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Pink and White Elephants
I take a moment to fully absorb the mountain of drinks in front of me. But I’m on a date with this guy who’s anxiously holding our two cupcakes and I’m taking longer than a moment. This wall is seriously giant.
“Just pick one.” I can tell he’s getting frustrated, even though he himself has yet to choose a drink.
“It’s harder than you think,” I pout.
To illustrate his point, he takes a few surveying steps to the right before easily plucking a glass bottle from the shelf. The drink seems familiar. I peer over at his selection attempting to place it in a memory.
“Do you want to try some?” He took my interest as an attempt to quench my thirst.
I rotate the glass in his oil stained hands to see which flavor he’d selected.
“Mm, no thanks,” I say. His eyes are a nice blue, but suddenly all I can think of is hazel. “I don’t really like vanilla.” I justify for myself.
“Alright.” He shrugs and starts walking down the aisle. I sharply remember where I know that glass bottle from. And I have a feeling I’m not going to enjoy this cupcake.
“You like coffee?” I had been asked by a guy who was both taller than me, and at least 20 pounds skinnier. His body was paused in a half motion, awaiting my response.
“I love it.” I can’t help but swoon at merely the thought.
The guy smiles with a hop off my bed and starts for the door.
“No wait!” I realize he’s about to get coffee for me and I suddenly regret ever telling him, “I hate it! Don’t go and—”
“Ohp, too late!” he calls over his shoulder.
The door to my room shuts behind him.
I should have said I liked vanilla. I tuck up my legs and eye my barely breathing roommate from her bed across from mine. Craning my arm over, and also trying not to disrupt the laptop balanced on my knees, I grab the Febreeze off my desk in a single swoop. I spray the air along my side of the room and encase everything I own into a scented bubble. It smells like Christmas.
The guy walks back in the door.
“It smells like Christmas,” he says. He’s holding two glass bottled coffees, and he leans in close to my roommates face before hopping on my bed and handing me one.
“Thanks so much.” I say it in my soft, genuine way and he shrugs it off.
“They were in my fridge anyway. Might as well drink them now.”
“But seriously, I needed this. So thanks.”
The moment seems to stutter and sigh as we smile at each other. I almost forget he knows what my body feels like in his hands. That I kissed his cheek one night in hopes he would move to my lips.
My roommate starts coughing and we both jump up to make sure she doesn’t choke on her own tongue.
“Do you need to throw up?” he asks her slowly, like a child. Her eyes are so unfocused I swear she’s looking through my clothes and not straight at me. I wonder what color bra I’m wearing and if she knows now.
“I need tah find…tah get… my bed, thisss isnat my bed,” she slurs.
“Roommate,” I say in a voice I was struggling to keep calm. “This is your bed.”
“It is naht my bed! Yew are drunk. I need tah leave…” She tries sitting up, but instead, thrusts out her arm and hits the shelf on her desk next to her. It lurches and starts to tip over, Roommate becomes dead weight and starts to roll off the bed, and the guy and I both jump to save the havoc from exploding all over the room. I catch the shelf with the casualties of a few books and heave the bulky wood back into its previous location. It’s much heavier than I expected and causes the tendons in my arm to strain with the pressure.
Roommate is back on her bed again, but the guy’s cheeks are flushed and his eyes are curved and distressed.
“She tried to make a dive for it.” He says with a twitch of his half smile. I imagine a replay of his lanky arms attempting to support my roommate and my laugh comes out through my nose.
Roommate gurgles something in her throat, and I suddenly have to swallow my own spit to keep from throwing up. His smile blanks. Like a shutter of an Etch a Sketch.
“Do you need to throw up?” he asks her again.
I impulsively almost respond, which makes me smile.
Roommate’s head is lolling on her shoulder but she manages what looks like a shake of a No. Sweaty strands of her bangs stick themselves to her forehead. She grins giddily with a close of her eyes.
“I love you guysss,” she says.
I frown, and the guy looks over at me with a look I can’t place. I attempt to read it, and then he turns away, the green in his eyes, flat.
I hop up on my bed again, and settle myself within a study blanket of every possible supply I could need, my laptop, notebooks, review sheets, and a textbook, before he hops beside me and does the same. I pick up the bottle of coffee he brought me from where it was lying on the bedspread, and unscrew it with a satisfying pop.
“I’m so excited,” I grin in anticipation of the first sip. I lightly tip back the glass bottle and it tastes better than I had imagined. Cold and refreshing. Creamy and jittery.
He sips the rim of his and tightens his lips with a smile.
“Mm,” he says.
“Hm,” I say.
A thought sparks and I place my laptop on the textbook next to me with a slip off the bed.
“What?” he asks curiously.
But I just flash him my smile.
“This right here,” I hold up my glass, “needs something else.” I bend down to the supply of food under my bed, and hold up a newly opened bag of Circus Animal Cookies like an exciting surprise.
He starts laughing and I rearrange myself with all my study materials plus the bag of childhood happiness.
“Those are so bad for you. They’re pure sugar.” He’s giving me this look he gets sometimes. It makes me feel like he doesn’t know who I am. Like he’s still trying to figure me out.
I take a swig of the coffee and put a pink one in my mouth. It crumbles nicely and the beads of sprinkles crunch in my molars.
“Little mini cakes with frosting,” I smile.
“They’re so bad for you.”
“Oh, they’re worth it.”
He scoffs and leans away from me and towards the end of my bed, reading his textbook with the light coming in from the window. He’s wearing black socks, and his feet dangle off the edge like the many things I wish I could say to him. Right there in front of me, but so far out of reach.
“You like a little kid sometimes,” he says without looking up.
“Not true.” I poorly retort.
He ignores me and sips again from his glass with a flip of the page.
I squint my eyes at him and wonder why he’s reading through the chapters blind, without looking at the study guide first. I wonder why he always pretends not to see the way I look at him. I tab down to the next number.
22. What is sexual attraction?
An erotically charged orientation toward a specific person
“Can I have one?” he mumbles.
“Hm?” I auto-ask, not really listening.
23. Be able to describe and explain the pros and cons for the different sex positions described in the book and lecture. This includes the man-above position, the woman-above position, side-by-side coitus, and rear-entry coitus.
Man-above position—traditional favorite, woman on her back with legs parted and the man places himself above her, supporting his upper body with his hands or elbows
Missionary position, one partner guides penis into vagina, eye contact but man’s hands are not free to roam around her body and tou
“Can I have one?” he repeats.
“What?” I’m still not listening.
“Um, one of those…”
Now I’m paying attention.
“Oh—what was that?” I say sarcastically.
“Can I have a cookie?” he says finally, his voice seeping with the embarrassment of back-tracking on his word.
“No,” I say. “Nope, now you have to wait ten minutes.”
My rejection amuses him and his face brightens.
“Seriously? Ten minutes?”
“Seriously.” I bite the head off a white elephant and laugh at the very prevalent one who sits at my feet every time he and I get alone together.
Oh good. Here comes the memory.
Ah together, like that one night when he fell asleep on the floor and I pretended I was too tired to make it to the clearly more comfortable bed, and so I curled up by myself on the carpet next to him. But I knew what I was doing there. Only one pillow after all. But I was drunkdrukcdruunk and his head was so close to mine I could feel his breathing slow down and deepen and level out as he drifted off into sleep. And all the times I’ve talked to him, I’ve never been able to hear him breathe before, so I wonder if he’s really sleeping, or if he’s still awake like I am, but then I must fall asleep too because then I wake up to him shivering and he’s curled up in the fetal position and I have all the blanket.
Are you alright? I whisper breathe at his forehead.
I’m fine yeah, he says; but his teeth are chattering like crazy, I sit up, the darkness swims across my vision so I have to stabilize myself by grabbing the floor and I pull the blanket, half the blanket, over his body but it doesn’t help because he’s so cold and practically convulsing.
But oh there’s another blanket on the couch, I tell him but I don’t know how I knew that, but then I am on the couch and then he is on the couch with me, against me, with our bodies touching and curved along the other in a way that makes sense. I snuggle back into him and his hands move to me and then to my legs, stomach, thighs, places I’d wanted him to know for so long, I arch my back like they say you do and his hands and chest react—gripping and breathing in my ear,
Tell me if you want me to stop, he steams in a whisper and I say
Well I don’t, because I like you, and I feel him smile even though he knows already and I also realize that this is the second time I’ve said that aloud and the second time he’s yet to respond but the Drunk tells me to pull his legs closer to mine; which I do and which he accepts with his fingers lightly tracing the dangerous edge of my laciness, and then I know, my lace knows, and I double know that he’s not going to respond because we both know he always pretends not to hear me when I tell him the truth.
Four minutes go by before I pass him the bag. He grins, and digs his hand inside for a scoop of the pink and white circus.
“That was ten minutes?” he questions.
“I figured you’d suffered enough.”
“Thanks,” he laughs.
Roommate sways into an upright position
“I have to pee,” she grumbles.
I sigh and give him a please, please don’t say I have to go with her look. He adjusts his positioning on his elbow. I see he’s already on the Contraception and Pregnancy chapter, which I think is an odd combination considering the second is a supposed solution if the first is a failure.
“You probably should,” he says.
I suck in my cheeks and slide off the bed. Roommate staggers to her feet.
“I don’t need your help,” she tries to convince me.
“Okay.” I ignore her and wait impatiently as she searches through her shower caddy.
“Stay here. I don’t want you to come with me.”
“I’m not drunk anymore.”
“Mmhm.” I was holding back any sharp comments for his convenience.
I follow behind her to the bathroom. She goes into the stall and dry heaves. I wash my hands.
We return to our room and I crawl up on my bed again. I’m so screwed for this midterm.
24. Be able to define and describe traits for casual/short-term sex partner?
Physical appearance is most important criterion, but also need trustworthiness, warmth, humor, ect..
But through the casual/short-term relations, you’re still unconsciously evaluating person as potential long term
“Thanks for helping me out,” I turn to him impulsively, “because I know you’d rather be studying by yourself, but I’m glad I didn’t have to take care of her alone.” My eyes flicker to Roommate, who’s appears to be checking to see if her pants are on backwards. “So, thanks.” I finish.
The guy nods slightly, and continues to scan the Chapter 14 Section 3 page with his eyes. The eyes that are prettier and greener than mine. Better than walking away, I guess.
I screw the cap on my drink and he smiles at his book.
“I hope you like animals in your coffee,” he says without looking up.
He doesn’t respond, so I ignore him for once.
25. Be able to expla
He starts to snicker.
25. Be able to explain the diffe
I suddenly burst out laughing. “Wait. Did you put one of those inside here?” He starts cracking up with a shut of his eyes, and contagiously, I catch his laughter, sloshing my coffee bottle back and forth in search of the drowning cookie. “Do they even float?” I comically hold it above me and he continues to laugh.
“I dunno…” he says mysteriously, making an innocent expression.
I unscrew the cap and peer inside, yet I see nothing but the light brown mixture. I glare up at him, putting on the best version of my squished up angry face. Eyes narrowed, mouth tight.
“You didn’t even put one in there, did you?”
His eyes flash innocently green and I can see the scar between his eyebrows, the fading sunlight slashes along his jaw line and then he drops a pink cookie inside my open glass.
25. Be able to explain the difference between foreplay and afterplay.
Foreplay—sexual behavior engaged in during the early part of sexual encounter, aim of increasing sexual arousal
Necking—kissing and touching confined to head and neck
Petting—touching naked skin below neck, excluding breasts or genitalia
Heavy petting—touching breasts or genitalia
Fondling—broader term that could include any of these behaviors
Afterplay—sexual behavior engaged in after coitus or orgasm, or at end of sexual encounter
“Do you want some pasta? I just realized we haven’t eaten anything all day.”
He shakes his head, not looking up.
I wonder why I continue to offer him things, but I make a pot for myself and come back.
Roommate is now up and about, apparently sober now.
“Popcorn?” she asks flatly.
“No, thanks.” He and I reply at the same time and then exchange looks.
“I have to sleep soon.” Roommate tells us, “So, can you two leave or like—”
“We’ll be quiet,” I say.
Roommate and I stare at each other for a moment.
“I’ll have some popcorn,” the guy says with a hop off my bed.
She hands him the bowl and he sit back down, popping a few in his mouth and then tilting it in my direction. I shake my head and start attacking my giant bowl of pasta with parmesan. It tastes fantastic.
26. How do men’s and women’s preferences for sexual encounters differ? How are they the same?
A piece of popcorn is in my bowl. I look over at him and he’s intently reading, this time, his elbow towards me and his feet near the window. His big toe taps the air to a song I don’t know. I eat the piece and search the paragraph I’m on for the answer.
Now there are two pieces of popcorn in my pasta.
And now there’s a handful. I cover my bowl protectively.
“Stop it, I don’t want to eat these!”
He laughs and tosses two over, one of them managing its way between the gab in my hands.
“Well, then don’t eat them.”
I take the ones he threw in my bowl and chuck them back into his with a chuckle.
“HA, now it’s all cheesy.”
Roommate rustles in her blankets and I tilt my head at him. “Er, wait, cheese is actually good on popcorn, right? Isn’t that like, a thing people do?”
We share a laugh in which his eyes close again. He eats the few pieces and smiles.
“You’re the cheese to my popcorn.” He says, his face now towards the bowl, avoiding eye contact.
I laugh and watch his brain churn to finish the statement, “Sticky and abrasive,” he completes.
And then we both laugh again, because of our ridiculous situation and because I know his silly metaphor is true and because of my lactose intolerance and because my roommate was finally sleeping, and because of the irony. It’s ironic that cheese isn’t abrasive and we know what our hands feel like together and he also knows that his hands fit nicely under my bra and I’m aware of the approximate size of his penis through his pants, but that I was never able to know the soft texture of his lips on mine.
And as I dig around the bag for yet another cookie, I also discover with a slight shade of dismay, that we’d eaten all the elephants. Except not.