I smell the same.
he freaked out when we hugged and he buried his face in my neck. He waved his wands and backed away like I was poison. You smell the same he said. Exactly the same. I can’t do this he said, I can’t touch you and not have you.
Up and down memory lane we went. He showed me a picture taken of him in Guam after we had started dating the first time and I couldn’t believe it was him I was 17. He was 18. I clutched the picture like it was going to be taken from me forever and stared at it. We went up and down. Up and down memory lane. Remember this I said? Remember that he said?
I was sitting in his leather chair and we were laughing and he looks at me all serious. I have missed you, he said. I have really missed you. Missed me how I used to be or missed me in general? I asked teasingly. I just have missed you — more than I thought or realised.
I smiled back at him.
You broke my heart you know.
I told him, remember? The phone calls? Remember when you called me up one night and told me you had just bagged a 40 year old and you were drunk? I said that? Yes. You did. I went on. I told him more.The cigarette nearly dropped out of his mouth. I would never say that. Yes, you did say that. Do you remember I said? No, he said, I don’t. I can’t believe when I would treat you that way.
Remember, I said, when you came up to when I was working at Dairy Mart and had two plane tickets, one for me — one for you. You wanted me to come back with you — back to guam you said. You wanted to be mine forever I said. I remember, he replied. I said no, I was with someone else now. Then I cried in the office when you left. I remember leaving and walking out in a huff he said. You cried? Yes. For days.
You broke my heart.
You’ve lost some of your innocence. He looked at me, rolling up the sleeve on my left arm. That’s a profound statement you’ve made. The tattoos and the piercings. Your innocence is what made you so mine. I’m still the same I said. It’s just buried way way deep inside. Why he said. Because, I was tired of people taking advantage of me. Tired of people using me. I was tired of believing everything. Protection. There is no mark on your body other than the eye of ra that offers protection. No, protection. The tattoos are protection. Why he said? People left me alone. They thought I was this huge bad ass. No one fucked with me. I liked it. I think tattoos are beautiful I said. People just left me alone. It was my big fuck you to the world. Just leave me alone. I almost started to cry.
He looked at my soul and had it on the table in under five seconds. You are the good girl. You were always the good girl. I am so sorry Lisa, for everything. He apologized. For what he said. What he did. For what others did.
I stared at him wide eyed and suddenly I wanted to rip everything off. The piercings, the pictures on the internet. The journal. Everything. Gone. I wanted it gone. I wanted to scream “That is not me — this i me.”
It always comes back to sex.
Ice cubes. Remember the ice cubes? You were the only girl who would use ice cubes when she would go down on me. And gave head while I drove. And swallowed. Wait, I thought I always swallowed. No, that was later. Are you sure I said? Yah. Remember, you called me, bold as brass and announced you swallowed. I did?? I was incredulous. I said that? He laughed. You don’t remember? No, I didn’t.
Come to bed with me, he said.
No, I replied petulantly.
No sex. No sex. No sex.
We won’t have sex.
That’s what you say but not what you think. I smiled.
You were the best sex I ever had.
I laughed. Stop lying. You don’t have to pretend.
No, I’m serious. Every girl after you wasn’t you.
I told my exes about you.
Water came spitting out of my mouth.
Yah, he teased, my ex from way back used to run circles.
Best sex of my life.
I kept laughing.
We were in love once, that is why it was so good. Was that it he said?
Yes, that is what it was.
Words were said. I remember him looking down at his tshirt. I stood up and pulled on my boots. I can’t be near you and not want you, I said. I can’t be casual. Been there, got the tshirt he said. He was trying to be a bad ass. No, I said. Can we still hang out. No, I said. I can’t be near you and not touch you. I can’t. It’s impossible. I put my coat on. He put his coat on. I grabbed him and we hugged. Jesus christ, you smell exactly the same. He tossed to me to the side. No, I said. Don’t stop. I can’t not be near you and not touch you.
He went upstairs to go to the bathroom before he walked me to the car. I sat on the couch, staring at my knees. This is it, I thought, I’ll never see him again. Ever. I’ve made my choice. I’m walking otu that door. He’s safe, though. he’s alive. He’s okay.
He lit a cigarette. He sat down. More words came out.
I leaned over and kissed him.
That was the end.
It was like coming home. Everything, his hair, his lips. Those fucking eyes that burned into my soul. I was dying inside. All the bullshit was gone and I was dying. We’d stare at each other.
I can’t believe you are here. You were gone and now you’re back. You will leave me again. No, I said tracing his lips. You left me. I know he said. I was irresponsible. I was dumb. I’m sorry Lisa.
We made it upstairs. I stuck to my guns. No sex. He has to be work at 8am. I was lying in bed, cradled in his arms and I was panicking. Flight. FLY AWAY. I have not slept with a man in nearly year. Not laid next to another human. FLY, FLY FLY AWAY back to your apartment to the safety of your books and your computer and tivo. FLY FLY AWAY. MOVE my brain was screaming.
So I did.
I crawled out of bed, and murmured that I was leaving. He told me to stay, stay he said. I can’t I said. I have to go. I can’t sleep. I was panicking hard. FLY FLY FLY my brain kept screaming.
He, incredulously, drives a big rig. Owns three trucks. Is doing very well — enough to drive an ’00 audi fully loaded TT. He wants to me to go with him on Tuesday on a run down to Chicago. I don’t know if I’ll hear from him after my departure. I have to talk to myself into that I’ll be okay. That I’ll live. That I’ve been okay these last 10 years. I said a lot of things tonight. I don’t regret them, but I kept telling him how he made me felt. How he made me feel. How he made me want to feel. The term “monogamous nympho” was coined because of him. My brain is screaming at me and my heart is torn in two.
I’m 17 again.
I smell the same.