Oh, to be in bed with someone new! The curiosity, the suspense, the surprise and the delight. The way his mannerisms translate now that neither of you have any clothes on. Because you just knew when you saw him walk like that or laugh like that or smile askew at you like that—you just knew he'd be fun, and you were right.
And the fun is so particular! Each fuck is a sparkling discovery: of tics and looks and laughs transformed, familiar but strange. The transformation of voices is especially acute. Once you've heard someone's sex-voice, they never sound the same. FOUR had such a lovely voice, with rounded words, like intricate hollow objects, or piping with water trickling through. And TWO had a toy box voice, a pop-goes-the-weasel voice, with all sorts of crackling surprises that made me blush and demur and look on in awe.
This is what gives me the most pleasure: to experience someone in all their specificity. Everyone's styles so deliciously different: I didn't know that a person could be like that! And their being constitutes a whole new take on life, a whole new life.
* * *
As a kid, when something funny made me burst into hysterics, it was always followed by a shot of panic: what if that's the last funny thing that happens, ever? What if nothing makes me laugh this hard again?
When I got a little older, the end of a sexual relationship left me with the same fear: what if I never have sex with anyone new? What if there's only a finite amount of newness in the world? Pretty soon I'll have discovered it all and be bored.
It's similar to a feeling I used to get lying awake in bed at night, paralyzed by the newfound realization of my mortality: I am finite. The things of this world are finite. Laughter and sex do not go on forever. Everything ends in death: the ultimate boredom.
* * *
Boredom, like death, can strike when you least expect it. I hardly knew FOUR when we began sleeping together—a first for me that should have guaranteed an endless stream of surprise and discovery. And it did, mostly. But sometimes I would catch a glance of something in his face that I recognized; it was the same face I first saw in ONE, and later recognized in TWO. A familiar something, neither attractive nor repulsive, but shocking for its banality.
Seeing this face obliterates my fixation on all those unique little features and mannerisms. You're nothing special, I think to myself. Seen you before, ages ago, a hundred times.