I unfold an A4, carefully avoiding the wine stains and Joyce’s pumpkin soup.
The virgin. Salvatore. Valentino. A few recent dates and a young journalist I email with. There are rates for love and for past hurt. There are estimates for risk of future drama.
“The more I love someone, the more I get hurt, “ I fold the paper and put it away. “But I think I nailed it. I should go for someone I don’t give a shit about.”
“Nailing?” Tantric mistress Joyce frowns as she folds her hand into a long phallus like shape and thrusts. “You shouldn’t be nailing, Lauren. You should be nice and soft.”
“Yea-hea, and look where that brought me.”
I don’t date. I don’t have sex. And a lover who fell into my lap this Spring, has left me for a girl with a hamster. At the time, I was already too weak to fight it.
“It’s been a year since Valentino,” I admit. “I think this all goes back to him. And he didn’t even bother to close things off.”
“Do you know what Valentino wanted?” Joyce asks. “In retrospect? “
I shake my head. “I think me being in love was just a bit too much to handle,” I dab my eyes with a napkin. “Even girls his age are more aggressive than me.”
Girls his age. The bright happy 20 year olds, who juggle boyfriends on my Twitter Timeline. Who chat and tweet, and remind me every day that boys are like ripe fruit waiting to be picked. Like dogs waiting to be trained. Like toys ready to be tossed away when you’re done playing.
Joyce puts down her spoon.
“Lauren, I know you. And you really only have two choices: One is to have sex with a man you love, and yes, you will get hurt if he doesn’t love you back. Or two: to have sex with someone you don’t care for,” she drops a silence. Her eyes turn watery. “But you’ll end up loving him. That’s just who you are.”
I snivel. “I’m a pathetic excuse for a cougar.”
“I don’t know what kind of cougar you are,” Joyce says as she too wipes her eyes dry. “But as far as nice and soft goes, I think you nailed it.”