construit par des femmes

There are three things I remember best about her: her car (an Eclipse coupe), her perfume (floral), and her sweater (soft).

I was fifteen and she was probably twenty-five or so. We flirted on a local BBS (this was before the 'net was around in any public capacity); the majority of our talks took place during the summer, while she was at work. Those few moments when she would log in from home were precious, as it meant she was more free in action and language.

I remember our first meeting. My first real date. I managed to convince my parents that she was just an older friend of mine with whom I chatted with on-line. Looking back, it seems incredulous that they allowed me out on a school night to see a movie with an older woman. But I was stubborn.

I remember the way she smelled, of flowers, a scent I would come to associate with soft femininity. She drove me to the movie, Dead Again (my first rated R movie – my parents were quite strict about what I was allowed to see), and we chatted. I was unsure of myself, back then; I didn't even have the courage to steal a kiss. 

As a teenager, I was quite the deviant; between the years of fourteen and twenty, I had affairs with a number of women, most at least ten or more years older then I. The majority of these affairs never left written seduction. A small number transitioned into spoken passion. And a few – a small few – became flesh. I was a shy adolescent, despite my bold words and curious nature. Most in-person encounters were limited to a kiss, or a furtive touch.

Those years taught me what women wanted; what *I* wanted.

There was Heather, the girl who was actually envious of my poetry, which came as quite a surprise as I thought my writing would never approach the skill of her own. She joined the army and wrote me from boot camp, attaching photocopied short stories and poetry by Frost.

And Elgato, who used a Spanish handle but who spoke in a heavy German accent; her real name was Ursula, and she thought the idea of computer sex was absurd – and yet, she always wanted to chat with me, knowing what I wanted. It took me eight months to seduce her.

The opera singer, Natalie, who was having a tumultuous affair with her conductor – and who had the dirtiest mind of anyone I had met in my sixteen years up to that point.

Rebecca, to whom I wrote fairy tales; I met her only once, and we spent the day in the large yard at my grandmother's house. We kissed. When it turned dark, and she had to leave, we stood and I accidentally broke her glasses; in our teenage fumbling, they had found their way under my feet.

Through these women, I came to understand the beautiful weakness of a moment where nothing else matters but desire. I hunted for these moments. Lived for them.

I thought this knowledge, those moments, would be enough; I thought knew what would make me happy.

And then I met NE.

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