This is our moment of hysteria, and I am standing right inside it. Like the eye of the storm, and I am staring out into the tornado of social media, and loud conversations at bars, and bumper stickers, and screen caps of head lines in my incoming text messages, and reposts of links to various liberally biased news media. Suddenly we are all fighting about something that barely matters, but heaven forbid we pass up a chance to participate in the circus of politics. I wake up every day and applaud giddily as I watch everyone fall head over heels to expound an opinion that has an impact on no one. I would rather talk about the Kardashians than another presidential candidate because at least everyone knows the Kardashians aren’t real. And it’s a lot more interesting to watch everyone react to the emesis of media surrounding the fantasy of someone else’s glossy life that doesn’t really exist than it is to watch people believe in something that they might never find out isn’t real. It’s Kindergarten all over again. I know that Santa isn’t coming on the first Tuesday after the first Monday this coming November. Instead, it’s just our parents, selling us some sort of dream to keep us placated and well behaved while they do things like flush the goldfish down the toilet and buy a new one and say he never died. Except that most of us will never grow up fast enough to really participate in the political process, or to truly have an impact – not because we can’t or we won’t, but who wants to? Who would pass up a lifetime of drinking at bars and scraping through Oakland in order to do something meaningful? None of us. Instead, it is much easier to pretend to care while yelling about something that all of us will forget by this time next year. I enjoy watching TV as much as the next person, but this is just a reminder that even reality TV has been scripted and your emotions have already been written in and written off. So have fun viewing.
He talks about his ex, and I tell him it’s okay, but then I wonder: how okay is it, really? As we sit here, and I listen, and I can feel inside me a slight note to self: I should text my ex, too. I should call him. I should go over to his house and see if he touches me on the leg. Or on the neck. As I sit here and listen to the one I should love tell me about his ex, and how she has been calling, and how she has been texting. I sit here and I think about being that girl: the ex who is texting. It would be very easy for me to text. And I think it would be very easy to see him again, too, because the one I love is going to see his ex. If he is going to see his ex, then mine will come just as easily. Although, then I wonder: if there’s all this fascination with our mutual exes, why should we be with each other in the first place? Perhaps we should be with our exes instead. We were with them at one point for a damn good reason, weren’t we? So why are we here, now? Although maybe it’s because we both know that as soon as we leave each other, then we will become exes, too, and the constant fleeing back into the arms of exes only works when all of it was worth something. Perhaps we are not there yet, so it’s stumbling into the folly and intrigue of chasing something that failed just months ago. We still have more time with which to ruin everything we are working towards. It is too soon for us to be exes already.
I haven’t heard from him for hours, which means that he hasn’t heard from me, either. That’s because I’m sitting in my bedroom, being all alone, which is usually how I am when he’s not around. Here I am, with my hands in my lap and the TV on, and now I am wondering, ‘Why haven’t I heard from him for hours?’ And how long before hours turn into days, and days turn into weeks, and suddenly I am months away from right now but still sitting in my room all alone with my hands in my lap, and he’s not in my life. This has happened before, and it might happen again. These hours that stretch out onto the horizon of the rest of my life. It always happens suddenly, but pain lingers so slowly. I try not to panic as the hours stack on, and today becomes tomorrow, and I still haven’t heard from him. I don’t know how long it will be before this passing anxiety passes completely, or what will happen if it just stays here forever, and I become ugly because of it?
Phones go off, and I look away. It’s another day, yet here we are next to each other with other people on our mind. That is a private thing: to sit next to someone and dream about someone else. No one will ever know. No one will ever see. No one can track down your inside thoughts about someone else who is far away, and that someone else will never be able to read the thoughts that are spinning inside your head naked and hot. I can sit right next to him, fully clothed and smiling just a bit because at the edge of my lip I can taste someone else. And he will never know that this is why I am smiling. So I look at him, and he is smiling, too, but not because of me. Not for me. It must be for someone else, too, and as soon as I realize that this is the case, the ceaseless onslaught of realizing all the reasons why he must be thinking about someone else comes pouring down. Who is she? Is there only one? And why am I not her? We are supposed to be sitting next to each other, together, yet for some reason this room is filled with other people that neither of us can see and that do not know they’re here. There is nothing to be done about it for now, so later, late at night, we will lie down next to each other and be quiet about these things. Although tomorrow is a different story, and phones go off, and then we are marching somehow into the arms of someone completely new.
It’s not my house, and it’s not my dog, so it’s not my rules. I didn’t think about it until recently, but then it occurred to me one night as we were on the couch fucking, and I glanced over with my eyes open in a moment of glancing when: there was the dog, with its head buried in a pillow. I didn’t let this moment of concern for another living creature stop me from doing what I was doing, but the next day the image of dog sitting there, looking slightly bereaved and trying to bury his head struck me. Should I not be fucking in front of the dog? Should I be saving my coital activities for the bedroom where the dog cannot see? (But can probably still hear. Not all things can be helped.) Is this traumatic for the dog? I’ve never owned a dog before, so I don’t know what the protocol for this one is. Do we take him to therapy so he can bark about his emotions? Is it bad to let the dog see me naked? I try to pet the dog the next morning when I leave, but he shies away from me as I walk out the door. I try not to let it get to my head as I go about my day, but I do have to wonder: is this an okay thing to do?
I refuse to move during morning sex, and also I refuse to open my eyes or participate in any other exciting way. Morning sex is now and always will be my least favorite time to have sex. Mornings are just generally painful for me, and while I do enjoy sex, I have to admit that I prefer sleeping in. Sex is a pretty jarring experience, and I usually feel very delicate in the morning. Like a freshly dew dropped flower. Except now I’m getting tore up by a penis. Le sigh. I guess that’s okay, because it’s also nice to start the day off with a good deed, and, hey, I don’t mind morning sex actually. Really, it’s kind of comforting once I get into it and accept the fact that I am not sleeping right now. But, otherwise, generally, morning sex is a nonorgasmic experience for me. It’s not that I’m okay with that per se, but I know that I’m going to get mine later, so I’m willing to participate just for the fun of it. Can’t really knock sex. It is pretty cool.