he wasn't sure how long she had been gone. as it was, he was a pretty heavy sleeper, and after the night they had had, he would've snoozed through a trainwreck.
his head hurt quite a bit as the insistant alarm went off. though the sheets were still rumpled and warm where she had lain, he had the distinct feeling she hadn't been in bed for a few hours. the dust-free rectangle in the hall closet (the only one in the apartment large enough to accomodate their bigger items) made it fairly clear that she wasn't coming back for some time. if ever.
such a strange thing. where had she gone? why? had she been angry? or was she crying as she hailed a taxi?
he had the distinct feeling he would never see her again.
which made last night even more incongruous. in the three years that they had been together, they had never had a night like the last.
she had had dinner ready when he arrived from work. wine chilled, candles lit. he stayed in his shirt and tie, but with the collar undone and sleeves rolled up and his braces down, because he knew she thought that was hot. she was wearing a slinky black evening dress, but without stockings or heels, as if she had just cast them off after having come in from a night on the town. she was also not wearing any panties he guessed, and later confirmed.
they had both had uncountable glasses of wine. they had flirted and teased at the table, the couch, the hallway, the bedroom.
and things got hazy somewhere in there. she had goaded him into pushing her against the wall, with her back to him. her dress shoved up, his tie askew. bites, slaps. grunts, pants.
her absence sucked the life out of the apartment. the ache in his skull, combined with an immediate and malingering malaise caused him to call in sick to work. he had several days coming, why shouldn't he? but maybe if he had played hooky a few more times with her they would be enjoying breakfast together now, naked...?
he had called her names: whore
. she had been like a wild animal at each one. shouted out things he had never heard her say, how good his cock felt, how much she needed him to fuck her hard.
had she known? were her things already packed, discreetly tucked away in the spare bedroom (hardly more than a closet), noticeable if only her sleight-of-hand sex hadn't ensured he would be looking elsewhere?
he didn't bother dressing, but rather, wandered from room to room like a ghost haunting his own living space. touching this, adjusting that. everything somehow tied to her, and exacerbating her absence.
bites on shoulders, his handprints in red across the softness of her bum, one pillow still crushed into a corner of the room where it had been violently exiled as they both grappled for a better purchase on the increasingly slippery mattress.
his wanderings brought him back to the room. it smelled faintly of her perfume, sweat, and their comingled excretions. he became increasingly aware of her taste on his lips, her smell on his face, chest, and genitals. he wanted to bask in that smell, savor each leftover bit of flavor.
he suddenly felt extremely exhausted, and stretched out across the sheets, hugging her pillow against him, falling to sleep inhaling the remaining reminders of their aggressive fucking (because what else could he call it?) and hoping for the phone to ring.
he awoke several hours later to an empty silence. the scents that had soothed him to sleep had gone sour. the bedroom had grown rank with last night's exertions and the morning's vacuousness.
he groaned and pulled himself upright. he felt crusty, caked in dry flakes of spent lust and unanswered questions. he showered, the scalding water removing the residue of the night before, but conjuring up each detailed memory of its happenings.
she had offered herself to him like she never had before, making nothing taboo. and he had not hesitated an instant before accepting, and aggressively exploring the boundaries. he wondered if someone else might have introduced her to this side of herself, provided her with a treasure map to unlocking this chest of hidden wonders that she had only shared with him this one time. he wondered if she was with this person even now, begging to be taken as forcibly (more?) as she had begged him to take her last night.
he slipped on boxers, and stripped the bed to the mattress, dragging the eviscerated bedclothes to the laundry room like a dead body. he cursed the small washer, forced to leave some of the sheets in the hall to spread the achingly rancid smell of their one-time love throughout the apartment.
he busied himself cleaning the kitchen. tossing out melted candles, empty wine bottles, leftover pasta primavera. rinsing the plates and silverware before putting them in the dishwasher, lingering one moment too long over wiping off her red lipstick from the rim of her glass.
as time passed, he erased the traces of their last night, and at the same time, her presence in the apartment.
when he was done, he sat in his favorite chair with a beer, lit a cigarette (she would have told him to get out on the balcony), and stared at the ceiling in the encroaching twilight.
there was no puzzling it out. it would never make sense. at this juncture, even if she was to call and explain her reasons, and even if they might be as simple as "i don't love you anymore" and "i have found another" he would still be sitting in the dark considering the textured roof and the dirt in his navel.
he would never understand.
Labels: fiction can be fun, love and lust, pensive