Maybe some things in life are simpler than I expect. Maybe most things. I meet Daniel very late on a Friday night and almost immediately our attraction to each other is like a bubble that has burst over the both of us, an outside force so large and all-consuming we have no choice but to follow it. I’m sweating. He’s kissing my neck. He’s tasting my sweat. Out in the cold, we share a cigarette, passing it back and forth, watching the blue smoke drift up past the fire escapes. I feel foolish, happy and young. Overfull with a trembling energy that buzzes at our every point of contact. With him I don’t think again. With him I think first, and then again, again, again.
In my bed that night we can’t stop touching each other. We bring our mouths to each other’s bodies—lips, tongue, teeth scraping against skin—as if to feed. What bounces between us refracts hot and liquid and it makes me say stupid shit while he’s in me like:You remind me I’m an animal. Like: I think I was made for this. Like: while he’s fucking me from behind he pins one hand behind my back and asks me, Who owns your body?
You do, I whisper. I’m yours.
In all things I exert myself wholeheartedly and this is no exception. Suddenly I know the meaning of ardor, suddenly I know why the root word comes from fire, suddenly I think I know what it means to come aflame. We don’t sleep at all that night, or if we do we wake each other at intervals, silently, our sheer proximity enough to tug us out of sleep. Fucking him is like a drug. It’s like taking a hit. We lie together dazed for mere moments before reaching for each other again.
“I’ve never felt this way about anyone before,” I confess. I’m not lying. I haven’t. This isn’t again, this is first, this is a great crack opening in the sky of things. We are tangled together, my forehead against his chest. “It makes so much sense to be with you.”
I have decided that all experience comes in three categories: first, again, and never. When I speak of our sex I can only speak in hyperbole. I’ve never. You only. Nobody but. I can’t get enough. We’re never satiated. Each act seems only to spur on our urgency: he is on me, he is in me, he is looking down at me, hand on my throat, telling me I look so beautiful when I come. It is night, it is morning. The pale gray light filters through his bedroom window and slides across our skin. It paints us flat colors. I’m on my knees. He takes my hand. Our fingers entwine.
At a party in Bushwick exactly a week after we’ve met, he tells me he’s been listening to New Order while he works, that he’s been finding himself wanting to dance. (O how I know that feeling, that unbearable lightness high in the chest.) “I was wondering why I was so happy,” he says. “I realized, it’s you.”
“You make me feel like a pop song,” I tell him. I mean the very same thing—that tremendous melodic sweetness, the riff before the chorus. It’s cold and dark in the backyard where we stand and the sky is threatening rain but there is a brightness rising inside me. It’s startling to me how simple it all is. How easily it comes to us, easier than a fable or a lesson. How quickly a spark turns into a conflagration.
I stand on tiptoe to kiss him and the rest of the night disappears.
A few days later, it snows for the first time all winter. The branches of the trees in my backyard tremble under their thin white coat. Soon enough it’ll snow again.