Ah, the problem of embodiment. Like an itch we can’t scratch, like the prelude to a sneeze, like an unattainable orgasm, we are both bound to and alienated from the flesh. Heavy with questions of physicality, I seek once again to lose – or find? or embrace the fragmentation of? – myself in a sweaty party. Chances of transcendence: Low! Chances of sexualized aggression from drunk randos: High!
Sprite and Vodka
This drink tastes like carbon dioxide and corn syrup, with a stingy thread of vodka and chalky notes of artificial lemon. Its sweat-like flavor is a perfect compliment to the nausea of seeing my crush macking on another human. High cauliflower and sandlewood notes; low queasy despair. Are these feelings chemical or psychic? Am I only a brain? I am prevented from further contemplating the mind-body problem by my good friend Boob Groper.
Boob Groper’s mistrust for the epistemic authority of the visual – and commitment to experiential learning! – inspires him to take a hands-on approach to my form. How else, truly, may we know one another? Is knowledge not a thing that must be wrenched from the unwilling universe with our rational faculties/dicks?
I dodge left; I dodge right. Ladiez may lack the analytical skills and hand-eye coordination for video games, but what is your average party but a 3D version of Pacman? You dive, you feint, you snack, you get backed into corners, and – womp womp! – sometimes your Mrs. Pacman gets fondled.
(Supplied by The Party)
And there, alas, is my crush making out with his new lady! And here, alas, am I, using a possessive pronoun to refer to a man’s relationship with a woman! Yea, my despair hath made me rancid with misogyny! Yay, a joint!
The weed smells like every public space in Cambridge: skunky with free love, acrid with the fundamental injustice of the War on Drugs.
A dude asks me to dance, and I groove up on him with all the sass in my pot-tingly body. That is a lot of sass. Zumba ™’s culturally uncomfy combination of aerobic dance/“world grooves”/salsa – nothing inspires buxom white ladies to gyrate off the pounds like vaguely ethnic dance jams! – has so toned my quads a recent sexual partner asked me if I was an athlete. (And I had already let him stick it in. That’s real appreciation.)
The dude asks if I want to go downstairs, so I follow into the well-lit hallway, turn to greet a friend –
And poof! He’s gone. Like a techno fairy, in the magic, and not queer-slur, sense. Did Techno Fairy only want to take me downstairs to determine whether my face was phenotypically compelling enough to drool on? You know when a guy (it’s always a guy) pulls you into a lit room at a party with no explanation before dragging you back into the unlit room and licking your mouth like it is a blue raspberry slushy at the Jersey shore?
Sometimes I wonder what about me screams “inanimate object.” Then I remember that I have titties.
The Last Word
(My roommate; $3.50 to the room alcohol fund)
My roommate is a cocktail person. She works extra hours at the vaguely anarchist coffee place so she can buy ingredients. (She is also a parody of our socioeconomic sphere.) When I come back into the room at 2 am she has just made herself a drink. “Try this,” she says, the music of our evenings. I take a tangy sip.
My roommate turns alcohol into pleasure. Takes a thing that can mean numbness, or danger, or dependence, and uses it to make us gifts.
I sit on the floor, still stoned, and draw a woman’s torso, dotted like a butcher’s diagram with red lines.
There must have been a time before our bodies were dissected like chickens at market, before walking through a room cut us with scalpels-for-eyes. Vodka, corn syrup, natural and artificial lemon flavor. Lips, belly, thighs.
Another roommate rubs my shoulders and for a second it feels like I don’t have a body, or like I am all body. Gin, Chartreuse, lime. These are my breasts, these are my bones, these are my love handles. This is my body, which shall be given-away-for-free for you.