5 Mar



Would you say there’s something wrong with somebody who has never been loved? I mean romantically not platonically or in a familial way. And I’m not talking about sex… Is there a significant difference between making love, having sex and fucking? I mean aside from poets can people really tell the difference between having someone make love to you and having someone love fucking you?


What does it feel like to look into a face knowing that you will be spending the rest of your life with it? How do you see that face after fifteen, twenty, thirty years? Is it the same as when you have a cat from the time it’s a baby and even when the cat is going on eighteen years you still see the kitten in its face? I have never been able to do that with people just cats and occasionally a friend’s dog.


What makes people who need people so goddamned lucky?


I try very hard not to need people who are not professionals. I have no problem needing my psychiatrist or my dentist or my cable repairman, the Geek Squad, my cats, the occasional hooker, my pharmacist, but I prefer to want my friends. I can love friends. I am never in love with them. I never go to bed with them. So if you are my friend we will never end up naked and if we ever did… we weren’t really friends at the time.


Candy was my best friend. I told her everything. When I tell somebody things, confidential, not for just anybody’s ears things, I don’t do it for advice or to burden the person, I am just sharing facts. It is very important to me that friends get me right. So it caused me great concern when Candy… got me wrong.


To this day I still don’t understand it. I have gone over it and over it, day after day after month after year and it was not my fault. I know unequivocally that I said and did nothing to lead Candy to believe that I was interested in anything other than her companionship. When people saw us on the street and asked if we were together I made it crystal clear that we were friends. And everybody got it. I thought.


Miriam, my best friend says I was stupid not to see it coming; that I was naïve to think that just because you lay it all out for someone that they will respect where you are coming from. Miriam says people listen to what you say thinking all along that they can get you to change your mind later when they’ve worked on you a while. I never change my mind about people. If you give me reason not to trust you, I will never trust you. I may hang out with you and do shit with you, I might even help you but I will never place myself in a position where your behavior matters. I will never count on you. I will always have a back-up plan. Miriam says she knew Candy was in love with me from the first time she saw me. But I don’t believe it. If you love somebody you don’t betray them.


I gave Candy a key to my place. I gave it to her so that if something happened to me my cats would be okay. She gave me a key to her place too because her buzzer was always broken. We had a lot of things in common. Our favorite movie was Fulltime Killer starring Andy Lau. We both loved food so spicy that the first bite would make our foreheads bead with sweat. Candy hated pop music especially female vocalists with “girl” voices and so did I. We were the only lesbians we knew that did not enjoy Heart. We wore black jeans, detested kids, loved our steak blue, knew what a Viola Da Gamba was and read everything we could get our hands on by Gore Vidal.


Saturday mornings I would go to her place in my pajamas and she would make French toast with brioche and we would lie on the floor watching cartoons.  Wednesdays she would come to mine, watch American Horror Story and eat my pasta.  Two days a week we hung out. Does this seem like anything other than friends to you? Seriously I don’t know where Miriam gets her ideas. We were friends.


Until the Wednesday she came up behind me while I was cooking my hot Italian sausage, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olive sauce with rigatoni and started kissing my neck. I could feel her breasts pushing up against my back. She was naked. Her hands were moving towards the buttons on my shirt. Her breath was coming in soft little pants in my ear. I tried to imagine what I could possibly say to her to get her to stop. To push time back so that I could not feel her fingers slide across my chest causing every centimeter of skin touched to crawl.  I did not want to turn. Did not want to see her body quivering with anticipation for a lust I could not feel. I did not want her to see the loathing in my eyes. I felt like a cat cornered by adolescent boys. And the longer I waited, the longer I did nothing, praying she would notice my complete detachment, the angrier I became when she just continued grinding her hips into my… Until finally the thought of that pending suffocating kiss drove me into such a panic that I stopped chopping the red chili peppers and drove the knife backwards into her face.


At first there was no change just the same rhythmic rolling of her hips and then a spasm, then another more and more violent accompanied by a gush of hot soaking my hair, my clothes until her body slapped against the ceramic tiles.  The rigatoni was boiling. I picked one out with a fork and tasted it. Perfect. I turned off the burners, sprinkled the basil over the sauce and drained the rigatoni.


The pasta was the best I have ever made. American Horror Story was a repeat. Not that it was any excuse but I wondered if she’d known.


One Response to “Semantics”

  1. Robert Constant March 5, 2012 at 2:43 am #

    I like this and at first I thought “what a great portrait of a clueless and self-centered person” but at the end with the sudden ultra-violence I was thrown off track and wondered what I missed. I think it may be worthwhile to go back and see if you buried enough little clues in the beginning and middle of this tale. Remember: fiction always has to make sense, only truth is allowed the luxury of being without purpose!

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