Lust Life: The 24-Hour Date


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We didn’t plan to go to Central Park at 1:30 in the morning. We wandered away from an uptown Rooftop Films screening, slipping into the penumbra as easily as we slipped in and out of conversation. Officially the park closes at 1 a.m. Not for us.
We sat on the edge of the fountain that reminds me of the timeless squares of Europe while the Angel of Waters poured her streams into the lily pad spotted basin below. No other human could be seen. It seemed that everything in this bold new world existed for us alone. Who else could hear the fountain streams? Who else could feel this breeze?

A few minutes earlier, he took me from behind as I stood with my palms flat against a wall under the recently restored promenade, and so it seemed that the gleaming mosaics and powdery frescos had been revived solely for our pleasure. After he came, I slapped my bare butt down on the cool dusty stone with my jeans scrunched around my calves. Then he dived like a seal through the loop of denim and skin and licked me while I stared at the grand space surrounding us imagining the pedestrians who would be passing in 12 hours when all was hot and bright. What a delicious thought! They would have no idea what ecstasies transpired beneath the beautiful woman painted on the wall—or was she a goddess? We presumed she was a goddess—Diana, perhaps: toga-clad, vines at her feet, doves in her hand. It was she I pressed against when he entered me.


At the fountain, I said unabashedly, “It’s not like this with everyone I date…I really enjoy being with you.”


He asked, “Do your lovers bore you that easily?”


“It’s not that they bore me…It’s not that I don’t enjoy them. I just get to a point where I’ve had enough…OK, time to go home now, I have things to do. I’m reminded of my life and I’m not sad to see them go.”


Our date began when so many dates begin: 7 o’clock on Friday night—a reasonable hour, cliché really, when you consider how many people structure their romantic lives around weekend “dinner and a movie” routines. Unconventional as I am, I do have my patterns. The usual progression of a date, assuming it starts in the evening, is that we end up at my place for sex, and then he or she goes home around 1 or 2. If the date bleeds into morning and the person wakes up in my bed, the chance of it extending into the afternoon with brunch and more sex and cuddling into the early evening is next to none. When daylight casts harsh reality on the extra body in my bed, I am oh-so-ready to be alone again—back to my space, my work, my self.


Generally I think it’s a bad idea to have a 24-hour date at the beginning of a new relationship. Nine times out of 10, too much exposure in the initial stages will leave you either bored or burned. As much as I laugh at mainstream dating advice, there is one “rule” that resonates with me: “Don’t make yourself too available. Be busy.” However, I don’t pretend to be at the mercy of my schedule in order to create an aura of attractive elusiveness that will keep my lover interested. Instead, the rule manifests itself out of necessity. I just don’t have a lot of time for one person within my world of multiple careers and relationships. At least, this is what I tell myself.


At 1:30 in the morning, our date wasn’t even half over. We walked through the park all the way to my apartment. Night blended into morning as he blended into my bed, and we didn’t awake until noon. I asked him if he wanted to have brunch. I put my apron on him. We cooked. We ate. We talked without the flutter of a restless thought in my head. What seemed like moments later, we were blissfully stranded on a desert island, eating pomegranates and making love on the sand. When we resurfaced from this fantasy, we looked at the clock for the first time in hours. It was almost 7 p.m. “My God,” I said,
“We’ve had a 24-hour date.”

It’s rare that someone can tap into that certain intangible something that sucks me into a 24-hour date. What is it? It’s a synergy that knows no bounds, that’s either there or isn’t. It cannot develop over time nor can it be consciously created, worked on through counseling or cultivated in a workshop. It’s there … it’s there from the start, as clear as the Manhattan skyline, as clear as these words on a page.



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