Breadcrumb #477


We take pills without prescription
because we own our body without restraint
being dumped it’s a starter that we eat
every single day, and we accept bad blood
his excuses and late nights so I growl inside
to not speak loud and hurt your stereotypes
of me without wide open legs, elbows on the table
talking easily and claiming my conquers.
"He's a whore, I offered him four beers
and two hours after we are having sex". Oh sex,
excuse me to have desire inside my mouth
with my permission and not yours. Don't push me
back and forward, and back again, you're my container
of disaster that's why I get high to flood useless power
that's why I raise my hand and I slap you in the face
that's why I can't take no more your indecisive breakups
your mellow voyeur fantasies, your new girls and texts
that's why we are Tinder, we are "the Tinder" of real life
even those who don't use it, we are the scroll ups and downs
the supermarket list, the blindfolded dates wrapped sometimes
in surprise and realness, when I wish I had met you before
without rain and six years of past, and Netflix series on the couch
and low cost tickets that get us everywhere we want to more
superficial artifices and filters, and cuts, and likes and unfollows
that's why I pour my wine and I watch porn as a blockbuster movie.
I don't do comparisons about my hips, if I'm skinny enough,
tall enough, sexual enough, pleasant enough, woman enough
as I'm counting the late acne marks:
is it smoother? less visible? less relatable to smoking one pack
of click cigarettes when the reason is being stressed
being under pressure, putting pressure, having my eyes balls
squeezed into screens of objectification and self-approval.
Self-approve my existence and see if I let you!
I'm not a established gender
I'm not a tag on my sexuality
I'm not a waitress serving your wishes and exploiting egos.
Too commented
too touched
too exposed
don't apologize for wanting to be apart of a neutral game
where woman is a chess piece formulated as a castle
full of walls but with doors too
don't apologize for getting laid
buying condoms and forgetting them beneath your mattress
with your socks and old lace bra
don't apologize for exchanging testosterone for estrogen
loving lakes instead of mountains, don't hike too much dear
without reaching the top, we're water, watering nature
full of walls but with windows too
where I can jump and hug ideologies
my hard-on for a man
for woman
for both
for libido as power
Just be libido.
Just scream libido.
And don't forget to touch yourself.

• • •

Breadcrumb #159


You’re inside me and it feels like warm lightning. I’ve wanted this for six months — 180 sets of 24 hours that have felt somewhere in the range of 15 years — though I don’t dare say those numbers out loud. I don’t dare say anything, even though I can tell you’ve wanted this, too. And I can tell you’ve wanted this because you do dare say something.

    “Monica,” you moan, grabbing my face. “I can’t believe it’s really you.”

    I can’t believe it’s me either, here under you. Under the boy in the blue sweater, the boy I know I first saw on a Tuesday because that’s the day of the week our new employees start. You were dressed too casually for your first day, and so you sunk into yourself ever-so-slightly, standing in the supply room with your supervisor, Ray —tall, lanky, and very married Ray, whom I’d written off a long time ago. You were looking at office supplies, nodding, and I imagined you were plotting which ones you would steal and take home, because I imagined you were a rebel. Tonight, when I saw those ballpoint BIC pens on your dresser, I smiled. Though I would have preferred you steal non-BIC pens, at least they meant that I was right.

    We talked that one time in the elevator, and then that other time in the kitchen. I thought we were flirting but could never be sure — in the office, who’s to tell what’s a flirt and what’s a small talk? With you, to me, “how was your weekend” never meant “how was your weekend.” It meant take me now, I need you, and yes, fuck, yes, let’s both feel less alone.

    I never go to coworkers’ birthday parties, but I went to Ray’s. So did you. Jungle juice is holy water for the horny.

    “What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” you ask me when we’re done, my arm lying across your chest like an L, the best Tetris piece. It feels funny to make small talk with you in this context, the naked context, but I tell you: I’m going home.

     “I didn’t know you were from Utah,” you say, and look deep into me. There’s a lot you don’t know, I think to myself. I see you five days a week, but somehow, I feel mysterious. 


     My mom picks me up from the airport, as she always does when I come home for the holidays. I want to tell her about you, but know that would be dumb.

    “I had very good sex last night, mom.”

    “That’s great, honey! With whom?”

    “With a coworker.”

     “Naughty girl! Tsk-tsk. How’s Applebee’s for dinner?”

    We are home together for three days before Grandpa dies. It’s not a surprise — he was very old — but no one thought he was mortal. My mom cries more than any of us expect her to.

    “I didn’t know I’d be this sad,” even she says, blowing her nose. “It’s selfish of me, really. He was here for 94 years and I still wanted him to hang around.”

    I skip two days of work. Family first, sure, but I also kind of want to be having sex with you. I draft you an email.

    Subject line: “Did you know the office supply room has a door?”
     Body: “And it locks.”

    I feel a hiccup between my legs. Then my mom walks in, not a trace of mascara on her eyes, which strikes me as sadder than smeared makeup would be. She wants us to go clean out grandpa’s house.

    “Right now?” I ask, annoyed, then realize I should have nothing better to do. I hit discard.


    When I’m back at the office, I avoid you. Not because I don’t want to see you, but because my grandpa keeps popping into my head, and also it’s even trickier now, making the flirting vs. small talk distinction. Do you want it to happen again? Do you want to learn more secrets about me, and give me some of yours? I’m chill either way, I’ll say. We have to play the game.

Do you want to learn more secrets about me, and give me some of yours?

    The next day you wear the blue sweater, as if to bribe me into talking to you. It works. Thanks to free pizza, we run into each other in the kitchen, and the sweater is such a trigger for me that I say “Hi” at you with disdain in my voice. You notice it, and look at me surprised. Y u mad tho? I’m not sure. I think it’s because I’m thinking of my mom, and then I feel guilty about wanting you to bend me over against the counter. But is it really my fault? I wonder. In spite of mom’s thin, pale eyelashes, you are still wearing that sweater. 

    The next night, I talk to my mom on the phone for an hour and a half. It isn’t fun, but I can tell it helps her, and that curbs my guilt. I did what I could, at least for today, so now I can be selfish.
When I text you, you say you’ll be free to hang out in two hours, at 11:30. I have an early morning spin class, and if I miss it, they’ll charge me $30.

    “Cool,” I say, even though it isn’t, really.

• • •

Breadcrumb #43


They met at a bar because neither of them wanted to waste a good date idea on someone they met online. They both knew the odds were slim for second dates (let alone thirds), so it didn’t make sense to spend time and money wandering around a unique museum together.

     The bar was Nitecap on the Lower East, her choice. According to both Yelp and her junior year at NYU, it was a "clean dive" (she liked oxymorons) that served an $18 "orange wine" (if not perfect oxymorons, at least things that felt wrong). That wine was a security blanket — one of her favorite tastes in the city and worth the trip in itself; a shining half orb for her to cradle, chug, and sign for. It was expensive, but it was a sure bet — the rest of the night was just a gamble, another Wednesday fed to the wolves.

     They’d met on a new app called RightPlace. No one could see the app’s intentions just yet — whether it was for hookups, long-term stuff, or gamified Tinder-esque swiping — but it was so controversial that even people in relationships could tell you how it worked. It tracked your location, and if you had three locations in common with someone, the two of you were a match. Tara’s couple friends said the app was creepy, calling it “an invasion of privacy.” “But isn’t invasion of privacy the point of relationships?” she’d said. Her couple friends had changed the subject.

     Thus, instead of Leonard Cohen, she and J (according to a brief chat conversation, that was his full name) had two bookstores and a Panera Bread in common. She decided to look past the Panera Bread and hoped he’d do the same.

     The last time she’d had Sex was two months ago. She’d met that guy in person, the way she kind of still believed love had to be done. But when she met men in person, she became enamored with the idea of having met in person. She would write a little fairy tale with a happy ending, fall too hard, and move too fast. She usually slept with them that night and followed them on Instagram the next morning, never sure which made her seem easier.

     Once Tara got off the subway, she tried not to look at her phone. Not texting made her feel powerful; gave her command. Men could sense a lot of things, her mother used to tell her. Especially willpower, and she needed every ounce of fake willpower she could get.

Men could sense a lot of things, her mother used to tell her. Especially willpower, and she needed every ounce of fake willpower she could get.

     It was 9:07 — she was appropriately late; he would be there first. She wanted a cigarette for the first time in years, but a bodega run would have made her inappropriately late, and besides, she didn’t know his opinion on smoking yet. Too many risks, and none of them were lung cancer.

     Two months ago, just after having The Sex, she’d made a mistake. They’d been lying there, breathing and putting off dealing with the condom, and she’d said to the guy, “You’re good at Sex.” Her mother had always told her to give compliments, said people liked to hear nice things about themselves. But only seconds after delivering this one, she realized the damage it had done:

          1. It implied that this Sex was better than her usual Sex.

          2. That meant that, if he didn’t think this Sex had been good, they could both ascertain that her usual Sex was bad Sex.

          3. It put the ball in his court: She now needed him to say “you too,” not because she wanted to hear she was good, but because it would level things out, and she could go back to thinking of her Sex life as, at the very least, average.

     He tugged the condom off and tossed it onto her floor, whispering the words “thank you.”

     “Tara?” A blonde guy seated alone waved. To say her name out loud like that, inflection rising at the end, meant telling the whole bar that they were just meeting for the first time. She sighed, imagining the spectator couples that would go home and talk about the “awkward online date in the corner.” They would discuss the vulgarity of dating apps; how they’re all designed based on shticks and put into practice by people whose libidos are low because they aren’t getting any. They would remind each other how lucky they were to have met in person.

     “Hey,” Tara said, scooting into the booth. He looked weirder than his pictures — alien-like, skinnier. She couldn’t tell where his eyes pointed and his hair was gelled, albeit slightly, in a bad way. The booth was tiny and their knees touched.

     “Do you need a drink?” He looked better when he smiled, but not by much.

     “I do, but I’m not gonna make you buy it for me.” She’d been dreading this moment — the reveal of her motives in choosing this location; having it come across as a confession of the lack of faith she knew they shared. “I picked this place because they have this amazing $18 wine.”

     “$18?! For a bottle in this town? That’s a steal!”

     As advanced as she fancied her sense of humor, she still liked it when people referred to New York as a small village. Slightly warmer inside, she considered how to let him down.

     “No…it’s $18 a glass.” Before he could flip the table in anger: “I know, it’s absurd.”

     “Oh. Shit.” He stared down, she assumed, to plot his escape from the tiny booth. “Must be good, then,” he said. ”I’ll get two.”

     Curveball from the dude she’d “met” at Panera! He’d roll with it. Maybe they both needed something external to get them through the night. “Awesome — ask for the orange one.”

     Their legs stayed staggered like unwilling watch gears, and it took him two full minutes to wiggle out. They laughed, then Tara watched him at the bar — cool and competent, a good height, and slightly weathered in all the right places. Maybe that was why they called it RightPlace, she wondered. Already she found herself ignoring his hair.

     It took him a while to get served, especially for a Wednesday. She considered that perhaps he didn’t have what it took and felt her fingers itch for her phone. Still determined not to use it, she let her mind drift, inevitably to The Sex — gritty, sweaty, with an element of destiny. She clenched her legs and chewed her tongue, then stared at a guy across the room, wondering if he was alone by choice. 

• • •