The Manual of Intimacy

First, meet a girl for the first time on the lawn in front of her house. Sit very closely by each other. Say hello, I'm a poet. What do you do?

When she replies, I'm an entrepreneur. But I also run a charity. Laugh, and give her whisky, the same one that you've been nursing.

She comes and she gives you a cigarette, and it makes you feel like she's looking out for you. But really, she's just gone into her house to meet your mutual friend to ask in all seriousness, so… does she like women… at all?

That friend laughed a little. And did not have an answer.

She went back out to the lawn to give you another cigarette. And a bourbon. Woodford Reserve. So good, so smooth, all 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt. There was 10% of her that paused and said, this is a very good idea. There was 18% of you that stopped for a second and thought, what is going on?

There was all 72% of the man sitting across from you, all love and all happiness and all he wants to marry you, now.

She went away. She came back. She went away again. You told her: you are worried about how much you like her. Because you are going to hurt her. She did not believe you. She said she did not care because this was just going to be fun, that she also wasn't ready for anything more.

You believed her.

You met her at a bar when she got home, right after she got off a plane. She waited two hours for you when you sent him off. She was happy to see you. She held your hand, and you said: hey, you're holding my hand. You brought her to the river and showed her your favourite spot. You tried to be chaste. She tried harder. She went away again.

When you saw each other again, it was the end. It was the start of the end of the beginning. But you already told her that.

As though telling someone that you're going to break their heart, makes it any better when you do. As if telling someone all the ways in which you are broken, cuts any less when you cut them.

And then when you have her completely under your spell. Tell her that you love her. Tell her that you care for her. But you care for him more.

You're sorry, you love her so much. But. You asked her, is there a but? After she said she loved you too? She said-pensively-no. But there really was one.

Come over one day and find her worried and afraid, at home, alone. Tell her that you haven't stopped thinking about her. Tell her that you love her. Tell her that you love her so much that when you sleep with him, you can't stop thinking about her.

Then go back to him and tell her, this isn't a competition, Adrianna.

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