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We're in my bed again, for the first time in over a year. There's a movie on.

We lock eyes for a while, just staring. You make a coyly sarcastic comment on how "familiar" this is.

We still haven't had sex yet; ever.

I tell you I like when you wear your hair down. It's pretty that way.

You inform me you wear it up like it is whenever you go to sleep. It's "annoying" any other way.

I ask, "Doesn't it feel like a ball or something is behind your head?" because I don't know what else to say.

You answer me, in your soft, sweet voice, probably saying no. Maybe you alluded to the fact that it does indeed feel like a ball.

However, I don't hear a goddamn word of what you say, because I realize that less than thirty seconds ago you subconsciously informed me you wanted to sleep here.

I glide in and we kiss. Passionately. My nose is stuffed up and I can't breathe through it, and we continue kissing intensely, presenting me with a very difficult situation.

Losing oxygen.

This is normally the kind of thing I'd laugh with you about, but not tonight. 

 


When I was younger, I swam a lot; I was a fantastic swimmer. My father and I would have breath holding contests, and he would tell me stories of how some people could hold their breath until they passed out, but most people couldn't do that and their bodies would force them to breathe again. I can remember eavesdropping on the conversation two patrons of my local library were having about the world record for breath-holding, and I often remembered it during my childhood. When I was in middle school, in my boring history class, a clock hung adjacent to my teacher's podium. I would watch the clock while holding my breath, and sometimes time myself after letting out all of the air in my lungs. At fourteen, I could hold stay underwater in a hot tub for four minutes.


 

I work through it by focusing on how soft the back of your neck is.

Losing oxygen.

My body goes into a state of panic. My heart starts to beat faster.

Losing oxygen.

This is too great of a moment for me to interrupt by crudely drawing back from your face to catch my breath.

LOSING OXYGEN.

As we're performing the ancient dance of tongues, I can tell you're heating up.

LOSING OXYGEN.

You slowly move away from my mouth for just a moment to look me in the eyes and smile.

Relief.

I smile as well, a giant grin, one that makes you think I'm falling for you, and you don't notice my deep breathing behind the beaming.

I am falling for you, though.

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