Your mouth tastes like Marlboros and Miller Lite. It shouldn't taste good, but it does. It's what I wanted for a long time - that taste. Your eager tongue is pressing into mine, your strong hips pushed up against my bony ones. I feel the sharp edges of my pelvic bones jutting out and for a split second I worry about them. Twenty-five years old and yet I am all girl. My breasts are so tiny you can barely cup them in your hand. I don't know what the hell I am doing with this dark groping in the night. It is 2 am. I am a girl playing at being a woman. I feel your hand tugging at the waistband of my underwear. I grab it.
You sigh because you don't want to. I feel the hotness of your breath, the drunk air it has created. My head is thick with a strange mix of desire and dread. No, I want to. I know about this and that it is going to happen.
I saw it in dreams and in girlish fantasies. It played out on the community college stage during our run of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", the push and pull of that dance. You were R.P. McMurphy in your mental patient scrubs. I was Nurse Flynn in my bleached white uniform, my hair clipped in a tight bun. I sat at my perch on the stage, a necessary backdrop. I was constantly on-stage, in character, in my little private box. I watched you at your craft. That is who you became: R. P. McMurphy. And I fell in love with him. And when you walked behind set and became Michael again - then I fell in love with you. I tried to stay in character while you mouthed words at me with that obscene mouth of yours, leaning against a wooden beam backstage, while the play went on in front of me.
"I'm going to fuck you."
"You are so hot."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was a sort of music. And for the first time in my life, something a man said to me made me wet. Whatever it was, it was new to me. I mean that kind of want, that kind of aching, maddening desire. I had never known it before, not with anyone. Not with my boyfriend who I dated for 5 long and chaste years. Our gropings in the front seat of his car after long days at Bible study were far from passionate. That wasn't about lust. That was me bucking up against religion. That was me flirting with fornication. That was me giving him a hand job and hoping he liked it. I wasn't even there. The invisible girl. And then what happens next is you actually try to become invisible. You fall away into your own body. Because you can only blame religion for so long. Eventually, you need a shiny new reason, something entirely new to hang your virginity on.
It was a perfect excuse. Because when you are anorexic all your work, all your energy, goes into keeping things out of your body. That is the focus of your life: Deflection. I mean if I couldn't open up my body to the experience of a cinnamon roll, I certainly couldn't open it for a man either.
Emerging from that abyss was painful but rewarding. I felt raw, newly hatched. Once I started in recovery, everything about the world changed, or at least my perception of it. And you were the first thing I saw. The charismatic, jock turned brilliant actor that people either exquisitely loved or exquisitely hated. You were the guy that was perpetually late and ever essential. Nothing worked without you; Not rehearsal, not beers afterward, not drunken closing night debauchery. You were the guy who knew every single word to Under the Sea and would sing it with abandon. You were the guy who read books like White Oleander and wrote poetry on the sly. You were the guy who insisted, with all seriousness, that Short Circuit 2 was the most critically overlooked movie of the 20th century. You were the guy that all the girls wanted to fuck and hated themselves for it.
I knew you would never belong to me. You loved Dana, the prima ballerina who wouldn't put out. But I closed the lid on the jewelry box and she was gone. It was someone else's turn to disappear. I knew that your hands were daggers. I knew that your arc was sharp and that everything about your game was a lie. I didn't care. I wanted that hurt. I didn't need my first time to be tender. I needed it to be wrong, dirty, harsh. I wanted you to corner me with lips, jagged and sexual. I wanted so desperately to undo the past 25 years of chastity with something wicked. Anything soft would have been too much to bear.
"Stop." My hand on your hand, poised at my hip. You don't want to stop, but you do anyway. There's a gross part of me that wants you to keep going despite my protests. The dirty parts of me hidden for years under bibles and bones are afraid of what's between your legs, of what's between my legs, of what has to happen here, now in my childhood twin bed. I feel like a child in this bed; 88 pounds of nothing, 25 years of nothing.
"Are you okay?" you whisper. Your voice is hoarse from a long night of cigarettes and beer. "You don't have to...do this. I mean, it's ok. If you don't want to..."
"I want to." I pull your face to mine. Marlboros and Miller Lite. The weight of you against the feather of my body.
"You are so tiny...so fucking tiny." You go into your own little world.
You like my bones. You play the piano of my ribcage, you gnaw at my collarbone, flip me on my stomach and run your rough finger down the divide of my back, hitting each ridge along the way. Maybe you are closing your eyes and pretending I am Dana, but I don't care. I am not invisible; not to myself. Not anymore. You put me on my back again. You are rough and strong. You aren't afraid of what you are, of what has to happen now.
I feel you push against me, hard as a boulder. I open to it. Finally.
"Please. Oh please."
And when it happens, it feels like forever. Like this moment of time is caught on a loop. I wince from the pain of breaking. Then, I change my mind.
"Stop. It hurts. I want to stop." I am embarrassed by my little girl tears.
But it's too late. You are already there. "Gwen, just breathe. I'll stop if you want, but just listen to me. Ok? You're ok. You're a woman. You can do this."
I nod my head in consent. It's time. I'm a woman. I'm a woman. I can do this. And I do.
7 hours ago