My architect says that a room is different depending on how you experience it: Which chair you choose to sit on—the one closer to the window or the corner of the room; each evokes a different emotion, another part of you. That is why he moves every year, to different parts of Singapore. And this, I add: Because all bear the trace of someone who used to be: stray hairs, someone’s fingertips. Everywhere we go, we leave a part of ourselves behind.
I want to experience as many lovers before I die so that I can find every part of myself and lose it.
Deen comes out of the shower, naked. He asks me to take of all my clothes. We go onto his bed. He lies on top of me and kisses me. He is warm and wet; his tongue discovers the spaces in my mouth and the edges of my teeth. He discovers the shape of my vagina. Then, when he is ready, he fucks me. All I can think about is how strange it feels to have something inside of you. How white the ceiling is and how the windows are open. How funny he looks with his face contorted in pain and pleasure, his mouth slightly agape, his eyes half-open. How funny he sounds as he grunts, like a grumpy old man.
Later, I meet up with his friends. They smoke. They make sex jokes about a girl who has had sex with every guy in the group. Her vagina is so loose that they can fit an entire fist inside. Her moan is so soft. She does not feel as good as when she was a virgin.
How do you look at me—naked, clothed, sideways, or in my eyes? How do you touch me— with hands used to pleasure or hands that you use to bathe yourself? It doesn’t matter: you will not know that I touch myself to sleep. I hold myself: my shoulders, my neck, the bend of my knee and that is the only way i can fall asleep. You will not know how many times I have looked at the mirror, trying to find every possible face I have.
Deen has a slim, long body, thin and muscular. There is a gentleness to him—his crooked teeth and straight-forward, boyish look. His body is very cold, like a naked fish and I am water, wrapping myself around him. His hands are tentative, curious and he prods my body like a misbehaving toddler. Being with him is like being with a child: he tells me about how he misses his girlfriend from two years ago. He asks me: could I be his replacement girlfriend? And I let him, because we are always missing someone else.
He kisses my cheek, his lips, wet and small. He holds me, strokes my hair till I fall asleep, tells me that I am the only person in the world that he loves.
Somewhere in-between, I am alone in a room that smells like sex and cheap detergent.