Sex By Other Means
by LINDA EDDINGS
Sleep’s our disease, the heart’s adagio. – William Logan
That season with the yardarm, the scrupulous derrick, reaching low into the marsh. Reminders call back the dressings around us, opaque. Another option is the reservoir, draining inaudibly whenever I am near. Stupid to find any consolation in the rejoinder, hankerous, insincere. A metaphor never suffices in such situations, but the mouth will have to do.
E. 3rd and Bowery could be strewn with tumbling bags of garbage or easy women at one time. Now a failing bookstore and a nail salon bookend the cuisine of the Himalayas. Molten is the precipitation, the wind simply a frugal exhale. Arrival in a warm place, departure on one knee. Taking things into your body is a fool’s errand. Best practice is a few furtive licks and a jangle at the seam. This could take all day.
Two years later it is sex I never planned or imagined. There is such thing, time persists in informing me, as pleasure that is too virulent. It almost always leads to conception; in the rare case that it does not blue balls are likely to ensue.
Duty to recall these dark moments: the proper thrill of a morally fervent eroticism is that it can always be retrieved.
I think it was Elias Canetti who said the thing he found most repulsive about people were their plans. I called the rest of my contacts first. During the act, weakness is a pause the stronger participants feeds on, attacks, makes use of. At such moments, the tongue is akin to a dangling preposition, with the feet and toes to match. Never asking to leave, a named orifice loses all value as a point of repose. Lines along the face mete out all the demarcation. A rogue emotionality is of no consequence among the salt.
For when the man is on top, you can draw a straight line. Her phone is nearly always in portrait mode. I have noticed the more appealing the person, the less likely they are to have a protective case on their device. This is an analogy that stretches through the eons.
Better to think of the leftovers as a happy bunch, who sampled all you could provide. Not only did they survive it, but they managed you the dignity of never bringing it up again. The fairness of the world overwhelms the moral sense of any one individual. The more decisive any sexual act is, the less likely it is to be ethical. I know that when someone misses you, that is never enough in itself. They have to want you inside them, or them inside you.
These strange words are written on top of a building at 141st street. Roof access is for everyone, makeshift ashtrays congregate like coral. This vantage offers the rear view of everything that once mattered. At times I sense how useful it remains to not be alone. Practically, when you put someone’s ass in your face, the smell is never going to be roses. I realize I may have an oversensitive nose, and I freely admit I may have scented worse in the marsh.
Let’s talk more about sex, and what it means when we have it.
The first eddings as scurrilous toes in my old bed. Winter was always the wrong time of year, a smelting could have eradicated what was once thought permanent. I am new to being atop, but it does seem best to guide the flow of events from up there.
Yes, a man could determine the flow of penetration from a great height, and the larger his member the less he actually has to effect. Averting his eyes simply means he pictures someone fairer, who would not even imagine begging for breakfast.
Reaching back to that place reminds me of all who overhear my proclamations without wishing to do so. On the street a light beam enables swift movement through crowds, eddy and rock formation. Inside my clunky and obstreperous, oversized shoes. From dawn, avalanche. At sunset, liminal. If I knew how to talk another way I would do so, sparing this indignity. For that is what it to be written to in such a cloaked fashion, scribed around the echo of allegro.
What I wanted for us beggars this form.
I am new to provisional attitudes, an uncertainty flashed like a badge or cameo. After mere kindness evaporates, better to have something there, between the two, which feeds on more than blithe engagement. After this intimacy, we tiptoe through an altered prism, searching through time to reclaim it.
Linda Eddings is the senior contributor to This Recording.