The Burlesque Dance of Relationships in OD OG

  • Feb. 7, 2024, 9:39 a.m.
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  • Public

Last night, he offered me his arm to hold. We were on the street in a white out. I grabbed on, as we slid our feet over sidewalks greased with the sludge of the people who shuffled there before us, people who had already vanished into the dry, warmth of their apartments and cars. Massive flakes of lake effect snow collected in our hair, our eyelashes, piled into icy lace about our shoulders…We laughed at the occasional slip and recovery to upright on our way to a Thai restaurant. There, we talked about my kids over pho, pad Thai. He told me about his upcoming vacations. The way I twirl my fork relentlessly between my fingers, the way he stirs his soup while staring at me from under his thick dark eyelashes: I can tell we’re both thinking about later. We’re thinking about the state of undress…about scarves and coats & fleeces falling away…white sheets like falling snow on our bodies. He paid for our dinner & guided us out of the restaurant. He turned to me, “Cocktails?” In a moment of anxiety about “later,” I agreed to their necessity.

We wandered into an Irish bar on the way back to our hotel…hoisted ourselves up on the tan leather stools…hung our coats on little hooks hanging below the bar coated in dull, banged up copper. He ordered a vodka, a double. I ordered a single gin & tonic. By now, there is an easiness between us…but also a distance. We’re still on best behavior-in some relationship burlesque dance…revealing only the titillating parts while still concealing the vulgar. It feels like it could be the beginning of something-only, we’re not a couple. I have no oxytocin delusions. I’m a girl he can’t quite figure out but that he calls to fuck when he’s in town…I’m a girl that comes when he calls.

At one point I tried to tell a story about my youth that doesn’t reveal how bad my childhood was—and I stumbled. I kept saying, “I just didn’t want to be in that home, you know. I just didn’t want to be in that home.” The phrase filled my mouth. I couldn’t swallow it…couldn’t spit it out. Couldn’t reduce it to manageable by tearing with my teeth. I just kept rolling that phrase around and around, couldn’t get past it in conversation. Eventually I just gave up and stirred my gin & tonic with the 2 thin, brown straws…occasionally I stabbed the lime, the move revealing more of my agitation than I intended. Ice clink. Rattle. Slurp. He tried to come down to my level by revealing something. “I can’t do whiskey. I once got kicked out of a bar that I was at with a friend because I had 2 whiskeys and apparently got mouthy with the bartender. The bouncer threw me out and everything. It was a mess. Horrible.” I looked at him, grateful for the save. Let’s go.

On the way home, there is no one out but us. Us: the non-couple who are looking pretty coupley…holding onto each other, lubed up on booze, smiling broadly. It’s white & quiet. The snow is a damper. A city silencer. Cars parked & blanketed. We walked up the middle of a street that is typically busy & he laughed, “The city is ours!” I responded, “But do we want it to be?” “Oh, of course! We own it tonight!”

We went up to our room. The hotel is a synagogue that’s been turned into an oddly charming, quirky little place. I went through the good girl charade of putting on my pj’s like we’re not going to just take them off. It just seems presumptuous to climb into bed naked. J. massaged my back and neck so hard, I imagined my bones dissolving to sawdust. Once I’m turned into a complete boneless beanbag, he excuses himself to freshen up. In his absence, I messaged Mister a few times on my phone for the ballast I always seem to need that he always seems to give. J. returned, as I’m messaging Mister. Because I’m distracted, J. takes that opportunity to undress himself and lunge into bed…and suddenly hands start to come up under my sequined tank top. My phone is relegated to the nightstand.

We touch each for a bit and then, we’re there. Driving into each other under the blankets…as the city silently collects the souvenirs of a generous winter outside our window. It’s warm inside beneath him…I don’t want him to ever leave my body. At one point, he whispers my name several times, lost in the moment. For some reason, I respond by biting his bicep, as he cradles my head…it is symbolic, responding to intimacy with teeth…a moment of peeling back the normal outside to some of my baser needs for aggression with my sharp little fingernails. He responds by gently pushing my head back down into the pillow, smoothing my hair out of my face, kissing me and continuing to piston till he climaxes. After, we lie there holding onto each other and listening to the footsteps and creaks of the occupants upstairs. As we doze, J. sleepily murmurs, “Listen to that…..I think there’s a ghost at the ‘gogue. ” We both crack up, before falling asleep, pink & happy. 2 well fed fiery furnaces.

In the night, I have nightmarish fare on loop like every other night. I am startled awake by the feel of a thump. I open my bleary eyes with a sharp inhalation of reality. I’m not there, thank god…but…the fuck? I look down to see a pillow on me. J. has rolled over to the other side of the bed. I am both amused and offended that he hit me with a pillow to shut me up in the middle of a nightmare. In the morning, he crows that I slept all night. I explain that I slept but that I still had nightmares. He sheepishly looks down at the pillow between us. “Yeah, you did. But I stopped it.” I want to be pissed-but, admittedly, it’s funny.

Besides, it is hard to be mad when the previous night, we made snow angels together over and over in white hotel linens in the middle of a storm…The existence of those celestial beings may have already been erased, but not the memory of making them on that cold, winter night when we felt like a couple and the city was ours…

Written January 2019


Mr. Mofo February 07, 2024

Who doesn't wear jammies to bed?!? Even when you're gonna boink you still come to the party wearing pjammies!

BettiePageSweatsCheapVodka Mr. Mofo ⋅ February 07, 2024

Sometimes you gotta be free! Be a free little bird!

Mr. Mofo BettiePageSweatsCheapVodka ⋅ February 07, 2024

Well played VodkaBettie.

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