You fall. You don’t want to. Maybe you don’t even like this person, but you can’t help yourself. You fall for something. You fall for the way they feel on top of you, the way the moon comes in through the drapes, the way it feels to be held after so long of not being touched at all. There is something there that takes you in, that blurs your senses, that heightens your expectations, that makes you want something you were certain you didn’t come for. The feelings come, and you’re not even sure what kind of feelings they are, but you know you can’t get rid of them. A few days later, you’re checking your phone. Maybe not for them, but for someone. You’ve got the itch, and you know what did it.
It’s waking up next to someone and only seeing the outline of them under the sheet, imagining what the rest of them must look like in the broad daylight. It’s being pleasantly surprised or completely disappointed, but spending the rest of the day lingering in a memory of what happened last night. Maybe you didn’t fall for this one, but you fell back into something. And what’s worse, now you want to find the one who really will make you fall. You want to trip headfirst into something and fight to escape it like a pool of sticky molasses.
There’s nothing dirty about it, no, but there is something complicated. There is something which demands more of you, which implicates you, which makes extricating yourself a more involved ordeal than slipping on your tennis shoes and catching the train. Maybe you’ll leave, but part of you will still be there, hiding under the blankets, taking in the smell of the pillow. You’re not sure what you left there, exactly, but you don’t even think you want it back. We leave our fingerprints all over things like a child who denies having stolen the chocolate but whose face is covered in it.
We say “It’s just sex,” but we know that’s bullshit. When it is just sex, it’s a placeholder for something better. It’s an imitation of something, a spoonful of aspartame when we want sugar. When we want it to be something more, it’s a guilty pleasure. It’s something that we take in greedy handfulls because we’re not sure when we’ll get it again.
You fall. There is something that takes you over, something that inhabits you from within. There is the you that exists as an independent entity, and the you who is heavily under the influence of sex. And maybe you are one of the chosen ones who can elude the emotional attachment entirely, who can leave things in a neat, folded pile where you found them when you are done. Maybe slipping out the window is as natural to you as slipping your underwear back on. But there is something there that has given in, something that remembers. Something that realizes the immense honor it is every time someone presents us with their naked, insecure bodies and says, “Take this.” There is a part of you that knows this was special, and a gift, and should not be taken for granted. There is a part of you that is still observing the crack in the ceiling and wondering if they’re ever going to spackle it.
“No,” you think, “They probably won’t fix it. But I shouldn’t bring it up — I don’t really know them, after all.”