He’d given her her first orgasm. Her first two men hadn’t been able to do it. He fucked her with his hands. He did it for a while, and then she came on his hands. She coiled around him while she came, and shuddered. He was happy she came, and then she fucked him with her mouth; she was happy to do this. They parted after some months.

Years after they had finished, she met him at the piers. The piers extended out into the deep water, and she met him at the very tip of the wooden structure. It had been a while since they’d seen each other, long enough for the old animosity to have died and to have been replaced by an almost fresh attraction. It was as though evisceration had never occurred. Each of them came to the end of the pier with internal organs intact, fully, as the sun sunk beneath the waves they looked out on.

“I’ve fallen in love with harlots,” he said to her. “I used to play your body like guitar strings.”

“Speak in your own words. You are no Casanova.”

He laughed at this, and she laughed at his laugh. There had always been music while they fucked. He knew she remembered, and he knew she had heard only her own noises in that room that year. Her raven hair brushed her shoulders as she turned towards him.

“Those fucking songs,” she said, “used to make me laugh. Is melodrama still your taste?”

“Those songs are emotion distilled into noise. Why don’t we walk somewhere for a drink?”

“All you do is drink.”

“But not with you anymore.”

“We couldn’t at the time. I don’t think we ever did.”

“Then we have a lot of drinks to make up for.”

The pair walked down the narrow pier towards the bustling quay and disappeared on the boulevard. They walked some way, passing shops and boutique art installations. He remarked on these things, and she remarked on his enduring cynicism. He put his hand over her shoulder, and she did not remove it. His hand migrated towards her waist, and she did not remove it. She was pulled towards him, and she did not resist. The pair drifted along the quay.

At some point there was a bar, at which he and she got all caught up. The years dissolved over spirits, and each wrote a story about the other’s years just for themselves. Their stories prepared, they moved with each other back into the city and through its darkened corridors. They told themselves these stories again, privately, as they embraced at stoplights, waiting for the walking man to appear.

They were at her apartment building, which erected itself full 40 stories above the city’s central piazza. The giant advertisements washed her olive skin in sickly light. She saw the dullness of his eyes given life by the reflected neon dreams. He saw her tattoos, new to him, flash and fade as media space changed hands above them.

In the elevator ride, they saw both sides of each other and themselves, in the mirrors. He liked looking at her ass while she thrust her face into his. She liked that he could look at her ass with one eye, and her tits and mouth with the other. Then the door opened and they were back to one view at a time. She showed him her apartment, but he didn’t see it; he mostly saw her and the city lights through the windows. It was late. Why are there so many lights on at this time? Maybe our meeting is playing out all around this skyline, like in mirrors? Universals, maybe.

They fucked, but he fucked with his hands, again. He didn’t know why this was. He was attracted to her intellectually. He was attracted to her physically; she was as a Renaissance painting. But his body would not respond. Her body responded to his touch, as a musical instrument does. But his body would not respond.

He did not know why this was. He knew that he was not attracted to those like himself, even in the abstract. His aesthetic sense was sound, and everything was in its right place in both of them. Very much so for her. Even with this one, why? This shouldn’t be so. Why is this so? She is so beautiful. She desires me. Why is this so? This shouldn’t be so.

He removed himself from the woman, who was sleeping off her pleasure, and found himself in her kitchen. He took a swig of her vodka bottle. He took another swig of her vodka bottle. Why had that been so? Why had any of this been so. Why had his reactions not been those of others, in this and in everything else? Why had all of this been so, and he leaned over her balcony. The wind blew, and the city lights swam before him, but he could not see the stars. The stars were obscured by the city lights: the stars were nowhere to be seen, and there was only black in front of his eyes when he looked up. There was no green or blue, but only black and the neon yellow of their city.

The evening air brushed his hair into his eyes. He took a swig of her vodka bottle, and then he took a final swig. She murmured and swooned in her sleep-state and reached for him across her covers. The air rushed past him as he fell, and he looked for the stars as he fell, but couldn’t find them. He thought to see them at the end. But he saw the city lights, and he contented himself with these, but only because he was forced to. It should be noted that no scream escaped his lips.

She woke, and assumed that he’d left her by the usual avenues and for the usual reasons that men leave women in the mornings after they’ve loved them. She thought him a real Casanova, and despite herself, she loved him for it. She loved him for leaving her like that, despite herself.