It was one o’clock in the morning and we were just coming out of a fairly heavy round of drinking which may or may not have started with a musical jam in the little studio space our university hadn’t advertised as owning. We had made sure to put a little drum kit in there, and moved the piano to the same room, so it was at least possible to jam. Tom had his guitar; Em, her trombone; Sarah, her saxophone. I didn’t always remember to bring an instrument, but tonight, I had a bag full of percussion.
That, however, had been a few hours ago. For the past while, we had been drinking. I, of course, was completely sober – everyone else had their own varying state of intoxication. My job was to get everyone onto the number one bus from Old Market Square appropriately. Helena had come over rather giggly.
“I don’t love him,” Sarah was saying, “I really don’t. I keep telling myself that, that I don’t love him…”
“Have you told him that?” cut in Rachel. Helena giggled.
“…no, but really, I don’t. But I want to see him. Just once. I have to see him again.” Helena giggled.
“Are you sure that’s healthy?” pressed Rachel, who was looking serious. “Your ex cast you completely adrift…” (Helena giggled at this point) “…and you want to spend time with him, just to see him again? Does anyone think that’s wise?”
Nobody raised their hand. Two years prior, I’d stood in almost this exact spot, locked in a messy kiss with an ex I had decided I ‘just wanted to see’. I was wiser then, although there and then I would have kissed Sarah, Rachel or Helena, if only she could stop laughing long enough.
“I just want to see him,” Sarah shrugged, as if this ended the discussion.
“All right, you want to see him,” conceded Rachel. “But make sure you don’t do anything stupid.”
“Yeah,” said Sarah wistfully. “I miss sex.”
don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it
“I haven’t had sex for two years,” I said out loud, “and after a while, it gets easier.”
now go stand in a corner and think about what you did
“TWO YEARS?” yelled Rachel, who had just explicitly told someone not to have sex. “Nah, that’s impossible. Couldn’t do two years.”
“I do it, like, two times a day,” said Mouth.
“I used to have a lot of sex, said Em, “but then I dumped my…”
“…two weeks is a bit of a stretch…”
“…all these boys, I mean, why should I choose one?…”
“…these beds are too small, when you’re not living in hall, it’s easier…”
“…three times a day if I can, I mean, if I’m free and lunchtime and…”
“…still don’t know why she did it, I mean, I was still right…”
“…told him I was gay, I mean, I am gay, but I still told him that…”
“…so needy, we had sex a few times and he thought I liked him…”
“…I miss sex.”
“Are you quite ready?”
We’d managed to make our way onto the number one bus without anyone noticing. The driver was looking annoyed for having been held up, but this was the terminus, and according to the timetable, he wouldn’t be leaving for a while. I dug around for my return ticket in the third pocket of my combats while Rachel and Sarah carried Helena, who was now experiencing paroxysms of hysterical mirth, into an empty double seat, where she lay weeping with laughter.
None of my housemates were awake when I got back. I had lectures in the morning, too. Vaguely wondering if Sarah would, in fact, sleep with her ex the following week or if Helena would ever understand the concept of “quiet”, I stripped off and sank into my bed.
“Yeah…” I said to the darkness. “I miss sex too.”