How To Find Pleasure in Being Alone

Incredibly horny, for lack of birthday sex, I lie on my bed, alone..

Eddie, a dark haired 31-year-old with moody photographs messages me, “sweaty intimacy is good intimacy.”

He is referencing my bio where I state that I am “Into: laughing, dogs, alcohol, bad movies and sweaty exercises in human intimacy. I can cook.”

I tell him, “yeah it’s the best”

In the single week that I have been 30, I have become addicted to slowing everything down.

Slow. Slow slow as if we never knew what time was or as if freezing cold harshness took over our impulses and all we can, all we have ever known to do is stop Stop all things, slow slow slow as if we learn from every instance and we lack in the ability to think beyond momentum.

“Do you have a favourite intimate moment?”

That’s what he asks me.

The tremendously awkward, gentle and simplistic, vulnerable question: “Do you have a favourite intimate moment,” reveals that he is not from my city, a city that can’t think in Moments anymore, a city that swallows Moments, takes too many Moments at a time, doesn’t articulate one Moment from the next.

It is clear, it is so clear, so slowly and stunningly clear that he doesn’t even speak English properly because if he did he would know that a “Moment” isn’t something that is actually practiced.

We don’t take moments literally or seriously.

I may have had a favourite intimate moment. There may be a favourite intimate moment looming from my past, looking back at me and suggesting that I may never have a better intimate moment or better intimate moments but to suggest that I am constantly and consciously conjuring a favourite intimate moment, one for the future, saving it as if it were a favourite, the way I have a favourite kind of cake or dog or song, an intimate position or exercise or even a style, as though moments are those things that we design and wait for as opposed to those things that we are confronted by, he asks, “Do you have a favourite intimate moment?”

I stare at the question.

This isn’t the men I have known, the men who disregard my moments, who disregard my time entirely.

I have only been with men who distance intimacy from momentum.

He is asking me to control this moment. Rare.

“I like when someone is here,” I tell him.

“Where here?”

I don’t want to be specific quickly.

“In my home.”

“In your bed?”

I take until the next day and I tell him, “I am in the kitchen.”

I am naked, wearing a towel, dripping from the shower and sitting on the floor, with my dog, watching a trapeze couple on America’s Got Talent prove themselves.

“Two Truths and a Lie?” He asks me, the message should be blinking because it has the energy of a drunk 11-year- old who might never remember the evening.

I like it. I take an hour to write three distinct messages:

“I write musicals.

I almost failed tenth grade.

I have a stalker.”

He takes a minute.

“You did fine in tenth grade.”

He’s wrong. I was a little shit in tenth grade.

Honestly, though, all of my suggestions are, at least partly, lies.

I am a terrible liar but I am also terrible at telling the truth and so this game doesn’t even suit me and this guy is already all wrong for my life.

I have never succeeded at the arithmetic necessary for human companionship. I do not have the required honesty or falsity. I am just a writer and I like collecting sentences into suggestions sometimes.

“I don’t have a stalker,” I confess to him.

He replies with immediacy:  “Are you sure?”

“I am standing in the kitchen.”

Eddie loves a dirty kitchen.

“Is there food everywhere?” He asks.

I take ten minutes.

“I’ve floured the counters.”

“Are you sweating in the flour?”

“Yeah.”

“Sweaty flour on your buttocks.”

If we were to count the intimate moments in this conversation so far, and there have been many, I would say that this one is my favourite: The one where Eddie decides that we’re naked.

I put on my pink dog print pyjamas and sit back down with my dog.

“All I am doing is hands on your buttocks. And your breathing and your body, I like in the flour.”  His English breaks and it will keep breaking, faster and faster.

“I want to be on the counter with you,” I tell him, staring at my screen wondering if I should try harder to participate honestly but the I can’t help feeling annoyed by his assumptions about intimacy: naked, messy, forceful.

My mistake is to place value on the content of his writing.

The pace and rhythm is much more important.

This is where the moment gets intimate.

When things aren’t personal, momentum contrives intimacy.

Quick to the counter, quick to the  C, quick quick before we remember that flour becomes glue when it’s wet and wet flour in a vagina is probably absolutely infectious but still: Still. In the flour. We forget momentarily.

“I breathe your collarbone.” He types.

How does he know that I have collarbones?

“I breathe your collarbone and your neck sweats and I put lips to sweat.”

His English is cranky. It’s not working. It’s disastrous. It’s cheap. It’s having sex with me.

I am getting sweaty and intimate with his broken English. Quick quick quick, what relief to be a body being taken by the lips of a sweaty cheap English speaking invisible man in a moment of complete disregard for reality or even a complete disregard for charm.

This man is a dream.

Why aren’t I dreaming in perfect English?

Because it takes too much fucking time.

“Alright go ahead and lie to me,” I want him to lie to me.

I interrupt because I did not plan to be turned on tonight.

I don’t like it and I don’t want it. But, here I am.

“What?’

“Your game. Two truths and a lie.”

“Oh right.”

Twenty minutes go by.

A break.

I should get rid of the app. Turn off the phone. Go back to my party for one.

I receive the elongated message: “I once had sex in a bathroom with a couple and the guy just watched his girlfriend and I fuck and it was weird. I recently ate out the ass of a Tinder date. I haven’t come in two weeks.”

Disgust.

It could have been an intimate moment.

It could have been an intimate lie.

Betrayal.

We aren’t intimate. We are just intimately desperate. Momentum has contrived intimacy. Tell me a lie? This is the lie.

“You come all the time. The third one is a lie.”

“Busted.”

My dog rolls on his side. I abandon the phone. I rub the stomach of a friend I will never forget to love.

When alone, sweaty intimate moments almost always happen on the inside.

After many years of practising yoga, I recently learned how to hold everything in, gathering the torso for strength, gathering in the ribs, tucking in the stomach, containing the lungs, the heart, the centre of the human.

I have learned to be inside and it feels strong, intense, beautiful.

I feel beautiful. I feel goddess-like, almost, because my rib cage is contained, my heart is contained, my desires are gathered.

I walk down the street without any alternative needs.

I am intimate. And sweaty. And alone.

Smile.

It may be his English or it may have be his erection but Eddie keeps going, “I eat your sweaty pulse.”

“Ok,” I say, “I think we go to bed now.”

“Do you want to keep going or are you tired now?”

“I think I have to go to bed.”

“Ok, thank you for the fantasy.”

“Yeah thanks”

“I’d like maybe to try in person.”

I don’t know if he means with me or just, in general, that he would like to fuck someone in a kitchen, covered in flour.

I tell him,”Yeah maybe one day.”

“haha perhaps perhaps”

“Where are you from?”

“Mexico.”

“Ah, awesome. Ok. I knew it. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight Rachel.”

Two days later, I haven’t said a thing and he asks how I am doing.

Three days later he asks “so is our speaking done now?”

I never respond.

Forget everything you know about intimacy.

It doesn’t live far away from you.

It isn’t waiting for you, encased in someone else’s body somewhere far away.

Intimacy is knowing the world around you. It’s the silent agreement you make to be a part of this world and to connect as much as possible with whatever it gives you in a day.

If you are seeking, you’re lost.

If you’re lost, you’re not going to run into intimacy.

Intimacy is a closeness we cultivate in ourselves.

Without an intimate relationship to yourself, momentum with a stranger can falsify an intimacy that eclipses their shining wreckage.

I write every day to get closer to myself. I run as fast as I can up and down the street and the I write pages. I am my own best friend. It is bliss.

In times of loneliness and boredom, what practice can you initiate to get closer to yourself and the world around you? Take it really slow. The longer you take, the more you’ll enjoy.