She asked if he played the saxophone and he said he didn’t, really. They’re lying there strewn sixty-nine on the single bed at his mum’s house, the one he’d fucked his first girlfriend on. The sax is in the corner gathering dust behind the clicking fan which now sits atop the barely used music stand, and he knows if he say yes there’s a chance she’ll ask him to play. I’m not bad but I’m not good, and I don’t want to brag or get her hopes up, he thinks out loud, and Mia’s asleep in the room next door.
She wanted to be fucked from behind, he bet she’d wished him skinnier. He can actually taste her pussy as she gets out of the car, and as her front door closes he pauses before reversing back onto the street. It’s the only pussy he’d ever felt comfortable referring to as a pussy. The word always seemed crudely masculine, derogatory, dirty. A word flung around a playground full of private boys’ school virgins.
But there’s something nice about the word, too. His septum did not spend ten minutes kissing a clitoris this morning, nor did his tongue turn every contour between her legs into softer than skin hieroglyphs. He will not be telling mates about the juiciest cunt he’d ever… No, he’d fell inside the composite sketch of a rare gem of flesh, a real woman’s pussy, and he’d want to drink it down like gelato in the sun all summer and thereafter.
A few weeks pass and they manage to fight as much as they fuck, which is every day, those Australian summer days are long. This is why poets shouldn’t get involved with each other. Poets, like vampires should stick to blood and just accept that two sets of fangs cannot kiss without nicking cuts at each others’ lips.
Her sharehouse in Annandale creaks beneath the rumble of the flightpath. He’s panting with his dick still quivering, limping inside her, and she opens her eyes and kisses him on the forehead and again on the lips and he almost says I Love You when a gigantic metal bird swoops the suburb and fireblankets the frisson. The plane saved him from himself, just as another would later during a fight at breakfast.
Why does she have to be so fucking beautiful? Morning breath and tourettes-giggles during a movie about the holocaust and he just wants more. At points he’d wished she had a prosthetic limb or a lisp or something that would drag her esteem down to roll in the mud with his.
They’re driving to the beach and he has butterflies in his stomach. He’s taken two wrong turns despite knowing this area like the back of his hand and he can see her fists white-knuckling in the heat. A few jokes backfire unnoticed to become one with the exhaust.
He glimpses at himself in the rear-vision mirror. Handsome face and dark eyes, but drinking too much and two years spent shark circling the bed with a joint and he’d becoming terribly ashamed of the little love handles the black dog dragged in. Philosophise in manual and tell the mirror he’s right — a man must be more than his diagnosis if he wishes it go! Grip the wheel and turn the air-con up, she’s still stiffened and shitty in her seat. Useless fat pretentious pontificator touch her neck for a sec and try to wring a smile from her and marvel at being nothing more than an inconsequentially slow-decaying cosmic speck to force the sadness out. Billion-year-old reincarnated meteors sweating in a Japanese car ant-line on Bondi Road ought to have a little more perspective, rationalise away the discomfort, it’s easier now that I can see the beach.
Her friend said that I’m negative, but I’m not negative. Meaninglessness is wonderfully humbling, and this is why my stomach lurches in wonder at the metonymy edged from a hint of the wrong womans’ same perfume as hers and the feeling of her skin, the beauty of the written word pussy and the smells it conjures makes my eyes roll back in my head. I can wrap my mind around the world like a ball in a beach-towel, but this feeling I get as she puts her hand on my leg is why every now and then I close my eyes as I change lanes on the highway. I drop her in the city for a pregnancy test and she’s still wearing her swimmers.
I’ve heard the phrase ‘pick your battles’ almost as many times as I’ve picked my naval, paying each as little attention as the other. A more mature man ought to have known better than to dismiss platitudes on a formal basis. But what better age to love and lose and hate and crumble at the direct, ‘choose’, what better time and better place to tilt at every windmill’s face, I thought, until the only space I could stand the world was from behind the window sills of the house I grew up in. Horizontal, gnawing at my cuticles making plans to wait until I’ve the house to myself, to dust off the sax and fumble through the blues. She calls and says there’ll be no puppies. Twenty-four hours later she’s drunk and saying goodbye, and that she would with me, though she doesn’t mean it, it’s just her way of telling me to stop questioning the heart behind her rosy lips. And for a moment it works.
It’s been a day since she left the country. January 19th 2014, and I’ve not masturbated once this year — I wasn’t exaggerating and reject any accusation of over-romanticising after spending so long on the word pussy. You cannot over-romanticise the divine, god is dead and I’ll pray to the woman in my bed as though I’m facing Mecca scratching my head over heaven and hell and other ghost-stories; Love is a religion in an otherwise explicable world. Sex, and fighting, and sex, and sadness, and sex, and ecstasy, and moonlight kisses by the still oil-slicked water horse-shoeing Rozelle, and more fighting. You can teach an ape particle theory in fifteen minutes, the same ape who’ll take fifteen years to define the word ‘Love’ and another fifteen to work out if he’s there.
As I touch myself metonymy catapults the smell of short strawberry hairs and the soft touch of her pale moon belly. She was in a terror of a mood yesterday morning, and I spent the day hoping she never comes back. But today I want to eat gelato in the sun, walk down busy streets with my hand on her bum and come under the flight paths of jumbo jets.