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December 10, 2021

Sex Before Internet

Craig Willse

How we had sex before the internet. How we made up words to
describe what we were doing. Not yeah that’s right fuck that hole.
How I never said hole or load or breed, just I want all of you,
mouthed against your ribs it was really cheesy.

How we had sex before torrents, before streaming. How I didn’t
have photos of my penis, or anybody’s penis.

How I learned not from a website but a book I stole from a Barnes
and Noble that you could put an entire fist inside someone and fill
an open mouth until it overflowed with pee. Or you could just spit
in the mouth if you were feeling shy.

How I didn’t know people could lick each other’s butts until
someone was licking mine.

How now we wander in nostalgia, lost and meandering through its
fields. The stalks of poppies bend but do not give under the
pressing force of wind. Or nostalgia as a marsh: how we sink into
it. The thick wet mud of it makes sucking noises at the backs of
our knees.

How sex was like that marsh! Not yeah you like that don’t you,
you little faggot
, although we are little faggots and we do like that.

How you didn’t have a phone so I couldn’t reach you, and I didn’t
have one either, only a calling card for my parents back in Florida.
There was no such thing as Facebook and if you had tried to
explain it to me, I would not have understood. So I had to trust fate
to bring us together again. And by trust fate I mean spend all day
every day for weeks in that coffee shop you mentioned in passing.
I read everything by Jeanette Winterson and was several chapters
into Another Country before you showed up. By then I was a
caffeine addict and had failed all my classes.

How I felt sad like all the time. How sadness was not a blip before
you checked your phone again. How I was stuck being sad.

When sleep refused me, I’d walk west to the river. Bulbs of
reflected light bobbed in its black ripples, sometimes shattering as
blossoms, the lap of water sharp and uneven. The scene of light on
water and distant buildings abandoned to some other land revealed
itself so slowly, it took all night to download.