I figure when people have secrets, but I can’t figure the secrets out, what they are, which I guess is why I haven’t been recruited by a specialist government agency, why I never know a disaster’s going down when it is. I assess after, am an aftermath-wallower, understand the intracacies of disengaged looks, feel tension like frission between people’s lips. My job title could be ‘Eye-Fucking Expert’ but instead I settle for the minimum-wage sorts of fall-into jobs we own since the Millennium turned, which was a bad New Year for me, if the eve’s an indication of the coming year, of every coming there will be. And god knows, we’ve all predicted wrong.
Sometimes the person you’re talking to will be topless, or about to be. There is no etiquette for this. You were taught to cover your eyes when male members of your household stepped out of the shower unannounced, when a sex scene happened on TV. So you’ve heard what topless sounds like but you can’t place these sounds, wonder how someone stripping on a baseball court becomes heavy-breathed and screechy. You’ve been practicing deep-rooted groans.
When clothed, you’ll imagine the outlines you can see underneath, especially when you’ve seen flesh before. You’ll look for cheat-sheets, problem pages, web forums, with ideas to get men down to underwear. You’ll carry bottled water. You’re reclaiming wet t-shirt contests for feminism, doing us favours.
He will think there’s a trade, if he can clock hours against you, eventually you’ll strip too. This is not how it works. He’s basically your bitch. Your name’s on the credits. He’ll be recast next season. Fuck him while you can.