Learn what it is to love to be wrong. Learn to love every moment of it, his fingers splaying your pussy open wide, touching you harder than you usually like, which is now so perfect because it proves that he is new, and his face which is so young and how you almost asked him to leave because you don’t like fucking guys in their twenties and he turns out to be thirty-five.

Learn how to be okay with waiting to meet someone to tell this story to.

Learn to be okay that this story will stay inside your sternum like a yellow daisy you’ve swallowed.

Let the daisy just be fine there. It is happier than it would be if you gave it away.

Learn to love a well-timed blurt. How the two of you false-started small talk in your living room, and that’s when he suddenly said, “I bought an ice shanty!” You loved this moment so much you wanted to set up camp in its exuberance. You play it back more than you play back the sex, his fingers on your clit in circles, small orbit.

Try to forgive yourself for everything about that morning at the laundromat. For looking up into a dirty mirror and seeing your own grimy face. For hating it, for hating your face. For hating that the laundromat did not make you feel more sexy. For prickling at the thought that you owed anybody full-time sex appeal.

That man who called you a prude years ago was old and shriveled. He worked too much on his garden. He made extravagant jokes. He wanted you to do to him things he couldn’t do for himself, he said. Later you made a list of all the things that could be aside from just a blow job. But really you were sure he meant a blow job.

The same day as the laundromat incident, you told this all to a friend over coffee. Together you made a list ranking causes of death from sexiest to “wouldn’t fuck that with somebody else’s dick.” You agreed carbon monoxide was first. It was harder to place “dunked in acid bath after face eaten off by rabid raccoon.”

Later, in the same coffee shop, a man you used to think you loved came in. He was never your lover. He came near you as he was headed to the bathroom, and you covered up the email you were writing to your actual lover: Bend me over and spank me while you flatter the hell out of me. I love to be confused.

You could not have written such a message back when you knew this guy in the coffee shop, your never-was. Back then you didn’t even have a clit. And if you had, and he had ever touched it, he would have given it a dumb and cute nickname, like Minnie Mouse.

You have never wanted anything more than you want transcendence.

You used to think that transcendence was about getting a truly amazing pair blue jeans and now you’re pretty sure you were right. 


About the Author: Erin Lyndal Martin's smiling cynicism hides a childhood past of doing cross-stitch for fun. She has never turned down a chance to get shaved ice, usually strawberry daiquiri flavored. You may find her on twitter at @erinlyndal or check out her art @ themermaidssinging.

Story Song: "Good Person Inside" by Jill Sobule