“Rise and Monty Kissing” (1980)

TW: sexual content

By Olivia Nathan

The couple on the chair, her jeans wrapping around him, his hand so delicate on her neck and hers meshed in his hair. Their kiss is like nothing I’ve seen. In the short hallway of prints I stop at it and turn to Sammy but can’t say anything except, “This is my favorite.” I take a picture.

Another with the long blonde and her naked leg (which goes forever) resting against her dark-haired man on a bed. Her arms clasped around him, he looks down on her. Her nipple right above his forearm.

Is this what we look like? I thought.

Last Friday night at the black box theater, when the light hit him on stage I realized why I said, “I’m very drawn to him.” He stood so tall, his nose large below dark eyebrows (at the second viewing I turned to Sammy and said whose eyebrows are better?) and he left my mouth open. Left me crazy over his voice.

Afterwards, in the lobby, I felt so anxious waiting for him. Felt the back of my neck straighten to see him coming up the stairs in black zipper jacket and those scuffed leather boots.

He took the $10 bouquet and asked to hear everything I thought– the entire time he was thinking about what I was.

I met the rest of the cast who thought I was his fictional girlfriend. There were two Olivias during this show, I thought. It wasn’t a funny joke so I never told him.

We walked to eat tacos. It was so warm and my new patent-leather shoes gave me blisters but he was holding my hand and he loved my outfit– loved my buffalo “Keep Roamin’” pin, even though he didn’t completely understand and I said it was okay it’s just a staple of the American west and you’re not American.

Later, for a moment, I thought his I love you on Valentine’s Day might not be so false. An ice cube between his fingers on the blister on my big toe. And then he was fully clothed, socks still on and his mouth on my vagina and it was a location to him, he was somewhere else, somewhere between Hyperion and Griffith Park Blvd, like that stretch of freeway exit winding through the brush and dark blue trees.

In the morning we weren’t yet awake– rolling into each other in bed. We had quick sex I wasn’t wet enough for. I pushed my eye mask up into my hair and we held each other.

“I want to take care of you,” he said.

My eyes were closed and I saw myself running up the hill around the Silverlake reservoir in the beaming sun the day I went on a date at the Renegade Craft fair.

What is there to take care of? I thought.

Olivia Nathan is a junior at Barnard and Social Media Specialist for Barnard Bite

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