In Which We Are Saved By Something Unknown To Us

Must

by LINDA EDDINGS

David had a reputation on a dating website. He also had webbed toes on one foot, which I previously believed impossible. He pronounced sinecure incorrectly, and he used it incorrectly over half the time, which constituted a double whammy.

Charlie had wild hair and was a very fast runner. After we had sex three times he revealed he was a product of incest and things spiralled out of control from there. He wrote and shopped around a book about his life story and how he was saved by semi-pro lacrosse.

Marcus loved M. Night Shyamalan and insisted The Village was a work of genius. He totalled my car.


A myna bird will repeat whatever interests it. In the absence of sound, it will cry.

Theo drank Bailey’s Irish cream in everything, even Diet Coke. I asked how he could do that and drive. He told me, “Bailey’s doesn’t have alcohol in it, right? What do you mean?” He died in 2007 during a stampede.

Jason used to blow bubbles on my stomach. At first it was semi-pleasurable and routinely led to oral sex. Eventually he only did it when he was apologizing: e.g., “Please forgive me. Blooooooo” on my navel. He is now married with two children.

I started to wonder if guys only talked down to you because you did it to them in subtle ways. I tried women, found them very similar in almost every way.


Diane remains a musician with a very irritating voice. If you got mad at her she cried, probably because her father was an English alcoholic who wanted nothing to do with her.

Mary-Ann’s favorite musical act was Salt-N-Pepa. Each time she brought me to the point of orgasm she whispered, “Shoop.” This was fantastic but she ended up clicking more with her Korean dermatologist.

Artis was an engineering lead who spent a lot of time in front of his computer. Sometimes I would feel I was observing a fish in a tank. On occasion he would take a break and meet my eyes, but only for a second.


Daniel took me to Disney World. We had a very nice time until he remarked, “The only problem with this place is the none of the pools are deep enough to drown.”

Susan Minot acts like such a dick sometimes.

You know when you are really close, yes you are so close. The one thing holding you back from where you’re supposed to go hovers at the periphery, it is saying the same words you heard as a child in a classroom: Behave.

Clifford was the most transparently pathetic adulterer in the entire city of San Francisco. He never lied or apologized, which was his only saving grace. Actually he had several other virtues: punctilio, joie de vivre, and a passion for Pinot Giorgio that defied all common sense and fiscal responsibility. He kissed with his eyes open.


Pascal was always coming from new cities, where he would bring small and delicate gifts and go into the bathroom while I opened them. It took me much longer than it should have to realize he was a drug mule.

They pick up on something that is so petty, and so reductive because they can’t think of the real reason why it is over, and instead of being disappointed by the lack of perceptiveness at work, I am just as happy not to have my nose rubbed in it.

My fault.

A man (a boy?) who only sips from juiceboxes, who only listens to Buck 65 and J Dilla.


They want you near, in more intimate proximity than they have ever been to themselves. They want to go to the one place you have never been, in order for you to witness the event through their set of inhibitions, hang-ups and callbacks.

The most free I have ever been was one morning in Joseph’s studio. He was breathing as he always did, through a sleep machine, and the rhythmic sound of the snore echoed through his only chamber. I knew that no matter what I did or said, he could not wake to answer. This is what I told his sleeping form: “Don’t. Just don’t.”

Linda Eddings is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Brooklyn. You can find an archive of her writing on This Recording here.

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