I wanted to know…How did the fact that she and her girlfriend fucked older fatherly types have anything to do with their so-called freedom as women in today’s corporate, male-dominated world? (cue: Sonic Youth’s Kool Thing in the background)

We use the power of our love and lust to get what we want, she said. We’re seen and worshipped.

And for that you guys need a third? You can’t do it just the two of you…that’s some powerful love you’ve got. Yep.

Ha! She flicked a cigarette out of the softpack. Her fingers were long, like a mannequin’s.

There’s always a third, silly, she said, quite unironically. Her accented, imperfect English broadcasted her earnestness or lack thereof—like an untuned organ, played by uncertain hands, she was unable to add the layer of semantic finesse that I was used to from the ex-pats.

What do you mean? I said.

There’s always a third—every time you fuck. It’s like an imaginary mirror appears over the couple as they, you know—do it.

And as she said this, she stepped to one side in a half-curtsy to light her cigarette, and as she did revealed a standing mirror that had been hidden behind her. At once I saw my own reflection—elongated like a figure in an el Greco painting: I was taller and broader—like a man…a man who was watching me.

There’s always a third…

"we are the people your parents warned you about."

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