“God damn it. Do you feel this?”

I’m on the phone with her and growing more and more frustrated. Energy is burning deep inside me. I stare at my bare feet while I pace the floor. Cold kitchen tiles under my hot feet; the oak planks and a small, nubby carpet in the living room. There are gaps in the hardwood. Here and there a small nail head sticks up too far. “Ouch,” I yell out. The pain in my foot feels good to me. It’s something alive and fierce. I need it. We’re not arguing but both of us are feeling ornery and mean. What started out as playful is souring. We hang up in a rush.

When I need her, sometimes, it’s immediate. I’m like a junkie scratching at my arm trying to figure out how to get it right now. I need my fix. Fuck. This is fire. It’s a need straining in my veins. It pulls me. I feel out of control and crazed. What I would do for her. It’s unsafe. Breathe. This is not right.

I go for a walk. I come home to a repetitive task. I’ll restring my guitar. It relaxes me. The strings make twangy, weird sounds coming off and going on. When I’m done, I play. The new strings always sound so bright and crisp. I get lost for a few hours this way. Calm.

No one wants to be someone else’s drug. Not really. It feels too shaky even when it feels so good. I don’t want to need her that way, not in that unhealthy way. We both need space to breathe. What’s hot is knowing that this lives under our skin. This intensity that needs to be controlled. It’s always there like a sleeping beast.

I get jealous. She does too. I like that. We admit it and then tame it. I want to hear about the rush she felt talking to a hot dyke she met last night. She tells me about the tattoos and how she asked her to roll up her sleeves. She tells me about the muscled arms and how she stared. Fuck. I feel it burn, but I want to hear more. It’s hot. She’s telling me because it’s hot and we share these things. We use it.

“Tell me,” I said to her on the phone, “Tell me and touch yourself.” She laughed at me, “Maybe.” I could hear it in her voice. She was remembering this woman and also imagining it playing out. She was turned on by telling me and sensing my jealousy. I love it, but it works me up into a lather. And I can’t stand it; not over the phone. “I need to see you,” I hiss at her through my grinding teeth. My jaw is clenched, my fist is balled up, “I need you.”

I’ll see her later. Sometimes she can stay the whole weekend. I sweep the floor and clean the apartment before she arrives. Little tasks help me. I can focus on something, anything but her. She is on her way soon.

Here. When she’s here I can slow down my thoughts. “Tell me what you liked about her,” I whisper, “Tell me what you wanted to do to her; what you wanted her to do to you.” I suck on her neck while she talks. “I wanted to see her naked and slicked with oil. I wanted to see her sinewy muscles rippling. I wanted to tie her to a post and walk around her.”

I don’t even know what the fuck she says. It drives me crazy. I imagine someone else’s hands all over her. It makes me suck harder on her neck. I dig my fingers into her skin. She likes the urgency of it. She talks more. She makes it up, or not. And we go rushing headlong into it. Twist the knife in me. Make it hurt. Oh my god, it makes me burn. It lights me up inside and out. We use it. We do.

She knows the more I burn, the harder I’ll fuck her. The harder I fuck her the longer she lasts. She keeps talking until I have one hand on her throat, the other hand pushing its way into her pants. And she keeps talking. The button at her waist pops off. The zipper digs into the back of my hand. It fucking hurts. All of it hurts. Hearing her words hurts me but I can stay with her. I can feel that hurt and go deeper down underneath it. I can find what fuels it, my desire for her.

At some point she stops talking. I never hear the last few sentences. I only notice at some point that all I can hear is our breath and the noises we’re making. I’m pinning her against the wall. Her tongue fills my mouth and my fingers are jamming into her. My elbow is bent and I fuck her like a boxer pummeling his opponent. My thumb rests against her throat while we kiss. She holds herself straight, pressed against the wall while I curve in front of her. I feel like a monster attacking her.

She’s quiet until it climbs up inside her and in the softest whisper she begins to call out, “Yes.” She’s not talking to me. I know this. She’s talking to her body. I’m just helping her hear its call. But it’s me that helps her. I know it’s me. We use all this. We do. And it burns hot.

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