But it's easy to ascribe the more passionate memories (no) to the person with her fingers on your fly, one hand pulling down while the other holding the top by your undone button to keep the zipper straight, no jamming. It is easy when she is both hot and cold in your arms, her fingers like ice as they slide down the front of your pants but her nose and cheeks warm in your neck from rubbing against your sweater.
Marianne is doing this not to you, but to me. It is Marianne's cold hand, hot breath on my body. Not Kate or Oona or Amber, although it seems like I've had this moment specifically with all of them, but with me having taken the next step and them just sitting back and deciding on how far they wanted to let me go.
So tonight it is my turn to be Kate and Oona and Amber, and I know which one to be and when. But this is starting nicely with one hand on her neck and my other one taking her hair down, and right now all I want this to be is us. She is repositioning herself against me so that she can move that hand in my jeans, wrapping her free arm around my waist to hold me still, and she does this so well that I'm not even thinking in second person or about her age. I am thinking about her hand and what to do with my hands next.
Marianne says, "You are so wet," but it sounds small and distant, her face in my shoulder, her lips against wool. It's like she is across the room, not wanting to attract anyone's attention but mine. I am used to these words at close-up range, amplified in my ear, sending millions of pins down my spine like dominos. I wonder if she says this for herself, to keep momentum, to keep thinking that this is the right thing to do.
Next my hands are on her shoulders, pushing her back, because I can't stand the idea of Marianne having to talk herself up.
Although my lips are on her earlobes, her temples, when my hand reaches into my pants to move hers out she fights it, fights it so much that she's against me, leaning a shoulder in to my chest and forcing me back against the closet door. It rattles in its tracks and I wonder if we'll wake the neighbors if we haven't already. Then I wonder if I care because, considering their track records, they owe me one.
Her teeth come out of nowhere, it seems, from warm wet lips to small directed bites on the side and front of my neck.
I am saying, "Hey," although I don't want her to stop, only to let her know that I'm still here beneath the skin she's bruising.
But Marianne says, "No," and again, "No," with such impetuousness that I hope she'll make me fight for my life. And with my sweater and t-shirt and bra up by my neck and held there with the pressure of her firm hand, and now with her teeth and tongue doing opposite things (no) to my nipple, and with my jeans just barely over my hips and her two fingers, and with the memory (no) of Marianne's face on the sidewalk, the bounce and sway of her ponytail, I come so hard that I move my hands from the closet door to cover my face. I come so hard that my back is sliding down the slats and my body leaning in to her hand, and for a second it's like she'll never stop, but I am so fine with this.
My chest is bare againt her shirt. She has one arm under mine, holding me up, and is moving the other from my pants to support me on the other side. She pins me again against the door until I am standing straight, then looks up from my feet to my face, looks at me like nothing's happened.
Marianne says, "Legs back?"
My breathing is still labored, my mouth dry, so I nod yes.
She says, "Good," and backs away, pulls her shirt out of her pants and starts on the buttons. She is half way down the hallway to the bedroom when she says, "Meet me in here."
And so I'm back to letting her do whatever she wants, deciding that the original plan was the best one.