the fights we have, they're different from other couple's fights. last night i was sunken into this low chair. he leaned over me, and we discussed body image. males and females, i said, were equally artistically appropriate. any preference for one gender over the other in art is based on a projection of sexuality over art in general. yes, i'd rather look at male body, angular, finely muscled, and compacted, but i know that's because i'd rather screw a male body, angular, finely muscled, and compacted. and i know there is a compositional use for the curves of the female body. and i understand how that has been linked to the sexuality of male artists, and why that view has become predominant (but, also, damaging. by calling one body type artistic you objectify that body type. unless both men and women can become artist and subject we risk summing up a woman's worth in her artistic, compositional appearance, while men are never reduced to these aspects of themselves).
i said, i know about these things, i've drawn both men and women nude. it has nothing to do with attraction or beauty. it has to do with the human form, and the male form is certainly not a flawed version of the female, without artistic merit. they are both artistically valid.
he said, i can understand that, except the junk, the junk is out of place.
but it's only out of place, i returned, on the female body, fluid and curvacious. men are filled with muscle, or pads of fat that do not follow such a flowing form, and the junk is part of their distinct bodily structure. and i should have added, it's only out of place because you're used to looking at women. evolution (and I wonder, how is this different from saying "god") designed us a certain way for a reason, and neither genitalia is essentially "right." but i didn't say that. i paused, reached up, kissed him.
you're wrong, he said, smiling, and you're only distracting me by kissing me because you're wrong.
i didn't like that i guess, but i was a drunk, too, my reactions were skewed. i rose and walked out on to the stairwell, sat against the rail. i simmered, felt disrespected. inside, i thought i heard him say something about plato to someone. before he followed me.
i remember saying, you don't listen to me, you don't respect me, you had no argument to support my being wrong and everyone who disagrees with you is wrong anyway. you dismissed me without hearing me out, all because i kissed you. it's not fair.
and he said, i respect you, you wouldn't be my girlfriend if i didn't.
then he said something that i misconstrued to mean that he thought i acted like his mother. and if you've met his mother, and if you know jordan, you know why that's a bad thing. i got up crying, and walked outside. i think i yelled something mean. i was drunk, and i'm sorry, i'm sorry, for misunderstanding.
neither of us are high maintanance people. we never fight about people being late, or spending too much time with friends, jealousy hasn't really come up in months, we don't fight about stupid shit but what we are is two opinionated people with a lot to say.
but we care.
outside, leaning against the bumper of his car, watching police speed by at three in the morning, he told me he addresses me as if i were another man, so it's okay to say "you're wrong" if you mean "i disagree" and you're not supposed to acknowledge the gray area, and he's used to dismissing people's arguments like that, because men compete, and women build relationships through common ground.
and we're different like that, and the whole argument came down to semantics.
i said, it's not men and women, but a culture that teaches men and women to act in certain ways. in africa there's a tribe where the men dress up and put on make up and dance for the women, who choose the prettiest man to marry.
i've heard of that, and i'm so glad you're smart, he said, smiling again, hand on the back of my neck. we shared vodka kisses.
i pressed my body to his, looked up in green eyes. he said, it's all worth it for moments like these, i love you so much right now. i said, i love you so much right now too, i want you, i'm glad we can talk about the things that don't matter, we can fight about it, and be okay. and our speech was littered with phrases i wouldn't put here, words i wouldn't share with anyone, the most important secrets.
he bought me a slurpee on the way home, and we didn't sleep in his bed.
spring now, and i want to go to the beach soon, leave our prints along the sand and our images on strips of paper in the photobooth.
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