Fifteen Minutes


Fifteen minutes. You owe me that much. You were drunk and lonely and needed attention. I gave you that. You needed to feel loved. You needed human contact. I gave you those. You needed me to walk you down the block for the memorial. “Here is what I need,” you said. “I need you to walk with me and we’re going to hold hands. I’m in a hand-holding mood,” you said. “You’re not doing it for her. You’re doing it for me.” I gave you that, too.

Now, I need you to give something to me. Just one thing. I need you to listen to me.

The other night…the other night did something for me. You forced yourself inside my head. I’d love for you to stay there. I’d love for you to fill my entire body. I know you’d like that, too; but I also know that would be the end of us. He’ll never let you go.

Think of this as me getting you out of my head. Think of this as me getting you out of my system. Think of this letter as my exorcism.

If you were single and everything else was the same as it is now, we still wouldn’t have a chance. Our age difference would become an issue. It doesn’t matter right now, but in a decade or two, it’ll catch up. Sixteen years is a big difference. You would grow to resent me and you would lament your decision.

You are fantastic with my son. You tickle him. You hold him upside down. You teach him how to whistle with blades of grass. You tell him, “Hard cough. Give me a hard cough,” and then pat him on the back when you hear him wheeze.

You comfort me every other Sunday evening when I take him back to his mother’s and break down in tears on the drive back home. You know how much I love my son and you know how important it is for me to be his dad, not just his father; but you don’t want children. I know you don’t want that responsibility. I get it. I accept that.

You’re country and western. I’m modern rock; and you’ve never heard “Moondance.” You were baptized under one god. I was given refuge with a monk. You feel war has its place. I’m a pacifist. You’re undecided. I’m a populist.

I don’t care, though. I don’t care. You’re good to me. You’re good to my son. You’re good to your friends. You think poachers deserve to be hunted.

We could have an incredible love affair. Maybe it would last just a couple of months. Maybe it would last a year or two. That doesn’t matter. I know we would make each other supremely happy for as long as we could. We already laugh together. We talk Shakespeare, Baudelaire, black milk, and valedictions.  We both still cry every time we read “The Giving Tree.”

We drink together into the moonset long after everyone else has gone home. We cook together. We sit in the dark and talk well past our self-imposed curfew. I lie under my quilts. You lie at the foot of my bed freshly showered wearing gym shorts and a worn out concert t-shirt that belonged to your father.

The other night validated me. You cured me. I’m not talking about the pleasure of what we did. I’m talking about what you said to me and I’m talking about how what we did made me feel.

It’s been so long for me. You said I had my shit together. You said I was a great dad. You said I was just the right skin tone for your liking. You said, “I trust you.”

“I know,” I said.

“No,” you said. “You don’t understand. I trust you. That doesn’t happen. You need to understand that.”

Being with you made me feel like I was still desirable; like I was still attractive; like I was visible. I don’t think you realize what I think about myself when I’m alone. It’s probably the opposite of what you think about me. Being with you that night, though, made me feel like I was special. You are so lovely, so kind. You said it yourself weeks ago: We connect.

We could have something. You could finally teach me how to ride a horse like you’ve been promising. I can show you how to fold the newspaper when you ride the overcrowded N train. You could take me camping and fishing. I could show you why the museum put that painting on that wall at that height in that frame under that light.  We could teach other things. We could share experiences. We could make memories.

And there would be fucking. Lots and lots and lots of fucking. I said you are “so lovely, so kind,” but I left out “delicious.” You are my every woman right now from the thickness of your hair to the taste of your lips, the texture of your skin, the color of your nipples, the coconutty smell of your hood, the shade of your nail polish, the way you scratch just the right amount of blood from my skin, and the way you massage my shoulders with your calf when you’re lying on my couch while I’m sitting between your legs.

You are my fucklust.

You said you trust me and that that doesn’t happen. I trust you, too; and when I trust someone, I give them my entire body. That doesn’t happen. I need you to understand that, but you…you and me could do anything together. We could do everything together. I’d be open, unafraid, and honest. I’d be daring and strong; firm but respectful. You would sate my hunger. I’d be your relentless warrior and archetypal protector. I’d be your every dark kink.

I’d ease deep into your fear. You’d arch up to meet me. I’d lick, nibble, suck, spank, and giggle. You would bite, pull, squeeze, and claw. I would breathe. I would finally breathe and whisper “Never let me go.”

You’d tighten your grip with your legs, wrap your arm around my neck, kiss me, squeeze my throat with your tiny palm and look through my eyes. “Never,” you’d whisper back. “Never.” You would be a well-fucked woman. I would be your well-fucked man. We would change each other.

I’d want this every day.

I don’t need you to say anything. I don’t need you to do anything. I’m not looking for reciprocity. All you need to take away from this is one, very long compliment. I can tell by your smile that you heard me.  I can tell by your smile that you see me.

That’s enough for me.