We crave flesh and intimacy, carved from infatuation, and we want from strangers the most. In a city of sin, there is nothing better than those brief moments of almost lovers. When your hands are close enough to feel the warmth radiating from their skin but you’re not quite touching. When your lips are close enough to sense their breath but you don’t taste their desire. In this city we treat love like a myth because there’s too much history, leftover anger, unrequited heartache. We don’t fall for romantic gestures, our hearts are bulletproof. We want to be understood but we don’t bother explaining ourselves. We want intimacy but we push people away, we say distance makes the heart grow fonder but we don’t actually believe it. We want lives worth remembering but we drink enough to forget what happens most nights.
We are liars who crave the truth, we are criminals who admire honesty. We study each other through the champagne haze and cigar fumes, and pretend our smiles are sufficient introduction. You ask for my name and I tell you one. This is my first lie.
Four shots of tequila later the club lights fade out, you’re standing at the entrance of my hotel lobby, demanding to see me again. You ask me why I’m leaving, I hate you for begging me to stay. This is your first mistake.
We nurse our hangovers together the next morning, hiding our dark circles behind over-sized sunglasses and putting too much expectation into the healing effects of early coffee. You order me a latte and I learn a little more about you with every sip. You tell me about your life and sneak in subtle hints of where I would fit in. I smile and listen, I pretend I haven’t heard this before. This is our first date.
You take me out to dinner and I insist on splitting the bill to avoid giving you the wrong impression. You take me out drinking again so you can blurt out after the last shot of absinthe that you think I’m marriage material. You insist it is love at first sight, as if a decent first impression is enough to maintain a stable relationship. You tell me you’re done with games. This is what they all say.
I ponder the limited potential of two people terrified of commitment, and the reality of what your declaration really meant: you are ready to be inconsistent with me now. I make a half hearted attempt at honesty and tell you love doesn’t seem to last very long for me. I wonder if you said the same thing to the last girl, I adjust myself to the possibility of being wounded again. This is my favourite game.