>“all these people drinking lover’s spit.
they sit around and clean their face with it“
-broken social scene
i am asleep when joe knocks on my door in bratislava.
i remember wedging my hands between my thighs to keep warm before i slipped into unconsciousness, knees tucked up to my chest, hair splayed across my pillow in a starburst. joe crawls in. my dorm mate begins to feel awkward and leaves the room.
so i slide down the length of joe’s body and open my mouth.
some things are better said with the computer off.
later we go to dinner, dan, joe and i. no easy feat with my picky vegetarian-ness. over spinach-stuffed chickens, creamy pennes, and thick steaks washed down with tall slovakian beers, the night reveals itself without a mask. a cronner across the way belts out in a scratchy voice western ballads that joe and johnny play on their guitars. the patio fills and the men on the streets ogle me, pretending they don’t see joe’s hand nestled in my lap.
some days you need a little ogling, some days you don’t.
i think about fabio, antonio, and joseph, the three italian men who took me out for massive pina coladas and clubbing the night before. how they were giddy and charming and didn’t mind holding their gaze on me a little longer than usual. how antonio suggested i sleep in their hostel dorm room that night. how i still don’t feel guilty for unabashedly laughing and snorting in his face.
joe, dan, and i slip across the street to the scratchy-voiced crooner, and sing along to robbie wiliams, oasis, the beatles . . . dan and joe work their way up to 69 drinks, unfortunately with mojitos. i giggle through a lumped gut. my old stomach problems jump through my throat. i make a mental note to hurl once we return to the hostel.
aren’t i just so sexy?
joe has told his mother about me. she was none too impressed.
retracing our steps through the small city, dan walks a bit ahead of joe and i, oblivious. joe takes my hand.
that’s not a gun in his pocket. that’s my fist.
i hurl once we return to the hostel. i feel like someone has just taken a knife and scraped out the inside of my heart, until it is seething rigid, red, and raw to the touch. my body is emptied, and so am i. hot tears fall from my eyes like stones, my chin on the cold porcelain bowl.
suck it up, suck it up, suck it up.
get a hold of yourself, moron.
quickly brush my teeth and gargle before returning to joe and dan. things i can’t even admit to myself.
say goodnight to dan (will i ever see him again?), joe creeps up to my dorm room, where the ladies are asleep. quiet quiet quiet.
the plan was to just SLEEP together, to lie in a small warm bed, skin against skin. one breath infused from the exhale of another. things rarely go to plan.
hands fumble in the darkness. quiet or they’ll hear. lips travel across skin. shhhh. legs intertwined, fingers, body parts. falling out of clothing.
we sleep in sessions. an old church bell in the distance rings out every 15 minutes.
ding. quarter past.
dong. half past.
ding. quarter to it.
dong. the hour itself.
this is repeated 9 times throughout the night, i count as i sleep, joe’s lip on my back and neck.
i am wrapped up in something, but it’s not joe. it’s not me.
his fingers find what others in my past have not.
morning comes and my dorm mates slowly file out one by one, shooting me dirty looks. they heard us, it would seem.
i giggle into joe’s ear.
“squeeze me” i tell him. i think my ribs will break, keep squeezing, harder, until i can’t breathe. wrench it out. exhale, don’t inhale.
we whisper more things to each other in early morning glows. real time again. and i have a train to munich to catch.
we eat grapefruit’s and oranges for breakfast. i peel mine slowly. membrane by membrane.
say a drawn out goodbye, hop in a cab, don’t look back.
two weeks and til paris.
on the train to munich, there’s a brief stop in vienna.
i look at the date.
august 7th . . . exactly one year to the day since i arrived in vienna last year. i know gizmo is somewhere in the metropolis just beyond wien westbanhof, but i don’t care to look.
arrive in munich, and i get an email from jan, the owner of the hostel i stayed at in london. i slap the keyboard, laugh laugh laugh, life is absurd and unpredictable.
to the right of this blog it says “as long as i got a face, you got a place to sit.”
but right now, i have nothing to sit on.