seven minutes of sex

the first time i had sex i had a head cold and stuffed a condom in my bra. my boyfriend had his arm in a cast, nothing was right or ready but my impatience did not care. Mr. Bean played in the background, 7 minutes in his mom came home and I didn’t know if it still counted. I was fifteen and stuck between a sweet innocence that wasn’t ready and a body that looked like it was. he was that same kind of sweet and when we first kissed it was mostly saliva, but oh did teenage love taste good.

I wasn’t ready, but my impatience was. i had carefully sliced my future into bites too big to chew. high-school sweetheart, check. boobs, check. i love yous, check. there was no one there to tell me that a love under pressure is sure to explode. there was only a black and white, virgin or not, true love or not, forever or not.

in the weeks after our 7 minutes i couldn’t do it again. i was devastated by how it had gone wrong, my impatience and my planning banged their head on the desk. what was the point of sex if it did not look like the movies?

i believed that love and sex were the same thing. when the two did not make the bed together my brain crawled back to black and white. i did not know why i fell out of love, fast and harsh, but i did. i did not know why disgust clawed at my chest. i did not know what projection meant then, i only knew my color coded binary.

when i look back on the year that followed, i watch myself collide into every door i thought would be open to me.

when i kissed my breakup blues in a barn down the street, the door that said happily every after would not budge.
when i said a hurried i love you to another boy, let him inside me, the key still did not turn.
and when my childhood crush did not ask permission, the door called innocence remained permanently shut.
it is still locked today.

after that the thing between my legs zipped itself for three years. but then i met mediocre in a summer sublet in harlem, and with innocence long gone i knew that sex and love didn’t have to lie together. for once regret didn’t follow me home. 

then the big love came and so did the story book. so did the movie. with epic plot lines and screaming in the rain and in hidden corners of new york city. it was so good then that we almost forgot that everything else wasn’t. our bodies clung long after our hearts did. but oh, how sex and love loved each other so.

and the rebounds, and the flings, and not so much sex, just teasing whispers of it. i’ve never had much trouble saying no. i couldn’t figure out a way to say yes.

long lasting love has come, but i don’t want you to think it takes another person to teach you what your body deserves. i learned some time ago, between the curiosity and the not-wantings and the desperation, that there is an in between. that the black and white lacks texture. that the color that you mix between the two is you, your body, the miracle that is listening, and your happily ever after.