Zipper Questions

I met her while walking around the busy tourist ladened sidewalks of Waikiki.  She, in a floppy over-sized sunhat and large Breakfast-At-Tiffany’s sunglasses that covered her eyes like some sort of rhinestone encrusted insect.  Strappy stiletto heels; pink and white sundress; shopping bags in one hand; gelato in the other.  Everything about her screamed Korean tourist, but when she opened her mouth, the most beautiful sound came out:

…Hot Damn!

No, she wasn’t singing, but she had the same voice of an angel. I learned over the course of the evening they’re called “Kowis”, (Korean + Kiwi = Kowi) ethnic Koreans raised in New Zealand and there is a sizable population of them– and they like coming to Hawaii.  She pulled down her glasses to give me a quick once-over with piercing brown eyes.

I know what I look like in my tattered boots, bluejeans, skulls, bracers, and V-neck in the 90* weather– I am clearly not a tourist.  We stood there, polar opposites from worlds away.  Like those American tourists who go to another country and all they eat is McDonalds, I was something familiar and digestible in a foreign place, but different enough to still be exotic.


I ask her some innocuous question.  She replies, and I realize I want to hear her voice as much as I can, for hours on end.  We’re standing there in the sun and the heat, talking about shopping and gelato and the beach and people are just walking past us, and it isn’t until her bags are at her feet and her gelato is all melted that I realize we’ve been one of those asshole couples that just stands in a major thoroughfare and holds a conversation oblivious to everyone around them.  She’s not making any excuses to walk away, no artificial deadline or destination.  No, she’s genuinely interested in the words coming out of my mouth for some reason.

“I want to eat that.”  I point to her empty gelato cup.  “Where did you get that?”

Her second scoop of gelato becomes walking around taking in the sights, becomes drinks, becomes dinner at the cusp of the beach with the sunset glowing over the sun-baked sand ocean lapping it’s gentle waves upon the shore.  She’s a lawyers, successful and ambitious, with a musical laugh and a wit as sharp as a tack, and I am all the more, enamored and enthralled.  We spend the evening celebrating and exploring our differences.

“Why do you call them capsicum?”  I  point to her salad garnished with onions and red peppers.  She ordered a salad because she’s watching her figure, but still manages to keep pace with me at three beers with dinner.  The perfect paradox.

“What do you call them here?”

Royale’ with cheese.”

“Wait, what?”

“Haha it’s a Pulp Fiction reference.   We call them peppers.”

“Peppers?” She tries it out, unfamiliar in her mouth.  “Then what do you call that?” She points to the black pepper shaker on the table.

“Also pepper.”

“Isn’t that confusing?”

“Not really.”

“Capsicum sounds better.” she concludes.

“Only when you say it.”

– – – –

We stumble into her hotel room, my hands caressing the supple curves of her body, hot steam radiating off our meshing flesh like… well like a radiator I suppose.  She peels my shirt off and flings it into a corner of the room.  We stumble out of shoes and heels, tripping over them our faces and hands unable to separate or even look down for the briefest of moments.  I fling her onto the bed.   She fumbles at the skull-and-crossbones of my belt buckle.

My thumb and forefinger find the zipper to the back of her pink and white sundress dress.  I give it a tug; The zipper sings as it rides down the small of her back, each unfettered tooth widening the maw of fabric, and bringing me one step closer to that beautiful moment where our genitals will high-five.   I run my fingernails playfully over her bare skin from her slender shoulders down to her well toned buttocks.


“Do you have a girlfriend?”  She asks me between hot mouthy kisses.

“Of course not.”  I reply, gasping for air.  My hands working their way up the sides of her ribs, opening up the back of her dress ready to pull it off, her soft flesh dancing under my fingertips.

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

– – – –

Doctors call them “door knob questions“.  The patient goes in, has a routine checkup and says everything is fine.  The moment the doctor is about to leave the examining room, with his hand (or her hand I suppose, because women can be doctors too) on the door knob the patient spits it out– the real reason for their visit.

“I’ve got this growth on my testicle and I think it might be cancer… and I’ve been coughing up blood all morning…”
(I originally got the concept from an episode of [H]ouse.  But I tried googling “House door knob questions” and all I got are home remodeling videos. )

She had deftly avoided the question all evening, and now right when we were at the cusp of coitus, standing at the doorstep of my ding-dong’s-destiny, with her hands at my waist kissing me like she means it… There’s this awkward.  Halting.  Pause.

“…I have a boyfriend.”

I laugh, because I think she’s being cute.  It sounded so good coming out of her mouth, it took a second to register in my brain.

“Wait, say that again?”

“He’s back in New Zealand.  We’re on a break.”

“Does he know that?” She shrugs.  That’s a ‘No’.  

“I mean, I’m going to break up with him when I get home.”

The room gets very cold and quiet.  Something in the light changes: Her pink dress shifts, to salmon, and then the slightest hues of Orange begin to creep up through the fabric.  I pull my face away from hers, first by inches and then by miles.  Something in me shifts.  I no longer want to do this.  I stand up.

– – – –

I gather up my clothes.   They were flung so casually all over her hotel room in a passionate whirlwind… and now i’m participating in the world’s most depressing scavenger hunt, where the prize at the end for collecting it all is a night of self-loathing and solitary contemplation about my life’s choices.

Even once I Caught em’ All, my clothes instinctively fight me.  It’s like being a toddler again; all motor-skills flying out the window in my fevered panic to escape.  my head wants to go through the arm hole, both feet in one pant leg.  I don’t even bother to try tying my laces; I just tuck them into the sides of my shoes.  She’s just sitting there on her hotel room bed, her mouth slightly agape and her eyes narrowed into slits, just watching me stumble into my clothes.   The back zipper of her dress is still splayed wide open, the material folded over her shoulders as if she were some life-sized-zip-up-costume just waiting for someone with character to step into her skin.

“Thank you for a wonderful night” I say to her as I exit her hotel room.  I wish I had a hat.  Like a bowler, or a fedora, or even a cowboy hat because at that exact moment I would’ve raised it an inch over my head and tipped it to her.  I saunter off, my imaginary spurs jingling with each step.

Out in the long empty corridor, lined with perfectly cloned hotel doors end to end, I pause for a moment uncertain of what to do.  “I’m doing the right thing.”  I said it aloud to myself in the empty hallway.  And then again.  “I’m doing the right thing.  I’m doing the right thing.”  I repeat it over and over like a mantra  I am Bart Simpson begrudgingly writing sentences on that chalkboard at the start of every episode:


For some reason, I start running.  Running… from a mostly naked woman who wants me for purely superficial reasons, a goal I’ve spent most of my life running towards.   Hotel California begins playing in my head as I barrel my way down the empty hallway and through the fire exit and down the stairwell making a mad dash in concentric circles as I descend further and further away from her hotel room to the ground floor.  I imagine her giving one final piercing cackle before her hotel room bursts into unholy purple and green flames.  Because in Disney Movies, the bad guys always have purple and green flames.  I fling open the doors and spill out onto some discrete side exit flanked by concrete plant potters and shoulder high-hedges.  I hear the door lock behind me with a resounding *thud*.  It’s in that moment I allow myself to slow the perpetual motion of my fleeing body.  I turn around and try the handle.  Yep, no turning back now.  I tie my shoelaces and walk the rest of the way to my car.

I did the right thing.  God Damn.  I hate the right thing.  

A Lofty Sound

Another Flashback story.  This happened about six months ago:

I love where I live.  Everybody comes to Hawaii because it’s a dream vacation destination.  The landscape is pristine and picturesque.  People who live in Hawaii, come up to a particular scenic point to admire the view– this is where people in paradise, come to view paradise.  And my apartment is smack dab at the top of what could arguably be the best view of the island.  So the drive up to my place is its own natural aphrodisiac of sorts.

My apartment itself is not particularly big.  It’s a single bedroom studio with a full bathroom and kitchen, and a loft storage area that can be reached by a ladder.  My apartment is joined by one wall to a larger central house where my landlord and his family live; a father and two teenage sons.  In addition to being tied into the same electrical and water lines, my apartment shares central AC with the rest of the house.

Why am I telling you all of this?  Well any storyteller worth his salt knows it’s important to create a sense of place and setting before telling his story.  It’s rude to just dump an audience in the middle of things.  And a couple of these facts will come into play in just a minute or two depending on how fast you read.

So, anytime I bring a new friend to my apartment, the first thing she wants to do is climb the ladder and look around the loft.   Not sure what it is, but that space up there seems to convert everyone to a simpler time of playing pillow-fort as a kid.    When I first moved in I lugged my 30 gallon aquarium up there, along with most of my diving and shooting gear, so there is a lot of cool stuff to poke around at.  I also tossed a sleeping bag and an extra pillow up in my loft to add to the whole, secret-grown-up-fort element.


So I have a friend up in my loft, and she’s cooing at my fish, and looking out the skylight, and she sprawls across the sleeping bag and decides this would be a great place for an impromptu game of Backgammon.   Awesome.  That’s what the sleeping bag is there for, that’s the whole point of bringing a friend back to my place.  The problem is, I’ve never played backgammon against this particular opponent.

And.  She. Was.  Loud.

Every time I would advance my pieces she would grunt and moan.  When she made her moves, she was equally as audible. Now I like enthusiasm, and I like encouragement during a rousing game of backgammon, but this was something new entirely.  I had unlocked a wailing banshee who puts the pipes of Axel Rose to shame.  When the game reached its inevitable conclusion, her voice arose in a cacophony of screams and wails, so much so that I think even my fish were scared.   We finished,  laying there panting and laughing on my sleeping bag.

And that’s when I started to hear voices.   Clear as a bell:

“Did you hear that?”  

“Yeah I think they’re done.”

“She must’ve enjoyed it.”

I look above me, and less than a foot above our laying heads is the vent for the central air.  Normally these vents are well above any normal activity going on in a room, but with the height of my loft… it put us right at face level to the vents.  In fact at one point she was mashed up right against the vent, her fingers interlocking into the grate.   I can hear voices, their laughter clear as day, as if they were sitting right across from us.  Obviously if we could hear them… they could hear us.

Drunk Dial

There are these funny stories in my head of happenstance encounters and stupid things I’ve done, that I probably should put down to the page before they get lost in the tumbling shuffle of my mind.  Flashback to about four months ago:

So  it’s two o’clock in the morning, and the bar is closing.  I’m that perfect amount of intoxicated where I still want to go out and hang out, but I’m not entirely, absolutely, one-hundred-percent in control of all my faculties.  There’s this girl that I’ve been seeing for the past few weeks, and every once in a while I give her a call and we hang out.  Sometimes we play backgammon, sometimes we just stare out at the stars and have deep introspective conversations.

Tonight feels like a backgammon kind of night.  So I scroll through my phone and give her a ring.

“Hullo…?” I can hear her hoarse voice through the speaker as she rubs the sleep from her eyes.

“Hey there, beautiful.”  I purr.

“Haha what?  I think you have the wrong number.”   Her voice sounds familiar.  But something is… not quite right.

“What are you wearing?”  I slur.

“None of your business.  You’ve got the wrong number.” the voice on the other line crackles like tinfoil in the microwave.  Yep something is definitely wrong here.  I feel a momentary sense of dread, akin to what a Meerkat must feel moments before it is snapped up by the hungry maw of an apex predator.

“Kira?”  It’s a question shot into the black expanses of space.  A life preserver cast into the ever growing void of my own confusion.

“Yes.”  she answers impatiently.

I know this voice, but something just… isn’t meshing.  And I am either too drunk or too stupid to figure it out.  Like when you’re having an amazing dream where you’re fighting off the bad guys and saving the princess and right when you’re about to kiss her she turns into your Great Aunt Gertrude.

And suddenly it all clicks.

I peel my phone away from my burning cheek and stare down at the screen.  Y’know how they say a cold shower or a hot cup of coffee is a good way to sober up after a night of drinking?  I’ve found a better solution.

This was not the girl I play backgammon with at two o’clock in the morning.    No no no, this was my old Bosses wife; a kindly middle-aged woman who I worked with at my old restaurant job. The woman who was always making sure I ate enough vegetables with  my employee meal.  The woman who constantly gave  me relationship advice on how to find a “nice girl” instead of a “crazy one”.  The woman whose kids I helped with their homework during downtime,  and helped unsnarl their bike chains so they could ride around in endless looping circles in the parking lot behind the building.  She was part Mother figure, part mentor, part all around nice lady.  And I…

(in all my infinite wisdom and clarity)

… just drunk dialed her at 2am.

She and the other “Kira” both had the same first name, and their last names were almost identical save for two letters.  Easy to notice sober, especially easy to miss drunk.

*Click*  I hang up as fast as I can.  Maybe she’ll think this was all a dream. Any alcohol left in my system has been quickly purged and replaced by the swift flow of embarrassment coursing through my veins, side effects including a painful awareness of each agonizing second and syllable I spent on the phone making an ass of myself.   Even if she doesn’t remember it, my name and number will still show up in her caller ID log.  Gah.

– – – –

It’s eleven o’clock in the morning the next day when my phone rings.  Mother-Hen-Kira is calling.

“Hey Kira, I’m so sorry…”  I stammer, even though she is miles away my hands shield my face in shame.

“It was very nice hearing from you last night.”  She begins.  “How have you been?”

She asks me about work. She asks me if I’ve been eating my vegetables.  She tells me about how before there were cell phones, boys would actually have to call a girl at her house, so when a boy drunk-dialed, usually it was a pissed off father answering the phone instead.  And suddenly, all my face-palming-shame is washed away.

“Next time, maybe don’t call so late.  Be a good boy.”  The conversation ends.

I am an idiot.  But at least I’m an idiot with good people in my life.

Bump it with:

Language Barrier

So… I went on a date a few weeks ago with a girl from Japan.  Her English was limited, And  I– I am a word man; my ability to talk has always been my golden ticket to making any progress with the opposite backgammon… I mean sex. (that’ll be funny in a minute) Women don’t fall for the way I look, no they get lured by the sweet sugary saccharine supplication of my mouth.  I’m like that late night infomercial promising a better life for only three easy installments of $29.95, you don’t need me, heck you don’t even want me, but when you hear how I can saw through a block of cement as well as tomatoes for the hundredth time, eventually someone reaches for the phone.

Without my words, I am a turtle without its shell, I am Iron Man without his really fancy high tech… goatee, and things get boring really quickly.  So instead of talking I was uncharacteristically animated and charismatic, overly so to make up for my lack of words.  Physical comedy, dancing, lots of close body contact.  And somehow, I managed to stumble from just a really good date into the guest bedroom of our friend’s place for some… well let’s call it “playing backgammon”

So we’re, “playing backgammon”.  And things are getting hot and heavy as “playing backgammon” is wont to do.  Now, I think “playing backgammon” is such a raw and primal thing, that we as human beings just resort back to our most basic and natural tenancies.  For me, this means grinning stupidly from ear to ear like a nine year old the first time I found playboys at the park during soccer practice… for her this meant speaking Japanese.

So as we’re “playing backgammon” she whispers, “Iku…”

I don’t say anything.

She whispers it again, “Iku…”

Oh crap, is she asking me a question?  I’m not sure.  I’ve heard this before somewhere.

“Iku…”  she purrs, her hot backgammon breath panting on my chest.

“Yes?” I respond meekly.

God I hope that was a question.  She kisses me.  Okay, maybe it was a question?  Think man.  Think…  Oh!   know.  I’ll just say exactly what she’s saying.  I’ll be like a sexy parrot.

“Iku”  I whisper sensually.  She squares her hips away from me and pushes her body upright on the pillows.

Oh shit.  Okay not that.  Don’t say that.  She can say it, but I shouldn’t.  Maybe it’s a gender thing?  What if I just told her, “I have really good lady backgammon parts?”

We resume our game of backgammon at a rhythmic pace.


I nod.  But it’s dark, so I don’t think she can see my nodding.  I kiss her.  Yeah that’ll stall her.  If I could get to my phone, I could look this up.  Is that… squid? Like the dried squid in the clear package?   Really dude?  Why would she be talking about food during a time like this?  I dunno… tentacles.  Something about tentacles.  

She runs her hands through my hair, catching fistfuls on either side of my head before moaning, “Kimochi…”

Kimchi?  Wait more food?  Oh wait, she’s Japanese not Korean.  And why do I think she’s talking about food while we’re “playing backgammon”

“Kimochi…” her nails dig into my shoulders.  I really hope she can’t see me in the darkness, because I know I have that scrunched befuddled look on my face, like I might be having stroke.

My mind flashes through a thousand images of Japanese pictures and videos archived somewhere in the wasted caverns of my memory, where math, the periodic table of elements, and basic geography, once resided.  Dragonball?  No that doesn’t help.  Attack on Titan?  No.  But we’re getting closer.   Something about school girls and tentacle monsters?  I need to change my Internet viewing habits.  Why didn’t I pay more attention in school?  Who knew the Japanese I squandered away in college could result in a bad “backgammon ” performance years later?

Pixels.  Something to do with blurry pixels.

Aha!  I know where I’ve heard this before.  Watching professional “backgammon” on the Internet.

I am gross.  But hey, knowledge is power.

Bump it with:

Shallow Waters

“Shallow” is such a funny word.  We write off people for being shallow, for not having more depth and dimensions, or for not digging for meaning and significant layers of character in others.  Because a “shallow” person keeps everything on the surface, and is looking for everything on the surface.  But when you really think about it, isn’t that just another way to describe… “Honest”?

Because honestly, I’m shallow.  And I embrace my shallowness as an intrinsic part of me.  I can use all the big words and read all the thick books I want, but at the end of the day I’m still googling  and ogling “big tits” and “skinny waists” and not “character” and “personality”.  Thank you Internet.

Because we can’t all be onions.  Some of us are just skin deep.  And that’s me.

Shallow Waters
“No Diving.  And No Deep Conversations.  And Don’t ask about Nietzsche.”

– – – –

I met this girl through Tinder.   And I knew right away she wasn’t like any other Tinder girls.  She was smart and articulate; she had a clever comeback to just about everything I said.  The written word flowed from her so quickly and spontaneously, I knew she wasn’t musing and mulling over her answers.  No she was lighting quick,  her thoughts manifesting as fire-from-the-hip quips.  And we exchanged volley after volley of clever turn of phrase, like a game where something is volleyed back and forth and back and forth in rapid succession.  Volley after Volley Like, with a ball… Like lacrosse.

I remember, I messaged her for the first time just as I lowered myself my hot bath to soak for the night.  And I typed and she typed.  I was still grinning and laughing  as our conversation filling up the memory of my phone even after the water had long gone cold.  And my pruned fingers stopped making my touch-screen work after awhile, but still I stayed not wanting to lose the glory of that evening.

She was amazing, and I had to meet her.  So five days and a lifetime of glowing-screen finger-roaming hours later we agreed to see each other face to face.

She was ordinary and comely, so much so that I walked right past her the way to our first date.  “Looks fade” my father always said, “find someone who you can have a good conversation with”  And in the grand chromatic scale of vibrant colorful girls… she landed somewhere between khaki and beige.  But once she opened her mouth, I was reminded of everything I was drawn to. She had a dry piercing wit and a near encyclopedic knowledge of all things movies, pop, culture, and TV.  So we had a lot to talk about.  Imagine an Asian Julia Stiles before she did that crappy escort series for Netflix.   More like, Julia Stiles when she did that dance movie with where Hip-Hop meets Ballet… and Hip-Hop doesn’t steal Ballet’s purse.   Damn, She would know exactly which movie I’m talking about.

“Oh noes, interracial dancing!”

So we dated.  Somehow I squeezed myself into the ill-fitting facade of a gentleman, where I didn’t get us liquored up and laid out on the first night, instead I was opening doors and we were holding hands, and the prospect of kissing her was something I strategically planned’ on the third date instead of my usual, blitz-kiss-do-or-die-dive-bombing-strafe attack.  And it worked.

(pew pew pew… hormone missiles away!)

So after several dates, weeks, and a healthy grownup investment of time later, she comes back to my place.  And between the wine and the movie, and the hormones and the uncertainty, things get heavy and we begin a game of backgammon.

She was always wearing long pants and these flowing tops, like a cross between a poncho and maternity wear that seems to be so popular with girls these days.  So most of her was mostly covered most of the time.  But I felt like this always added to the allure, like a modern-day self-imposed body-burka of sorts.  And because I had been doing my best impression’ of a gentleman this whole time, I never tried to grope, poke, or magically David-cop-a-feel.  So I began to undress her, eager to explore the treasures beneath.  But as I removed each subsequent layer (notice how I’m alluding to my first paragraph about depth and shallowness here, because I’m fuckin’ clever and shit) I became more confused.

It was as if her body was a stage and once the curtains were raised, her bra and panties were a series of pulleys and straps designed to keep the scenery in place.  And once those came undone the sandbags and catwalks came tumbling to the ground.  She was a work of art, assembled from a mix of parts by a blind schizophrenic reading Ikea instructions in Chinese.  The worst was the hair.  She had a unkempt hedge of black curly brambles so thick and so deep that David Bowie was wandering around in it twirling glass orbs while rocking a codpiece.  Her tangled mass sprouted a long and winding misery-trail that traveled up and into the valley of her navel like a reverse Rapunzel… with Bran climbing his little unbroken-legs to the top to see incestuous siblings mid-coitus.  There were oddities and novelties of her naked body too numerous and confusing to explain.  Like, don’t you girls have meetings about these things?

broken stage
“Grooming?  Tweezers?  Exit, stage left.

She was always talking about “going to the gym” and “just leaving the gym” and “can’t hang out tonight because I’m at the gym” which only added to my confusion.  How could she be at the gym so often, but have what seemed to be… the opposite of results?  Was she battling gym leaders for badges while trying to Catch em’ All?  Or did Gym stand for something else entirely, like Generous Yogurt Man?  or Gravy, Yams, and Meat?

Fully clothed the next day’ we make plans for our next date.  Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was my lights I tell myself.  Maybe I was nervous, maybe it was all in my mind… Oh I know!  The beach!  Under the harsh truth of the sun all shall be revealed.  I pick her up a few days later, and the conversation in the car is great.  We laugh and we share.  And when we get there I’m elated and happy.  And we sit on the sand and she begins to strip…

Her sprawling mass of curly black brambles spilled out.  It peeked out of the corners of her bikini to greet me, with creeping tendrils climbing up her pale thighs eager to escape, no longer hidden in the shadows of my drunken bed but out in the open for the world to see.   And she waded out into the shallows beckoning me to join her, and I noticed the water turned her fuzzy patch into a waterlogged sponge, that hung and clung in a thickening mass of damp hair between her legs.  And I kept thinking, if she just went in a little deeper maybe I could forget it was there.

So I joined her in the water and she hugged me and our stomachs touched with hers meeting mine more than half way with just’ a little too much fuzz.   And her hairy pubic-pseudo-penis tucked into her bikini brushed against me.  And I… I couldn’t pretend to be a better man than I am.

She wasn’t polished or glossy.  She didn’t tilt her chin and angle her chest for pictures.  She didn’t wear makeup, or own any dresses.   She didn’t wax, she didn’t shave.  And all that plastic bubble gum pop, superficial surface that I profess to hate– I realized I secretly crave.  More than scintillating, stimulating, intellectually-titillating conversation.  More than an emotional fit.  And  didn’t want to change her.  So things ended.

Because I’m shallow.

I am shallow.

But I embrace that.

Bump it with:

The Time Traveler’s Mistress

You’re exactly what I would’ve wanted ten years ago…

I began 2015 making a new friend.  Texting on my glowing screen as the champagne corks popped as loud as the fireworks and smoke filled the air with the new year.

Eighteen.  Red hair and fishnets, band-aids over her nipples because bras are too restricting, she knows her way around a six-string, and she can sing better than most girls on MTV.  And she writes, beautifully.  But most importantly, she’s into me.  You are exactly what I would’ve wanted ten years ago.

I have not yet stumbled across the point-of-no-return of thirty that brands me permanently’ as an adult.  ‘I’m still young’ I keep telling myself.  And by god I am going to do this.

I can smell the damage on her like a slow gasoline leak.  Its invisible acrid-sweetness permeates into everything she does, every decision she makes.  Wealthy parents who bought her every advantage except for self-preservation, a sordid past of boys with bad intentions, and most importantly– an affinity for assholes with fluffy hair and brooding dispositions.  That is the biggest crack in her windshield-world view, bending and refracting the burning light of my own failures and self-loathing, and illuminating me into something artistic and sparkling.  This is going to end in flames, but it’ll probably be fun most of the way down.

I’ve always wanted to use this picture in a post.

And in a way, we fit.  Me trying to wrench back the hands of time to ten years ago, and her trying to grown up enough to match my stride.  I get a snap chat.  I Learn what “bae” and “fleck” means.  I use them in conversations, sparingly.  I keep hoping her youth is going to rub off on me like two crayons banging relentlessly in a pencil case tossed down a flight of stairs.  It wasn’t too long ago she was toting a lunch box and clutching crayons in her tiny fist.   I push the thought from my mind.

She wants to play backgammon at all hours of the night, until I’m burned and chaffed.  I wake up and she’s already started a game with my unconscious-petrification.  While driving, while hiking, while she’s on the phone with her parents.  It reaches the point that I’m dehydrated from match after match, where the sparks that usually ignite are unable to catch, and all those commercials for little blue pills that I once laughed at, now begin to terrify me as an imminent future.

“…if it lasts for longer than four hours, please seek medical attention.”

I’m startled by the realization, our symmetrical bodies thumping in rhythm is not enough.  I want good conversation.  I want to drink wine at the beach.  I want a future that extends further than class and maybe finals week.  She makes me feel old.  Her problems: parents, friends, school, seem minuscule compared to the ever looming “oh shit what am I doing with my life?”  And I find myself chiding, scolding, and giving advice more than being a partner.  And then it hits me: holy shit I am her surrogate-fill-in for her father.  I am daddy issues banged out with handcuffs and hickeys, and maybe that’s why she really likes spankings.  And I am everything wrong with a lot of things.

But it was fun.  And I’d probably do it all again.

…If I were ten years younger.

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