The Heartbreaking Truth About Casual Sex


I am Thursday. Sometimes I am Wednesday, every other Sunday, occasionally Friday Night. But never Every Day.

Never consistently desired. On the off days my place is taken by another, several others. Names and hair colors and jean sizes and heights and beer preferences and stories unknown. They walk into the same apartment, and the laughter that comes just as easily replaces the faint echo of mine from the night before. They hesitantly, coyly walk into the same bedroom. Tenderly sit on the same bed, still remnants of my perfume, my sweat in the sheets. Does she know what I know? No.

Thursday comes again. I can almost feel the heat from her face as his fingers slide across my cheekbones, down my neck, into my hair. How easily his hands adapt to another shape, another bone structure, another weak mind.

I want him to stop. I don’t want him to stop.

My head is on his bare chest, warm and smooth, and rhythmically rising and falling. Rising and falling. I trace the curves of his abdomen, his ribs, his clavicle. He moans softly and laces his fingers through mine. With his other hand he holds tightly, kisses the top of my head, my forehead, pulls back my hair to tilt my face up to his. He slides his thumb along the line of my jaw, moves his palm to the back of my neck and grips hard, pressing my body against his, bringing his lips to mine. I want him to stop. I don’t want him to stop.

It is slow and quiet. His breath quickens. He bites his lip. He pulls me on top of him, slips his hand under my blouse—the one I picked out knowing he’d love the feeling of the fabric between his fingers. He looks at me. What. Nothing. What. Nothing. I don’t even make him remove it himself: I surrender. My bare pale skin glowing in the reflection of the burning television.

His arms grasp at my body, his back muscles flexing and making me feel small. He slides his hand down my stomach, down my thigh. I squeeze my eyes shut. I don’t want him to stop. I want him to stop.

Everything is quiet, save his heavy breathing and mine. His eyes are closed, as if he’s trying to concentrate. Is it me he sees? Does he see the freckle on my lower back, the scar on my right thigh, the gold in my eyes? Are the individualities and imperfections of my body the ones that run across the black of his eyelids? He says nothing.

He rolls over onto his back. I curl my knees to my chest. He looks to my eyes again, the ones he says are so beautiful in the daylight, yet seems to only see in the darkness. Cups my face in his hand. What. Nothing.

I feel everything and nothing. I pull my clothes back on, feeling vulnerable and ugly without them. My feet and shins and thighs and back and breasts and cheeks and nose and eyes and hair made cheap and useless. I turn away as I pull my shirt over my head, not wanting him to see. We lay there in the darkness, not touching, not facing each other, the intimacy of a half hour past gone. A knock-off intimacy for the sake of my naked body under his.

He is asleep in minutes, but sleep will not come for me. I need to escape. I clamber out of his bed, the zippers of my boots stirring him. I need to get out. He follows me out of the bedroom. Is everything OK? Yes. I lie. I won’t look at him. He grabs me, pulls me close, his arms wrapped tightly around me. He doesn’t let go. I try to stay stiff but can’t help but melt a little into his warm, bare torso.

I don’t want him to stop. I need him to stop.

I try to pull away, but his hand keeps a hold on mine, lingers until I walk too far for him to keep his grasp. He wants me. I think. But the sun is beginning to rise—it’s Friday now. And I’m not Friday.