It’s a cold January evening and I have been invited over to Matthew’s house to “watch a movie.” Right.
I follow him up the stairs. The smell of cigarettes grows stronger. My heart sinks. This is going from weird-and-interesting to weird-and-bad.
Did I mention I have roommates? he says.
No, I say. No you didn’t.
Then we are all sitting in the living room watching Resident Evil. I don’t watch these kinds of movies and I know why. It’s gross and loud and overstimulating. My discomfort is palpable; poor Matthew tries to put me at ease with small talk and I shut him down. But the stupid TV gives me a chance to give him a hard once-over. He’s cute, no question, well groomed, wiry, broad hands.
I see my chance for escape when the roomies get up for a drink. I ask to go into his room.
Of course, he says, and I follow him into a room the size of a walk-in closet. There’s a futon and a side table and a laundry hamper; his closet is in the living room. There’s a giant stack of condoms on his side table–36 in all. Matthew expects to be busy. His tiny room is neat; his work uniforms hang on the wall.
I kick off my shoes and scoot towards the middle of the futon, legs folded underneath me. He sits too and says something of little or no consequence; actually he could be mapping DNA but I’m busy planning my move, so I’m not really listening. Once he finishes his sentence, I lean over and put my open mouth on his. He smells great (Polo and motor oil, he cracks) and tastes like cigarettes. His lips and tongue are soft and he wields them with care.
He’s inside me fast—not too much foreplay—but it’s fine; I’m ready and I like that he’s the conductor of this fuck train. He wears a gigantic wooden cross, which I help him remove. Afterwards we lie in bed and talk. He’s looking for the whole shebang–wife, kids (six or so), church on Sundays. Not for me, I say. He kisses my ribcage, my navel, my mons pubis. “You’re in for a treat,” he says, moving between my legs. Oh really. Quite an assertion to make before tongue meets vulva for the first time.
But it ain’t bragging if you can back it up.
“What can I say?” I shrugged to my BFF Al later that week. “This was medicinal-grade cunnilingus. He HEALED me.”
My visits develop a rhythm. I go to his house, while his roommates sit on the couch watching TV or blowing shit up on Xbox we’ll fuck two or three times; he’ll lick me until I come and then we’ll sleep entangled in each other. In the morning, we’ll have a quickie; he’ll shower and I’ll take him to work.
And then God reached down from the heavens to fuck up my sex life.
I managed to keep it together when Matthew bailed on our usual Sunday night plans. But when he bailed Tuesday night, the pent-up, backed-up, jacked-up, slow simmer boiled over. Something was up.
He was feeling guilty. Our sex was like spitting in God’s face. (Maybe God is into that?)
There’s no arguing with faith. But I had to say: what about this? What about that God has put me here for you right now? We both know the other isn’t what we want long-term, but for now, we’re lonely, hurting. Maybe God is giving you exactly what you need, someone to nurture you, care for you in the way that you need, in the way that will sustain you?
Doesn’t work. He’s sorry. He’s plaintive. He’s faithful. I tell him I wish him the best.
The next morning I see him in my Facebook feed. I unfriend him.
Look, I text him. I want you to know I think you’re a good guy and I really like you. Admire you. But even if I wanted a relationship…your religion would be a major obstacle.
I think this will help him understand. Instead I get 😦
Awww. Poor twisted-up fellow.
I’m sorry, I say. I was hoping that would make you feel better.
You never know! comes his chirpy response. God works in mysterious ways! And because you’re agnostic, not atheist, that means there’s still hope for you.
Oh no. Look, I say. Can we talk about this in person?
When I get to his house he’s outside, waiting for me. I climb up the stairs behind him. His permanently disgruntled roommate is at the stove, making a cup of of tea. His room is trashed. I step over piles of socks and receipts and curl up with a pillow on the far side of his futon.
He lies down next to me. Oh, this is nice, I think. We can still snuggle. I guess Jesus doesn’t have a problem with that.
I avoid his lips, not wanting to violate any boundaries. Snuggling might be OK with Jesus, but I don’t know how He feels about kissing. But then Matthew finds them. So Jesus is OK with kissing too. Bonus.
Matthew’s hand moves up and down my back, and I feel him zero in on the clasp of my bra. Wait. Jesus might be OK with snuggling and a little light kissing, but I have a feeling the Son of God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace would disapprove of naked titties.
“Don’t tease me,” I whisper.
“Who’s teasing?” he whispers back. “I think we should 69.”
And it’s on. We’re naked, attacking each other. His tongue finds my secret spot and teases it with the gentlest of non-touches; the crest of the wave rolls and rolls with no sight of shore. Oh, God, his roommate, I… I have to scream it out, so I do, over and over again, convulsing, grinding against his face.
I see his face over the curve of my belly, grinning like a fox in a hen house. You’re proud of yourself, aren’t you? I say panting, legs trembling, trying to catch my breath. That you can make me do that.