep me back to some bedroom. Anyone but him, because I am sick of him.
We are getting closer and closer in this dank, dark room, and we are nearing that moment of crisis when we can no longer ignore each other without adamantly ignoring each other. He is talking to my friends. I am dancing with his. Until finally, and this is when we should see each other. Until the moment that comes when we should look at each other and smile. That moment when we should say hello and half heartedly half hug each other. That moment is encroaching, and right when it should happen, right when we should make eye contact – that is when we both turn away. Avoiding forever the collision of his eyes in mine. Avoiding us seeing each other and both knowing. Avoiding the dismal realization that it was never meant to be, but that, also, neither of us wants it anymore anyways. It is mutual, which is a relief, and we wonder away back into the crowd, in separate directions, still pretending not to see.
My friends do not notice, and I say nothing to them as we careen further into this night of drinking and debauchery. No one can tell that I know him, as he wafts back into the crowd, and no one in this room knows that he used to fuck me. No one knows that I know his name, and all about his mother, and what his skin looks like at 8 AM. No one can tell that we both once tried to love each other and failed.
It is over, and that’s okay, because it only takes a few moments for a new one to show up and try his hand at fucking me. I will let him try. I will let him succeed. And I will forget about tonight as quickly as I can.
I can feel him leering at me from behind, and I know that the underhanded comment is right on the tip of his tongue. Because there I am, traipsing around like I always do in some outfit and high heels. It’s something that I do on a daily basis, and I am inured to the slew of male reactions that being a woman in public elicits.
Although, it’s not so much that I’m inured to the reaction as it is that I am indifferent at this point. Yes, I know I look good. Yes, I know you can see me. Yes, I know that you feel entitled to comment on me and who I am as we walk down the same sidewalk on the way to the grocery store.
“Oh, whoa,” one guy says.
“It’s okay, he view’s not bad!” the other one says as I continue to walk ahead of him.
I don’t flinch. Maybe I’ve lost the ability to flinch, or maybe it’s that I realize that flinching is pointless and a waste of my time. But, in all honesty, I think that I stopped flinching because I knew that me flinching is the point of those kinds of comments.
Men don’t say those kind of off handed things to me because they expect me to turn around and rip my clothes off and hop on their dick. The sexualized comment isn’t an attempt at initiating sexual contact. Instead, these small jabs are intended to intimidate me. No, it’s true, there’s no threat of violence in these small comments, but if we examine these comments within the context of a society that oppresses women’s sexuality, that denies its existence or validity, that shames women for being sexual, then the overt expression of a man’s sexuality in the face of a woman intimidates her because it further impresses a woman’s ignorance of her own sexuality in the presence of a man’s fully formed, fully confident sexuality.
But I am not that woman.
I am completely privy to the whims and woes of my sexuality. I know how it works. I know what I like and what I don’t like. Which is why my reaction a man’s offhanded sexualization of me, walking down the street, isn’t a flinch. Neither is it me screaming at him to leave me alone, which, in the new movement against cat calling, seems to be the reaction of choice.
No. Instead, I make the decision in my mind to either keep walking or to look at whoever is talking about me behind my back. If I am not in the mood for a catty sexual discourse, then I keep it moving. I can’t be lured into engaging with men on the topic of my sexuality or my brief sexualization while walking into the grocery store against my will. They may try to initiate, but I shut it down.
However, on some occasions, I turn around. Sometimes I smile. But mostly I want to look at the man who thinks that he has the right to sexualize my existence without my consent. I want to look at the man who views me as a sexual creature, but not because I’m angry. It’s because I’m curious. I’m curious as to what kind of man approaches a woman like me. A stranger. I look at him, and in a moment, I do the same thing back to him. I look him up and down. I play a two second reel of what it must be like to fuck him, and within those short moments I assess whether or not this man would be an adequate sexual partner. I look at the way he dresses and the way he carries himself. I look at his body. I wonder if he works out, because anyone I fuck has to work out in order to keep up with my sexual stamina. And in that moment I know: the man who talks to women like that probably has a small dick and/or is bad in bed. The man who talks to women like that definitely has no game, because any guy with game knows that’s not the way to pick up chicks.
A man has tried to rob me of my sense of security and self by exploiting my sexuality with the swiftness and brevity of a single sexualized comment. That shit doesn’t work on me. Instead, I see him, and I see a man who has been broken by the patriarchal society which should benefit him, but doesn’t, because he will never be good enough to fuck a woman like me. I am too good for him. I am too pretty for him. I am too smart for him. He would never be able to satisfy my voracious sexual appetite. So I look him in the eyes so that he knows this. I look him in the eyes so that he knows that I am not afraid. This little shenanigan didn’t work.
I look him in the eyes, and then I laugh. And he knows that I am laughing at him. Because he is a fucking joke.
Also, I already know my ass looks good. It always looks good. Thanks.