I’ve touched five. I wish I said “three,” instead; that number always sounds better. More dramatic. But I’ve touched five, in the span of exactly a month, and I feel liberated and vindicated, but I also feel this gnawing emptiness.
His car, 8PM. I waited for an hour and forty minutes, and the last time I had this arrangement was ten months ago, more or less. I was nervous and scared and my heart was palpitating from a coffee too many.
“Is this your first time?”
I nodded. I said yes. I always say yes. I never felt familiar. My skin always crawled, I never felt comfortable navigating through bodies. My fingers never knew where to move or what to touch. He stops over at a dark street-corner, near some trees, and he unbuckled his seatbelt and pats the seat beside him. I undid my own belt and moved closer.
One didn’t know how to kiss. He is all tongue and all mess and spit and he never once bothered to know how to touch. I never reached anything that night.
My skin feels One, still. I want to distill the sweat against my skin and dilute this taste in my mouth. It still tastes like him.
It was broad daylight, 3PM, and I was sipping on a coffee before he came in. He held a backpack against him and introduced himself and we began talking about all sorts of interesting things. I thought, for a moment: I can actually become friends with this guy.
Two is my favorite. Two is also not the handsomest I’ve met, but two always knows what to do. His hands are always in the right places, and I felt like a klutz lying down next to him. He does not caress; he massages. He teases, he kisses amazingly. Only Two knows what to do with my ears, and only Two knows how new I am to this.
“Let’s start a revolution,” he would say. That’s what we call these encounters: revolutions.
Revolutions are upheavals, but revolutions are also repeats.
Two is the only one I stuck around with long enough to do it again. He still talks to me, once in a while.
Stark darkness. 9PM, I think it was, and I was exhausted, and I wanted this over with. I would’ve cancelled, but he was so insistent about it.
Three was way too young, but Three was also enthusiastic. Our lips danced, Three and I, and he knew what was too much tongue and too little friction. Three was good, but Three was fast and repetitive and tiring, and in the darkness and the grass and the plywood, I’ve never felt more like a failure. It took two hours before he’s come to, and I felt like a useless piece of flesh, maybe a comatose body, a trashbag.
I stood up and he stood up.
“How’d I do?”
I nodded. He did alright. Not bad, for someone who’s begun, I told him, but he seemed to overplay my track record.
I’ve forgotten so much details about Three, because I didn’t particularly enjoy him. He has a lifetime ahead of him, though, and this exploration in his eyes. It twinkled, that night.
Three is blocked off. I no longer talk to him.
I don’t even want to think about Four. Four was my biggest regret, the biggest waste of time, the biggest scare, and the biggest asshole.
Case-in-point: “Being bisexual is unnatural. It’s not good for you.” And: “I’m only saying to you the reality.”
I don’t know why I stuck around for much longer. There was no spark. He felt like nothing.
Five was fun. This is not even incidental alliteration; I had my most genuine laughs with Five. Five taught me how to kiss better–just your lips, try mo lang–and Five was no-nonsense. We didn’t attempt to fool each other: we both knew this was touching and fun times, and it was. In another universe, Five would be a sort-of ideal to me, except we had both explicitly stated that this was no strings attached.
NSA. I’ve never hated the term more.
Five implied a “next time,” and said that maybe he’ll message when that next time happens. I’m still waiting.
In order of appearance:
One, Two, Three, Two, Two, Four, Two, Five, One.
At this moment, I wish that my heart feels the touches that my skin does. There has been no one, and I fear that there will be no one. They say that it comes when you stop looking for it.
I’ve given up looking long ago, and still, nothing.