Just try a little tenderness

I live in a vertical city. Up and down. Up and down. Sometimes a little to the right or left. But mostly up some stairs and down some more.

This week has felt a lot like that.

Brooklyn’s a funny place. Sixty-nine point five miles of mostly flat terrain. Sometimes it feels huge. But tonight it feels so damn small.

I could pass someone who’s slept with someone I’ve slept with in almost any street corner bodega aisle or in a shitty, dimly lit bar on any given Wednesday. Believe me, it’s happened.

But it’s Brooklyn, the world capital of ethical non-monogamy, polyamory, ordering up sex like it was fucking Chinese takeout. You know this going in or pretty soon thereafter.

I’m guilty of it. I sometimes worry about it. I’m not the jealous type. I left that behind in another life. I’ve got this friend who has and will probably have to continue playing paper-rock-scissors with the guys she’s juggling and we laugh about the shenanigans of maneuvering who she’s going to sleep with.

Sleeping is one thing. Feeling is another. When you get the feels, you can’t prepare yourself for when you’re on someone’s bed after a really great time, and they break out of fun mode into something that sounds like, “You know I’m poly,” and feels like, “You know you’re not the only one I treat like this.”

It feels like showing up at a party and finding out that scarf you got for Christmas that you thought was special was bought in bulk and passed out en masse.

It’s not to say I’m not special or that it wasn’t genuine. It’s only to say that at gut level it suddenly feels like less.

And I say that as someone who is juggling people herself. That’s the rub though. That which is ethical is not necessarily by definition moral. And you can enter into an agreement on the front end that changes over time. This is why “forever” holds little water for me.

But how about just not tonight? Not right now? Not when things are so good?

So many ups and downs this week. But if I’ve learned one thing, I know there’ll be another staircase in my future. Just hopefully not another suitcase in another hall.

Here’s a vertical video for you.

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