our imaginary hook-up always goes really well, though i guess most imaginary hook-ups do. we contain the usual facets of this kind of thing—some tightness; that tension, they call it; becoming increasingly intolerable—temptation so easily snapped. in the imaginary there is nothing confusing between us (this is the most obvious way of telling how imaginary it is), as if we are both following the directions of a script we’ve read ahead of time (or we are just that in sync). i know in the non-imaginary i could stand inside that thrumming tension forever, however intolerable, until it stopped thrumming (because everything does stop eventually, everything does come to an end, and i have a bad tendency to wait). but in the imaginary i’m an actor, meaning that i act, and you’re an actor, meaning that you act. in the non-imaginary this is entirely impossible. you are too nervous and i am too embarrassed. probably. god, imagine the real conversation? yeah, that wouldn’t work. and anyway, in the moments when i really understand your corporeality (which is not always), your aliveness, your subjectivity—my little fantasy tends to burn away like an old photograph on fire, and i’m not even sorry to see it go.
Mariah Eppes (she/her) is a writer in New York City. You can find more of her work around the internet and at birdbyrocket.com. She's on Instagram [@bird.by.rocket] and Twitter [@BirdByRocket].