Lesli Mitchell: Write Me
Fiction » April 2001

The attention he devotes to his writing never bothers me, and I'm not greedy with him. I admire obsession. In return for my lack of demands, I get the light behind his eyes, the intelligence and glitter of his passion, the boundless curiosity.

He's a smoker, thank God, likes to drink when he's done with his work. Not shy but garrulous. I like his body, like the PIL tattoo on his bicep that still tastes like ink. The small hoop he wears in his ear teases my skin, a cool metallic whisper over hot flesh, and his ginger hair is just long enough to tug and aim.

He knows my own obsession well, knows I want him because he's a Writer, which inspires him to keep on writing me and wanting me. We talk about books all the time. He loans me his books and I read them, sometimes two a day, I toss them back like cocktails, and he asks me not just about the book but about the writer. He calls me a literary star-fucker, laughing, but there's pride in that laughter, too.

He brought me a novel one day, a huge bible of a book, and I read it in a week. It takes my breath away.

So, he asks when I'm finished.

How old is the writer? I ask.

Your age, he answers.

Wow, I say.

He's cute, too, he adds.

Mmm, I say. I'm already in love with this famous writer, his words have won me, I worship him.

Anything else? he asks.

He didn't get the girl right, I answer. But it's okay because they never do. The Writer knows because I've told him that despite the words that woo me, words that make these writers eminently fuckable and lovable, I'm always disappointed in that one bit, the not getting the girl right, and the prudishness of the sex in otherwise brilliant novels. I don't understand why there's not more fucking. He shrugs - Agents? - and we exchange a wry smile over the familiar joke. But I always wonder if it's as simple as that.

The Writer asks with the same smile if I'd go down on the famous writer and I say yes. Then he stops smiling and tells me to go down on him, and I do. I know he's thinking what it might be like to be this famous writer, to have any girl he wanted give him a blow job, and he enjoys the fantasy of fame, not fifteen minutes but close enough. After he comes, he looks over to his computer in the bedroom, running a screensaver from The Matrix, vertical lines of code sheeting down like rain, and he sighs because now he's got to write it.

I don't understand having the computer in the bedroom, think maybe it should be somewhere else, but I'm not a Writer.

He's working on a story about women and he's inquisitive, ambitious. He wants to do what the other eminently fuckable and lovable writers didn't, which is get the girl right. He asks me questions about myself, about women. I try out an analogy I've used before with other writers when this comes up. I tell him that I invented in my head the best defense weapon for women. Not a gun, or mace, or any tool a woman has to wield in her hand. That her body itself would be the defense, and if someone touched it and the touch wasn't wanted, her body would create a force field around itself and vaporize the threat. That men invent tools because they don't get that their whole being is vulnerable.

I don't mention the other invention I created in my head, the attachment that fits over the cock to make it bigger, as big as she wants, and vibrates, and has a piece on it that sucks on her clit no matter where his cock is. He doesn't want to know that. None of them do.

But he's a smart one, sees through the analogy as indulgent, gloss, and so I give him the predator vs. prey analogy. I say that it will help his story if he knows that women have a low-level but insistent fear of attack and it permeates everything they do. That we should have eyes on the sides of our heads like antelope so we can look in several directions at once, and that maybe we do it anyway and call it multitasking. I say that it's difficult for men to understand that vulnerability, but to get the point across I make him think about adding children into that fear, more vulnerable creatures that women, who are vulnerable themselves, are expected to protect.

He gets this, he sees the anxiety, its potential for conflict and anger, so I go on. I talk about the surprise of women, how they surprise men. That a guy can think he's got all of a woman, that emotionally she's spent everything, shown him all she's got, and there's always something more. This intrigues him. He's felt this. I say it's like the trick baby bottle I played with as a kid - you turn it upside-down and the milk disappears, then flip it upright and it fills again. That's nurture, I say, getting excited because I think I'm getting this part right, it's Nurture with a capital "N," a thing we defend on so many fronts when we don't want to, when we'd rather open it up but we can't, and it's bottomless. When guys think we're holding something back they're wrong, we're giving them everything, but the everything replenishes itself all the time. I tell him that women are never empty.

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