You’re not a mystery, exactly. Nor enigmatic. It’s just that your hard drive is internal. You have no flashing lights. You look better in pants than you think. You like some of the songs that we like. You like some other songs that we pretend not to like. You don’t even pretend to like Springsteen (what’s the matter with you?) If you follow a sport, it’s probably football. If you have a sin, it’s probably salt, not chocolate.
Daffodils, not roses. You remember which one of us kissed you first; we remember you, too. You think we kissed you, but you kissed us. You cheat as much as we do, which is too bad for us, because we’re more trusting. Your peak, in all things, is forty-four years of age. That’s not to say you weren’t hot when you were younger. You were a knockout at twenty-six. The funny thing about you is, you think you’re hotter now, so you are. However, you give a worse massage than you think you give (don’t get us wrong, we’re not complaining). You’re more patient than we are, but your patience is far from infinite, and your rage, once triggered, runs deeper. You know how to hold a grudge, and yet you’ll stick with us for longer than is sensible for you…
Your hearts beat faster than ours yet you live longer. That doesn’t make any sense. You have better balance, but you can’t hold your breath as long. You were born and you will die with the same forehead.
You’re not that funny. You’d like to go for a drive to Chicago this weekend, but you’ll settle for Kansas City. You like to eat. Fuck it, then. Eat. You look better to us when you drink beer out of a bottle, when you play bass guitar in an otherwise all-male band, when you wear cotton briefs rather than a thong, and when you wear clear nail polish or none at all. You also look awesome in a flannel shirt. Apparently, you look best to us when you look like a man - specifically, a drunk lumberjack with rhythm. That doesn’t make any sense either.
The Catholic schoolgirl thing is hard to explain but, absolutely, yes.
You first broke a boy’s heart in the seventh grade. You probably don’t even know you did it, but you definitely did. You sat in the front of the class, close to Mrs. Murney, and we sneaked sideways glances at you when we went to sharpen our pencils. Then one day we all went on a ski trip, and on the way home you sat beside us on the bus, and you put your head on our shoulder and we thought we had a chance, but you were just tired from skiing. You looked cute in a stocking cap…
You’re nicer to us than we are to you. But we’re nicer people.
You’ll still catch yourself wondering what your life would have been like with him long after we’ve forgotten about her. You hope it will be something quiet and minor and peaceful and slow, too. You’ll miss us when we’re gone, but not as much as we would miss you. Maybe that’s why we die first. Your hearts beat faster, but they have less blood to push.
If I’m taking a shower at yours, stack fresh towels. Thick and white and fluffy. More than I’ll need. A toothbrush. Conditioner. You know that awesome serendipity when you descend into a friend’s basement to watch a game and he’s got the scene set - hot wings, cold beer within arm’s reach, a video console set up for half-time? That’s how I want to feel in your bathroom. Body scrub. New razor. Holy shit, a loofah!
Kiss me for longer than you can handle, even when you know that more is on the way. Openmouthed, and bench the tongue. Urgent but not desperate. Your arms are tight around my back and waist, and they stay there.
Don’t shave for three days, and then…
Kiss my neck.
Smell like something all the time. Choose a small world and invoke it. Maine, a forest. The wet end of August. It’s warm and damp, you’re felling trees in a flannel shirt. Moss and sweat and hard-won timber. Try Kiehl’s Original Musk Blend No.1 so I can wear it when you’re not around.
Now kiss my neck again.
Hold me like nothing can slither between us, but so I can detach if I want to. The key is in the grip - encompassing but not fierce. One arm around my waist and the other across my shoulders.
Hands are Goldilocks dilemna. They shouldn’t be as soft as mine, but they shouldn’t catch skin either. If they’re oyster-shucking rough, use a drugstore lotion. If they’re too soft, build me a desk from raw wood.
Where is the feminine equivalent? Maybe I read this magazine because I like to fantasize about the men who do the same. Whatever the reason, the writing is superior in wit, style, and prose to any women’s publication.
Two of my favorite excerpts follow: How to Feel Good to a Woman and Women, You’re Hard to Get to Know. The first of which I found in my sketchbook, while the latter required extensive archive searching.