I never passed gas in her arms. We were hardly 23 and her brown hair was thick ribbons. She was walking away. The second time I saw her, weeks later, she passed by the house where I worked. She had just started at the group home, and a boy next to me said, “I heard she looks like the Tomb Raider girl.” Just finished with four years of volleyball at a private school in Iowa, my Lara Croft found herself in rural Nebraska. God was in charge of our lives. When we first talked, in a field of grass, He laughed in the heavens as she and I laughed. It was easy to smile in her presence. I saw her adjusting her watch that day, perhaps counting the seconds until she could pass gas with the one He sent to earth for her. Still, though I knew God did not will it, I prayed for us to pass gas in each other’s arms. Hers, I dreamed, would be like after a fresh rain.
I never passed gas in that tiny room. We hardly knew one another, but I thought from the first moment I saw her on MySpace I’d be passing gas in her general areas for the rest of my life. Her earthiness, I think, is what made me believe, the way she worked with clay and dirtied her hands, that she’d spent years smoking a plant that smelled of skunks. When we hugged in the airport, the way she squeezed me, it was like she wanted to squeeze out all my secrets. All my gas too, the air I never let go for anyone else. But she never did. Not after I went to her place and we kissed and touched as we listened to Juana Molina with the Christmas lights strung around her closet of a living room and she sat on my lap and parted her silk robe after the shower where she showed me how to use the detachable head on her, and the next days after, after meeting her family at home and her brothers and sisters in Christ at church, and even after I missed my plane and came back to work for a day at the organic grocery store her family owned in Birmingham. We were like husband and wife that day, but I didn’t pass gas. I held it in since I’d been hurt before, always giving away my gas too early. I held it in still as I got off the plane in South Dakota and still the next day when she texted me to say it wasn’t right what we’d done, not Godly. I was not the spiritual leader she needed, she said. But I could’ve been. I’d have memorized verses and led others to Christ and gone on missions to Haiti. I could have passed my gas with her. It would have been so sweet.
I held in my gas as hers grazed by me. In response to my withholding she bottled hers up, kept it stored away. So I wanted it – you always want the gas you can’t have – and I let out all of mine. But she was, by then, too far away to notice. We met in Seattle. She was young, so I didn’t think my gas was right for her. She had curly hair and such a good nature, engaging and interesting and the center of attention at every gathering. And not because she sprayed her gas for everyone, but because everyone gravitated toward her puffs naturally. How could they not? Hers was like the air gently flowing through the prairie grass of where she was born. She wanted my gas, but I wouldn’t give it to her. Why, why, I don’t know. I loved her body, its long lean softness. Her butt was round and her tits were small and perfect and the way she laughed, it was like passing gas itself, the bells of freedom and happiness. I want to hear it everyday. I wanted us to pass gas when we were old and gray, when we could no longer control our gas. But I ruined that. I ruin everything. My God, my gas.
I didn’t have more than a moment to share my gas with her. We would’ve had time only for a small leaking. Though it pains me, and not where I pass gas but in my heart, to admit she was as right for my gas as anyone. She went to the most expensive school in Minnesota and was the only one I met online who I wanted to take home to my parents to show where I first passed gas. I don’t think of her like I do the other three, but for a time my stomach ballooned with the hope that she would want me to pass gas with her. She was young and charming and funny and attractive and fit and bound for all the success in life, for all the gas. But there she was, hardly 23. It’d been almost ten years since I met the first and I’d forgotten how easy it is, at that age, to meet another you want to pass gas with. She was just so beautiful with her dark hair, like waves of an ocean of oil, as toxic too. My gas would have would exploded, if left to seep in the flammable cracks of her presence too long.
So it must be good I never passed gas with her. It must be. Though I’m lying when I say all this. I never hold it in, no matter how hard I try. I always pass my gas, and maybe you always knew.