"No," I said, "I don't like the breast you made and I don't want to be a part of it. That's my decision and as my friend you must respect it." I thought that sounded pretty fine.
"But you don't even have to come over," he argued. "You can just pant and moan into the telephone. It'll take five minutes!" I could imagine him on the other end of the line.
"I said no."
"I can't believe you won't spare five minutes on the phone for a friend," he complained. "I know?you're one of those anti-tit women. I bet you were never breast-fed."
I was not breast-fed. I grew up in an incubator.
Something else happened today. My husband told me he wants a divorce. We have a small child. There have been problems for a long time. But lately, he's discovered a new group. We'll call them his s&m playmates. And now he really wants to be free. "Even if you have to go back to Canada," he says, "to make ends meet?and I don't get to see her [our daughter] as frequently?I don't care. I'll give you $500 a month to be rid of you. It won't be easy, I'll have to move from here," meaning the loft/photo studio he pays $3300 per month for, "into a two-bedroom for $2200 or so. I also have to get my teeth fixed"?he's English?"and that's going to cost $18,000 at $500 per month."
The bad teeth and the morbid halitosis that poisoned the air in our bedroom are suddenly worth fixing. At $500 a month, same rate as the ex and child.
I count my remaining male friends, noting that all three of them blanch with desire at the sight of a fishnet stocking. So I cut 2-by-2-inch squares from a pair, careful to include a little bit of the seam in the center of each. Anonymously, I'll mail a sample to each of them?in standard business envelopes, no return address. I'll never hear from any of them again. From time to time though, I'll think of them, emaciated, dehydrated, fixated on those little squares.
It's hard to deal with the whole thing?everything you see, everything you don't see. Easier to cut them up in pieces. That's what makes the pupils dilate. Only so much can be contained in the pupil. Littler pieces?thigh, bicep, breast, foot, the dimples on either side of the base of the spine. Better yet, bind and cover. Shroud them in bits of things?controllable, inanimate things?stockings with seams, garters, a leather buckle, a rubber re-breather, a shoe. Focus in now?a heel.
Little parcels of money and time and sex. Walking your child to preschool and home again.
At one time I was a leg woman. I began as a leg teenager. Pretty picky?Nureyev and Baryshnikov were the ones. I pinned pictures of them torn from magazines above my bed. Normal adolescent girl. Pinup legs. Four gay extensions. I've been making similarly unsuitable choices since. Two of the four men I've had sex with since the age of 17 had those kind of legs?strong, muscular, visually perfect from every angle. Both were assholes. And I am cured. My husband has those kind of legs. And I am cured.
Now the voice of the one I have in mind is deafening, the musings of a writer maybe?who could be cruel and vulgar and heartsick, but isn't. He knows how to take a mouthful of my breast and massage it against his palate. I have no way of knowing what he thinks, nor do I pretend to know what he is going to say before he says it.