My Girl 

It's 8:00 AM and I can't stop thinking about licking that hairy leg. It was the shuttle to Fulton Avenue yesterday morning; he was tan, probably Jewish, very Berkeley, in Diadora shorts and a shirt with the sleeves cut off. His head was balding but his arms and pits were dense with black hair. His legs were forested as well. In a glaze-eyed daydream I knelt before him and licked the salty, furred skin from shin to hip, gulping in the yeasty musk of soccer and anointing the fatless thighs with thick kisses.

In reality he sat in the center of the car; I sat 6 seats down and across the aisle. He got off at Park Place and we never exchanged so much as an "excuse me."

In a similar glazed state I lie here now, in a double bed in my white walled studio apartment, imagining coarse black hairs lodged in my soft pallet. I've awoken in the gap between the wall and the mattress. The latex paint is sticky with humidity and Liz is open-mouth breathing the sweet rot-stink of last night's beer across my face. We've been together since the November after my graduation from college. She is my first real girlfriend. Before her all of my long-term affairs were with men̵Mark, Stephen, Eddy, Elvis (really, no joke). But Liz changed me̵she made me a drinker of vodka, an optimist and most importantly, a lesbian.

We weathered the winter together, holed up in my tiny, unforgiving apartment. We survived a minor flood, fostered a kitten together until we realized that she was prohibitively allergic. I love Liz, I'm sure I love her, but now in this oppressive summer bedroom I'm repulsed by the thought of kissing her. She turns face-down in the mattress and sleep talks a phrase like a parrot with its tongue cut out and I am overcome with a sense of impending...something.

Kissing, in these eight months, we've done. Reviving her ficus tree we've done, even a couples' backstrap loom class at the Brooklyn textile center we've done, but we haven't consummated. There's never been any sex between us, and it's never really mattered. At least Liz had never mentioned that it mattered. But, suddenly and calamitously, last night it did matter.

We had just returned from the inaugural meeting of Liz's charity arm wrestling league. Although there wasn't any actual arm wrestling at this meeting, by the time Liz and I finished the half hour walk home we were both gamey. She beat me to the bathroom and flipped the tag hanging on the door, signifying that the room had become “private space,” so I stripped down to my underwear, stuck an ice cube under my bun and promptly nodded off on the couch in front of the fan.

Liz shook me awake ten minutes later, red faced and snotty. She raged̵flailing her arms and barking that "something really bad could've happened" and "do I really even want her living with me" and why hadn't I come running when she said “FUCK! OH MY GOD!” in the shower?

Apparently she had been panicking in the bathroom for at least a whole minute. Like, sixty-mississippi. Somehow I was napping so hard I didn't notice.

After I apologized enough to get Liz to calm down, she told me that she was freaking out because she had made a huge fucking mistake. She was doing some pubic landscaping, just taking off a little on the sides and around the top, and she noticed that the borders were uneven. It bothered her so she tried to straighten out, and like a crooked heart cut out of paper for a valentine she kept shaving more off each side to balance. Eventually it was all gone. Bald. A paper-white swath of skin save the angry red razorburn left in her shaver's wake.

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