Why closeness and absence are not contradictory

“Missing me one place search another. . . I stop somewhere waiting for you.”
Walt Whitman

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Venus in August

He writes to her, “I now have a head full of erotically charged images and thoughts.” In the exactly seven years that she has known Jerome, she has not once pictured him swept up in a sexual revelry in which she presides over; she has been many things to him, but never the goddess of love. What has changed? Is it life itself, relentlessly advancing its mission, until, one day, frayed and ground to a pulp, some of our soft inner fluid spills out and coagulates in the August sun?

Bed

It vexed her that he had determined that the bed was the source of their disaccord and had set upon himself the task of researching beds to restore their rapport. She couldn’t place her finger on the exact moment that he abandoned his research; she might have thought that it was at this point or that juncture, but then again she couldn’t be entirely sure. She would never know if he himself was aware of the exact moment in which fixing their relationship was superseded by the overwhelming urge to relinquish it altogether.

Aside

Headrest

The incident that slipped her memory went like this: She delivered a package to his apartment.  He was overcome with stiffness of his back so she carried the item – a thing to offer comfort, a headrest! – up the stairs.  He invited her in; of course, she was delivering a package! He offered her tea made from tightly curled leaves called pearls.  The only place to sit was the bedroom; and given his physical condition he preferred laying horizontal.  She didn’t think of the situation as particularly erotic.  And yet she found herself succumbing to the inevitable seduction. Since time immemorial, her defenses were feeble faced with an imbalance of power.