April 10, 2002

Triptych

We would take turns reading to each other during sex. When you were the reader, the idea was the keep reading. Whoever read longer without stopping won.

What we read didn’t matter. We even used the phone book once, as a joke.

I don’t think she ever won this game. She wasn’t very good at it. Not that she didn’t enjoy playing. It was the kind of game you didn’t need to be good at to enjoy.

She would often talk during sex – a kind of continuous commentary, like a horse race announcer but more associative.

I would listen less to the words than the feeling. Probably this was always so, but here it was exaggerated.

Sometimes she would type things on my back. She would do this whenever we were lying together and she had her arms around me.

Naturally I wanted to know what she was typing, but I didn’t dare ask, for fear of making her self-conscious. Instead I would try to decipher the words based on the pattern of the touches – a hopeless task.

I had the idea – the dream, really – that she was typing her secret thoughts to me. Things like: “I can’t tell you I love you, because to say that I lose you. I have to pretend I don’t love you so I always have you.”

There were other possibilities – “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog,” for example – which I preferred to ignore.