‘We were smoking all day we walked around the city and I think we ran into your ex…’
– Slayyyter: ‘B.F.F.
She’s always the same: not butch not femme, always brunette. My flings truncated: Jade, Christina, Louisa, Sarah… I’ve left behind a trail of half reciprocation and kept the friendship.
What I’m trying to say is that I reserve my Sapphic actualisations for women I meet on park benches, at garden parties, in throw away darkroom moments. When it’s real love, taking it all the way never seems quite necessary. But the truth is; I’m a coward.
Jennifer: about five feet six, dark bobbed hair, black eyes. Slammed doors and lots of lipstick. Jennifer was in the midst of putting together Jennifer 2.0. It was a new puberty fraught with big shoes and big dreams. She was the first one of my friends to score a ‘big job.’
The new job made her feel excited and mournful, put an undeniable stomp in her step, made her feel like wigging out, wriggling out, doing something crazy.
Jennifer was practising her executive techniques. Sometimes when we met at the cemetery gates she would still be in the middle of an incredibly long important phone call and would barely acknowledge my presence. I found this astonishingly rude, and also exciting.
Yes, we walked in the cemetery. We walked everywhere: under orange street lights, beneath fading cherry blossoms, through Neukölln under silvery broken bus stops.
I remember waiting for her at one such smash-up, peacocking for her benefit in the bits still standing. The rest glittered in shrapnel around my trainers. I was looking at my reflection curling hair around a finger, wanting to see her, want mixed with irritation- the annoyance of knowing I wanted it more than she did, the desire to see her, wanting to see her reflection in my own, wondering what she was wearing, who she was talking to, that well-worn psychic pathway of obsession. Most of all I craved the feeling she gave me that anything was possible, that she was taking me somewhere. I always do best in the passenger seat. She came up behind, I saw her reflection over my shoulder.
“Let’s go over here, let’s go over there,” she herded me with subtle derision. She herded and I followed with a little thrill, a tiny one, not one that needed examination.
And it didn’t harm me, holding back my feelings. Well, not at first. But Jennifer invaded like a creeper, a vine-like seduction of the oldest kind, was impossible to hold back. Was I playing myself?
At first I ignored her phone calls. Had no idea I would soon wait up for them with the undeniable clench of addiction pricking at my guts, pick up my phone again and again to see if she had messaged me with some bull shit at two AM. And she did and I liked it.
She had a velvet (snappier than velvety) texture I wanted closer, quick long hands like a vervet always juggling several ideas at once, magic spheres vanishing and reappearing, each one filled with a charming concept for my inspection, or my own reflection shot back in a flattering way. She knew how to talk it up or crush it.
She had been dating the same guy for a long time, was bored as fuck.
Snapshots and moments of possibility. The idea that maybe if you stopped crashing in the same car crashing in a new model might be new and exciting? I took photos of us walking together, kidded myself.
I was fucking a good friend of mine at this time, an all-round good guy, and you know what happens to them.
“Who is that you are talking to?”
“Oh, just Jennifer.”
“What’s she doing messaging you at 2:46 AM?”
And then he would turn me over and fuck my brains out. You like this guy, he is sexy, smart, good-hearted, but unlike every other prick you’ve fucked has not got you cock-whipped. It is just sex, you both know that. You can see how you went wrong with the others, how little moments you thought meant something meant nothing. You know this because he does the same things as the ones who drove you mad, but because you experience these moments without lust or passion you see how much you filled in the blanks, that what you thought was a sixth season finale was really just a pilot episode. I was grateful to him for the lesson.
Once he was done and asleep, I thought of Jennifer and masturbated silently, came thinking about the three bobby pins holding back the dark coil of hair over her left ear. It was infatuation of the dankest sort.
And my fuckbuddy held my absent form and did not kid me, did not che…