From the author: You’re too nervous to talk to women, but talking is the only way to a connection and eventual intimacy. So when a beautiful woman literally steps in front of you, what do you do?
I'm on the Metro, the yellow line, somewhere under the Potomac, thinking of how much I don't need sex. There's a girl. I'm sitting. She's standing, her soft short-fingered right hand curled around a pole. Her ass is right in my face. It's big. Gorgeous. I stare at the two twin curves of her hips bulging over the waist of her black miniskirt. I imagine a subterranean breeze sweeping beneath. Is her underwear too small? Is it creeping up her crack? I could slip my hands under her skirt and squeeze. She would be soft and warm. I could lose myself inside of her.
I don't need sex at all.
She shifts her weight as the train shudders. The curves under her skirt shift too. The train lurches again. Her soft hand on the pole squeezes; her fingers must taste like dull steel.
Suddenly there's a guy. I smell him before I see him. He's stumbling along. Panhandling. I'm safe behind her panoramic ass. He approaches her.
Heyugoddadahla, he says, one low mumbled word. Her head turns. She does a thing with her eyes, looking at the ground instead of the person she's trying to ignore.
Sorry, she says.
She does the thing with her eyes again. Her legs are pale, like thick marble pillars. Moisturized. Used to things like all-natural-cucumber-peppermint-herbal-girly-super-sensitive-skin-lotion. He takes a step closer to her, doing a thing with his shoulders and head, a coy little flirt-dance-wiggle. He says, Yuhno, you shouldn't be by yuhself here, there's dangerous people onnis Metro.
Her smile is wan, trapped. The heat between my legs spikes. I could put my chapped mouth on her soft white neck. I could slouch in my seat and slip my hand up under her skirt to a hot tangled virgin jungle.
I haven't had sex in 6 years, 3 months, and 17 days, and this girl is making me soak clear through my boxers.
She turns her body into the pole, as if that thin line of steel could swallow up her curves and bare skin. Her breasts match her ass, huge, wonderful, too big for her clothes.
I don't need sex at all.
I sit on my hands. A little sound escapes my throat.
She's wearing makeup. The hand on the pole curls tighter—her nails are warm pink—and she shifts her weight. She's the kind of girl who calls her underwear 'panties'.
You sure ah pretty, he says.
She shrinks towards me, into the pole.
SHE SURE IS, I say, loudly.
This girl jumps. Her eyes go doe-wild.
She's looking at me with those brown eyes, and I'm sitting on my hands.
Thanks, she says.
She gets off at L'Enfant Plaza. I watch her leave. In a second and a half everything we could have been together flares up, breathes, crumbles in my mind, a lifetime of warmth, birthdays, old horror movies, arguing about Marxism, growing old, planting geraniums or something in a window box. All the people of the world swallow her up.
I see her ass when I close my eyes.
I'm still sitting on my hands.
This story originally appeared in Happy.
From a mechanical forest that constructs itself to the streets of Kyoto 8,000 years hence, the sometimes whimsical, sometimes cutting short fiction of KJ Kabza has been dubbed “Delightful” (Locus Online) and “Very clever, indeed” (SFRevu). Collecting all of his work published before May 2011 (plus 5 new stories, notes on the stories, and an interview by Julia Rios), IN PIECES offers glimpses into other worlds—some not unlike your own.
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