i don't need a cook, girl, i need lunch...

Up all night even though I'm sick as a dog...I've got this girl E. over, asleep in my bed--it's that post-sex, pre-work hour when I need to be alone so I can think. Maybe I shouldn't say sex because in the six months I've known her we've never taken our clothes off, instead she gets on top of me and grinds down on my thigh, pressing through the layers of her jeans and my robe until she moves up and finds the hard bump of my hip bone jutting out. I hold her down by the small of her back--if I move my hands to her ass she gives a little snort and pulls away. In a few minutes we're both sweating. I'm sick and clammy--I'm reduced to skin and bone, like a prisoner servicing my cellmate.

She came over last night with lentil soup that she promptly burned on my stove--black beans turning into bullets of molten lava and orange shit shooting up and splattering the walls. She offerred me a Percocet. She's been selling them at work for three dollars a pill. "You're sick, so it's not the same thing as getting high. It's like medicine." I laughed at how she needed to justify a pharmaceutical's use as legitimate pain killer. No thanks, I told her, I'm strictly homeopathic these days.

Then she put on NPR and we listened to the news while she rubbed Vics on my back. She showed me the bruises on her shins and scabs on her knees from her recent trip to Death Valley. She and two friends got out of their pick-up and scrambled up and down the huge, alien rock formations in their jean shorts and hipster shoes. She was like a little boy in her ratty sweater vest and knobby elbows. Her hair was a thousand shades of drugstore blonde. She kept twirling it into nervous knots while we caught up.

"So, are you in love with TRUEBOY?" she asked.

"No, what makes you say that?"

"From your blog...things you wrote there..."

"That's all bullshit," I said. "I haven't even spoken to her for months."

"You don't have to talk to someone to love them," she informed me, matter-of-factly.

I wanted to tell her that I didn't love anyone, not a person--it was the moment I was after. The cinematic bubble that grows fat with seconds and then bursts, unceremoniously, like a pregnant pause interrupted by a screeching chair. I wanted to tell her that if I loved anyone at all it was my own stunt double, the one I had in my mind's eye as I replayed my fucks and flirts after the fact.

But I was too tired, too sick to explain. So I took her to bed instead.

Now here I am, trying to type quietly which I hate, my panties still wet from before. I feel like she's going to wake up any second and I don't want to get caught in the act. Maybe I can make it quick...tune into Raymiand think about her chapstick getting smeared on my face--big waxy rings of it on my tits...

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