“Swan Dive

Jo Barchi



I’m crying in the back office at work because the libertarian I’m sleeping with crushed some pussy last night. This was the inevitable end to bisexual visibility day, but let me back track.

I had sex with him on Thursday night again, thinking I had freed myself from some kind of mental anguish. I know what we are now! It’s friends with benefits! I can do that! Hell anyone can! It would be cowardly not to. The sex is too good. He made me cum so hard I couldn’t stop hysterically laughing afterwards. I just looked at him and laughed and laughed. I can’t remember what color his eyes are, but I was looking right into them. And then I used my cum as lube and jerked him off, biting his earlobe and sucking at his collarbone and fingering his nipple. I asked him if he wanted to cum on my face again and he said: I’ll shoot wherever you want.

Be still my heart! ROMANCE here in the modern age. Of course he came all over my face. Ropes and ropes of that gorgeous vegetarian cum, you know exactly what I mean. The taste, the consistency. It makes up for years of cum from idiots that had the texture of nerds rope and eluded my mouth all together. You know what kind of cum I mean.

I made sure this time to suck him dry afterwards too, god his cock is so thick. Perfect fucking irish east coast cock, so hard to come by in the midwest.

Why dear Turner, do I feel so shattered then? Is it because he said that even after sleeping with me he still needed a win? I think we both know I’m the easiest W a man can acquire in this windy town. Winning a world series or a superbowl are goals that are lofty and out of reach for most of these Malort swillers, these champions of four hamms on a first date. But me? They can consume all the liquor they want, all the bathwater beers they need, they all know that I’ll be available to be gently shoved into the nearest wall.

He did choke me fully this time, a welcome change from my usual favorite, the hand placed firmly on the throat, no force though. Only the knowledge that force could be used. It felt electric, I wanted him to go further even, but I stopped. I was reminded the next morning by a friend that I spent this entire spring saying I wanted a man to beat the shit out of me. I guess I’ve been saying that for a long time now. I wonder where that desire comes from? It’s probably something about intimacy, or maybe closeness, which aren’t really different I guess. Where do you think the desire to be punched comes from, and where can I go to get a real good knuckle sandwich in this goddamn town?

The long story is he’s the trade of my dreams. He distracts me throughout the day with photos and videos of his dog, memes about drunk driving, and other classic hot guy behavior. He’s read one book in the last year and it was a book about the history of miners unionizing in Pennsylvania. His hair is so curly, so fun to hold onto when we frot. GOD the frotting, it was so intense this time, at first I felt content to kiss him slowly, and then suddenly I was naked and so was he and my cock was rutting into his, and then lower, and then lower, and then I was throbbing in between his ass cheeks with his hole rubbing into my head. Surprise! I’m suddenly a top, post choke.

I’ve been joking about needing a lobotomy but apparently a restricted airflow for 30 seconds will do the job perfectly fine!

I didn’t fuck him though, and he didn’t fuck me. How libertarian of us both!

I feel like I’m betraying your trust when I admit that sometimes I don’t even think about fucking him, I just think about kissing him. What a failed slut thing to say! I didn’t even gag on his cock this time. I was dying to be face fucked but couldn’t be bothered to ask for it. After the choking you think he would take more initiative, but it took him three hook ups to even alert me to the fact that his small pink nipples are sensitive and directly connected to his cock! They don’t even jut out! How was I to know?

Great now I’ve made myself horny while I cry, how French. Or German maybe? What’s the difference again? This scene isn’t shot in black and white so it’s hard to tell, but the white walls of this office certainly feel French.

I guess I’m not cut out for casual sex. Or that’s not true. I can slut with the best of them. Rut and suck and fuck and top and bottom and spin my partner round and round wherever he lands he can’t be found! But I cannot spend three nights beside a man in bed.

I spent the night again and at one point he woke me up in the night. He put his hand on my head and even ran his fingers into my hair to wake me up. In my memory he sounded kind and worried but he was probably annoyed. I was making a noise in my sleep, like my teeth were grinding loudly or something? He didn’t know what the noise was but it scared him. I think I was having a nightmare maybe. I felt cared for, god I can hear the girls now. THE BAR IS ON THE FLOOR JO. I know it is you assholes. It’s not my fault! I didn’t make the conditions of love! I simply do everything in my power to create them every moment of every day with every man I meet!

Maybe I’m just scarcity brain again. How ridiculous. I live in a goddamn cultural capital. I’m getting ahead of myself. I don’t want to date him. He loves hiking, or, like, climbing rocks. Something like that. He has a great dog and I do enjoy sleeping next to him, and kissing him, and the sex I’ve been clear about. I just freak out. I’m fine for exactly one day. I leave his place and then 30 minutes later there’s a video of his dog. He is sweet in that way. He knows I love her. But then I wonder, why not invite me back, again? Tonight? Why not ask me to be in your bed every night for a week? Why not pretend this is the love I need? I’ve grown out of all the empty bottles in my closet, but he’s still having nightmares ever since he quit smoking weed. I understand the logic of friends with benefits, really I do. Why buy the cow when I can milk you for free?

Maybe the problem is that I always want to be the most worthy cow, or that I think that if I’m the cow who finally gets picked then I’ll really be worth it. Or maybe the problem is that I’m not a cow. I just cannot be left to graze for hours on my own. I’m a lamb and I need a goddamn shephard.

I don’t need a cattle prod, or an electric fence, or even monogamy. Hell, I’ll even let him cheat. Any him. I’ve said it for years but I’ll say it again. No man has ever loved me enough to cheat on me. They would rather just leave me for someone else. Whatever happened to cheating? Whatever happened to staying until it’s time to use that information against me? Whatever happened to heterosexuality? Is that what I’m trying to recreate? Is that why I’m unhappy?

I haven’t put on Swan Dive yet. I can’t listen to it. Turner, I’m scared. It’s only been four times, but I think I could love him. If I listen to Swan Dive, if I do my litmus test for love, if it comes back positive, I don’t know that I’ll be able to do what needs to be done. I don’t know if I’ll survive the winter, when he drives his burnt orange Subaru off to warmer climate for a few months. Hanging in Montana, not missing any part of me. Maybe my tongue in his inner ear lobe, but I’m sure he could find some fifth wave emo girl to do that for him.

Love Without Anal! There’s my fucking memoir title, or a play about the state of the american family. You decide. Would it win any awards? I sure hope so. I’ve always wanted a peabody. I’ve always wanted a boyfriend. I’ve always wanted a husband. I’ve always clung to a man’s indifference, and they’ve always clung to their worst memories.

I am ruled by seasons and sadness, it’s inexplicable, but mainly I’m ruled by the explicable ways my parents raised me to be. Damn my central nervous system and damn this man for having good tattoos and a tongue that makes me pant like his dog on a hot day.

Maybe I’m not a cow or a lamb. Maybe I’m just a dog. Always afraid that when he leaves the house, he’ll never be back. I don’t even have a key to the house. Turner I’m stuck, but I swear I’m growing out of all those empty words I always speak.

Are you? Write back and tell me please. And tell me about the raver, with his spiked belts and unstoppable cock? I’m dying for a hit of it.


Jo Barchi is a writer and editor living in Chicago. They are an editor at Joyland Magazine. Their work has previously appeared in Tagvverk, Bright Wall Dark Room, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Triangle House Review, and Social Text Journal.

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