bed (Photo credit: Quiet Here)

I have been meaning to write this one for months now.  So please don’t anyone get concerned, I am doing fine.  I just wanted to capture in a slightly different writing style than my usual.  Also this is not in reference to any one specific person.  This is a piece of fiction based on my life…the incident that inspired it actually happened several months ago.  So please don’t anyone think I am writing about them again…for the love of Pete! 

I always tell myself – I’m never going to do it again.  It is a poor substitute for what I really need.  I go for months without physical contact from another human – skin touching skin, the warmth of another body, the sound of another heartbeat.  When I was younger it seemed so much easier.  Everyone was so willing to fall so quickly.  Now every man I meet is so jaded, too guarded to let anyone in.  I’m skittish myself, no matter how hard I try it’s difficult to feeling anything.  The men become little more than a body.

I keep hoping that I will find another partner and become entwined with them in every way possible.  The wait lasts forever and nothing seems to change.  When I finally succumb to my carnal desires, not so much desires as a basic human need, I know I am not going to find anything more than a fleeting moment.  All of the bottled up longing and loneliness suddenly explodes.  My body unable to stand it one day longer.

This one seems harmless I think to myself.  I doubt this guy will give me a hard time, stalk me, make my life difficult, hate me or curse my name into infinity, send me hateful emails, dramatically kick me off his Facebook profile or dump me from his twitter,  so I give in.  What is normally a fortress – difficult for most to enter, the lucky devil is given the key to the front door.  I get so sick of always saying no. I am not interested.  You’re too young.  You’re just a player.  I have trust issues.  I don’t do casual things well.

I finally connect and let someone close but it always feels like a faded facsimile of the real thing.  Memories swirl in my head of the last time it meant so much more.  The last time this actually felt real.

As we go through the motions I can still see his face, and smell his skin.  I hear his voice with words so sweet they were like a million sugar cubes dissolving in my mouth all at once dripping down my throat and filling me up in an instant.   Were they lies or was it the truth?  Does it matter? I believed them.

Don’t make me look at you, don’t make me look into your eyes, that’s asking too much.  I’ll do nearly anything you’ll ask, I’ll put up with your sexual theatrics, but don’t ask that of me.  Reenact your pornos, turn me into your sexual doll, but don’t make me try to care about you.  I’m not your true love, I’m not your dream girl, I’m just a hit of drug you so desperately need.  Tomorrow another woman will soothe your demons, calm your soul and get your rocks off.

Your hands replace his hands, your eyes his eyes, your breath his breath.  The ghost of what I once had wraps itself around me, while I kid myself with a stranger.  I wonder who do you think of as you kiss my lips, stokes my hair, and hold the small of my back?  Who is the one still burned in your brain?  I know it’s not me, but I grind away anyway hoping for a savior, or at least a release.

Please don’t cuddle up to me afterward.  Please don’t go on about you day, or tell me your troubles, and by all means don’t tell me about your other women.  Whatever you do just tell me anything about her.  Don’t remind me how insignificant I am.  She doesn’t want you, she has moved on and she is so cruel she shoves it right in your face, yet you can’t let go of her.  You’re a slave to a dead dream.

I get so tired of playing this same game over and over again.  My defenses come back.   I teach myself to become numb again.  Give him no ammunition – I tell myself.  Give him no reason to reject you, reject him first, blow him off, cut them off, do not care or at least pretend to not care.  It is not that he doesn’t  want you.   You don’t want him.

The euphoria lasts sometimes for a few minutes and sometimes hours.  Maybe if I am lucky I get a day or two.  The indifference returns.  In an instant the spaces between hundreds of bricks built on disappointments and broken promises fill with defensive mortar and solidify around me.  The great wall of self-protection is back.   Until the next time when I just can’t take it anymore, and what seems like a bad idea, what I know is a mistake, suddenly has to happen.

I remember when it was so different, when a sigh or touch could melt away the fears and pain.   The glimpse of someone’s eyes could warm my heart and for a moment I could feel something.  I don’t know if I will ever get back there, or if this is the new normal.

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4 comments on “Dating In New York: Anatomy of a Hook-up

  1. Alexander Seinfeld

    For physical intimacy to feel wholesome, it must be an extension of emotional intimacy. When it is experienced without emotional intimacy it is like skipping dinner and eating dessert – empty calories. But when experienced as a physical expression of emotional intimacy, it is like a magnificent dessert at the end of a banquet. As hard as it is, building that emotional bond first is the way to go. And the best way to do that is to meet men who love doing the things you love doing.

  2. Jessica

    I am a new addition to the NYC SSN but have not had a chance to meet you yet. I was googling to find blogs and found your Broken Memories posting – which as you know speaks so much to someone in our situation. This post, however, made me cry as it covers so many of my fears in beginning to date again. Especially the part where you talk about the memories of being intimate with your former husband and the reality vs. fiction of it. Thank you for all of yours posts – they have had me laughing and crying all day. I hope to meet you sometime in the future.

    1. julietjeske

      Yeah I haven’t been to an SSN meeting in forever because I had a writing class that met on Wednesday nights. This semester I have an even harder workload, and there was no way I could make it last night. I was just beyond slammed. I’ll be back eventually! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  3. Tina

    I think you speak for a lot of NYC women that recreate this narrative every day. Thank you for writing this. It makes me feel not as alone. Thanks.

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