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She arrived at my apartment straight from the gym and asked if she could take a shower. I can still remember – with a clarity that sends a dumb thrill through my blood – how she stood on one leg in my living room to peel off her sweaty yoga pants.
This was a new moment. It was one of the first times in my life that I wasn’t going to grovel for sex, that I could relax into the experience, knowing she was as eager for uncomplicated pleasure as I was.
And she was. God bless her – she was. She may have been the only woman I’ve ever been with who didn’t fake her enthusiasm for fellatio. Her ass was so beautiful in the moonlight I wanted to snap a photo of it.
We had sex and chocolate and whisky and lewd banter and more sex.
Then it was morning, and I made her breakfast and brought it into the bedroom – where I discovered her fully dressed. “That was awesome,” she said, “but I gotta run.”
Run? I stood in a sort of silent devastation. I wanted to say: What’s the hurry? Why leave at all? It’s the weekend. Can’t we just cuddle? But she had her phone out and was dialling a taxi.
And it occurred to me at this precise moment, as I watched her lovely mouth feed my address to the dispatcher, that something had changed. I simply didn’t have the heart for any more one-night stands.
Sure I was horny. That was never going away. But more than that, I was lonely. I wanted someone to scratch my back and eat my French toast and, you know, talk to me.
It was a humiliating revelation for a rogue bachelor to face at age 35, but the frantic cycle of pursuit and conquest had come to feel hollow.
Was I suddenly ready for a lifelong commitment? Not exactly.
But I was open, at last, to the possibility of such a thing.
* Steve Almond, author of Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life (R253, Kalahari)