“Why do you do it” He asked.
“Because I want to” I replied.
“Why do you want to?”
“Because I enjoy it”
“Is that your highest truth?”
I hate it when Graeme asks that. I looked over at him, he was wearing that “I know you better than you know yourself” face.
I wanted to slap him, but he was correct, or at least the question was correct.
He didn’t know me better than myself, but he did know me well enough to know when I was lying. It worried me that perhaps he would be able to see better than I when I was lying to myself.
I sighed and stopped my thoughts from unravelling away from me any further.
I hadn’t lied so far, my answers were true but they were incomplete, so no, this was not my highest truth.
I tried again, slowly forming the words in an attempt to communicate the truth.
“I do it because I want the attention, I enjoy the attention. I need the attention. In the attention I get validation that I exist, that I am real and that I matter, for good or bad, for offence or approval; I count.”
I sighed again, yes that was my truth. I waited.
He took his glasses off, huffed breath onto the lenses and rubbed them on the corner of his shirt. Shit this was such a cliche, I half expected him to start talking again in a fake Freud accent. I squinted at him and replaced his jeans and shirt with tweed three piece suit, I hummed a few tuneless notes to myself.
After a considered pause he replaced his glasses and looked at me square in the face.
“So this is why you behave in a sexually provacative fashion, to feel like you matter?”
The first affirmative was filled with bravado, the second the sound of sadness, it didn’t sound so bold when I said it out loud.
Now I’ve read the books and periodicals, trawled all kinds of internet message boards and discussions and the truth is that a woman that is determined in her sexuality is still something of an enigma to society. There isn’t an adequate word to describe her. It is still true that a promiscuous man is a stud his female counterpart a slut. It doesn’t matter that many women chose to reclaim this title and name themselves proudly with it, the rest of the world hasn’t caught up yet and neither had my best friend.
I’ve known Graeme nearly ten years now, since our final year at uni when he transferred onto my course. We’ve always only been friends, not that there is anything only about it. He is my rock, a stable foundation in the buffeting winds of life. But still he is bemused by this part of me, the sexually provocative, inviting, open woman that likes to fuck. I think he supposed it was a uni thing, that I would grow out of it and into some more conventional mode of womanhood. I haven’t, how can you grow out of who you are?
If anything I have grown into it, become more discerning in who and what I seek to experience. I’ve refined my taste, my palate. In the early years of our friendship we spent many a night with me crying and bemoaning the men that fucked and fled, so brainwashed was I by society that I thought I had to be in a pair. I didn’t understand that I was okay, I didn’t need to be in a relationship, now I do, but again Graeme doesn’t seem to understand this shift.
That I can play, have friends that fuck and that in seeming to race through a list of names and sexes that I am not in fact searching for a life partner, that sometimes the no strings attached is part of the allure. He sees it as an endless string of peccadilloes, I see it as life.
Never the twain shall meet. Though to my friend’s eternal credit he has never turned away from what he cannot understand. He does occasionally, like today, try to understand however clumsily.
But mostly he accepts me as I am flaws and all.