I’m having an affair with a married woman. I should feel bad about this relationship, but I don’t feel anything about it really. Like most (if not all) relationships it’ll change. The sex will go away. We won’t go out to breakfast. We’ll stop liking each other’s statuses on social media. Our overpriced phones will break, and we’ll lose each other’s numbers.
So why keep doing it? What is there to gain from these mediocre sexual encounters in which I don’t even get off? Well, I suppose I’ve always been an olfactory person. I can smell her on my fingers even after she’s been gone for a few hours. Even after I shower. It’s faint…Maybe it is imaginary. I don’t really care. It makes me remember. Like when I smell a familiar perfume on a stranger. At first, I don’t think anything, I just remember the loved one that the scent recalls. Then I’m unreasonably angry. My mind says, “How dare you? I was promised someone I love and you’re just some fucker buying canned fruit in a poorly lit grocery store. Fuck off with your del Monte.”
Sure, pussy on my hand compares to some asshole taking up an entire aisle at the grocery store with their wall of misleading scent. Initially, the smell of my hand, of her, calls to mind how deep she allowed me inside of her and the breadth of her happy sounds as I freely moved around. Images of her gaping mouth as her back arches flash behind my cigarette as I drive home from the grocery store. I remember the feel of her fingers in the night digging into the back of my scalp guiding my tongue to her desired destinations until she’s ready to let go and get off as her strong, thick thighs tighten around my ears. But then I open my eyes as the sunlight peeps through the curtains. She has to call her husband. I don’t get jealous when she talks about how appreciative she is that he and his friends fixed the shower head they broke yesterday as we sit down to breakfast. I won’t think of her when I lay down to watch porn by myself later that night, but she goes to wash her hands before we eat. I don’t.
I have a large nose. For a long time I hated it. Lovers, back when I would have a number of lovers at any given time, would often comment that it was a “strong Roman nose” (whatever that means) or say that its distinction instantly attracted them to me. Despite the fact that I am partially Italian/Maltese this schnoz isn’t genetic. My stepdad’s favorite thing to do to me when I was a child (maybe until I was nine or ten) was to pull me off the couch when we were watching TV. He’d start wrestling me. By “wrestling” I mean that he pressed my face to the floor and rode my backside. I used to ask him to stop, but then he told me that the more I said “No” and “Stop” the more he wanted to do it, so it was my own fault that he didn’t stop. We didn’t have flooring. We had a thin layer of wood about a foot above dirt and opossums that had nails sticking up so we couldn’t really walk around the house barefoot. Yes. My biological mother sat there and watched. In my memories, when I go to look at her and scream for her, she’s wearing reading glasses with a heavy glare on them so I can’t tell if her eyes are open or not. My birth mother never wore glasses. I remember popping sounds and smelling blood.
Eventually, you have to own things. By “own” I mean accept it as your own with the understanding that it only belongs to you because you don’t have a choice, or you won’t have a choice when it’s eventually not yours. By “things” I mean someone else’s and/or your own mistake(s). It’s disgusting, but I love my nose now. It’s uncouth, but I’ll keep having sex with this married woman and smelling my fingers. So when I look at you sounding like I’m a goddamn child and innocently say “You smell good” know that I’m trying to make a good memory. I’m just trying to find some way to make you feel like you belong without making you feel like a possession or that there are any expectations…And also, you just smell good.