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The smell of her shirt and the taste of moments that do not happen
2003-02-23 // 1:57 a.m.

I went through bags of her clothes thinking that they smelled like her, and wondering if they'd fit me. The shirts were soft, the kind of worn t-shirt that everyone covets and few people can attain. I asked her why she was getting rid of them, and she told me an answer that felt too naked, told me something I knew but always felt strange hearing.

We live in and out of our bodies simultaneously. Her body walks lines of gender, whether it wants to or not. She is woman because she always was, always can be, always thinks it's possible to be. She told me she understood Huck Finn whistling down a lazy street because she had been a boy once and knew what it felt like, regardless of the boundaries biology had intended to set out like barbed wire fences before her. She must have climbed over at a young age and torn the knee of her pants. I dig through piles of shirts to find the ones I know she has worn often, the ones that I remember best, the ones that feel ripped by her body and mind.

They smell like her, a strange mixture of human incense and her particular body odor. When I put on the shirt, I didn't know that her smell would stay so strong throughout the day, that I would catch myself inhaling deeper than I should have with other people in the room. I didn't know that it would hold onto me like it has, that I would absorb it into my brain the way I might have taken in a mindless fact for a highschool history quiz: easy, breathless, straightforward, holding it with me because I have to, because I want to.

Sitting with her last night, her head bent over in concentration--she was looking at a map--I felt myself pulling closer, could feel the pull of her like a magnet. I wanted to wait for her to look up so I could kiss her, but I knew I couldn't do it, so I backed away. I sat on my feet and looked around the room until it was safe and she could give me directions. I bent over paper and wrote hurriedly, and I would like to imagine that right then, at that moment, she wanted to kiss me; she could taste me clinging to her clothes like sweet scent and honey tongues that taste just right on cold nights, when it rains and rains and you are too sick to notice.

And in that moment, everything would have been just right.


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The Gentrification of a Perfectly Good Cunt - 2006-04-02
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