As I write this, my train from New York to Toronto is chugging along the Erie Canal — a rather prosaic route, unless you happen to be escorted by the emotional baggage that follows a weekend of wild sex with a considerable stranger.
If, like me, that is your situation, then the gushing streams, matchstick forests and unrelenting forward motion of the locomotive quickly become symbolic of your homecoming and of the mayhem trailing behind at 110 miles per hour. (Ah, there is a certain romantic sensibility to train travel, no?)
I’m returning from a 72-hour romp with M (a man with whom I hooked up within eighteen hours of our first encounter this summer) in Syracuse (a choice meeting place for no other reason than the fact that it is a viable halfway-point between his native of Philadelphia and of mine, Toronto).
Would M and I still have the same chemistry, I wondered, and would we be able to keep it up for an entire weekend? Was I hurtling toward a murderer and my own doom? (I later found out that he, like many of his American kin, packs heat.) Did I need to traverse international borders just to get laid? (Between us Droogs, it had been quite some time since yours truly experienced the ol’ in-out, in-out.
Any qualms quickly vanished after M picked me up from the train station and proceeded to speedily (and impressively) reach into his pants and pull it out. We had clocked countless sexts leading up to this moment and evidently he would not be wasting a single second of what precious time we had. I wanted to laugh, but changed my mind partway (the resultant remark sounded something like a distressed seagull). Instead, I went down on him, right then and there in the Amtrak parking lot.
The tone for the next 72 hours had been established — he wanted me to play the role of ornamental pleasure bot, and I would perform the cues and recite the lines accordingly.
For journalistic purposes, the intercourse was uninhibited, kinky and experimental at times, and savage in a way that can only come from being an anonymous, transient woman in a town where no one knows her, accompanied by a man who only knows her in one very specific sense.
All I wanted him to do was worship my body. I wanted to become the object that he and so many other men had labelled me and so many other women. I became an amorphous blob, content to contour myself to the boundaries he traced. I obliged each of his little transactions without reservation. And I was downright smug about it. That’s right — me, a veritable sex goddess! I possessed the boastful arrogance of a drunk.
M is more than a few years my senior and into his thirties now, which is evinced by his aloofness. He regularly prefaces anecdotes with a cool, “Back when I was your age…” M is convinced, or is hoping to convince his audience (me), that he is the wise one, the one in control, the one to please.
As if in reply, I lowered myself onto my knees, in both the physical and figurative sense. Coarse fibers in the worn hotel carpeting left little divots on my kneecaps; a blotchy imprint of a pseudo map that will lead only to treasure or nowhere at all. These were not my knees, I thought.
I might as well have been watching the two of us from a roost outside my body, removed from the stark reality of this watercolour stupor we’d painted for ourselves. From here it was possible to abandon all self-involvement, like spying on your own life through a keyhole in the door.
There is a restorative element — it is nice to escape one’s self every now and then, just so one does not forget.
Or perhaps, simply, my weekend with M was significant only in the immediate — that is, the sum of our kinetic parts. You know, just really wonderful sex — no more than scratching an itch or indulging an appetite. It was a reminder of our mobility, of our mortality, of our sensuality and its fleeting animalistic rawness and impulsivity. We are wild things, after all.
Later, I step onto the platform at Union Station and un-tuck stray hairs from my turtleneck as a rail worker watches grimly, turning to spit on the tarmac. The sound mimics a flat whisper. I’m home.