True Stories Friends With Benefits

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Maybe it’s the bourbon, but lately, we’ve been feeling nostalgic. With writing this good, can you blame us? “Friends With Benefits” originally ran in 2010.

A few Octobers ago, a couple weeks after Tim and I first began seeing each other, we were lying in bed in a hotel room in Chelsea. We weren’t having an affair or on vacation; Tim just wanted to stay in a hotel for a few nights. It was a Sunday afternoon and we’d just finished having sex and were breathless and a little shy. I wasn’t entirely comfortable yet and we didn’t always have so much to say, but still I thought there was probably something between us, something that eluded language. We were lying on our backs, eating Pringles from complimentary containers (one bright red miniature stack on each faux-wood nightstand) and we were watching some movie about a family with a ton of kids. There was a lot of physical comedy — grownups slipping on banana peels and kids throwing balloons full of chocolate pudding at each other.

“This is all I want,” he said, gesturing toward the screen. “A house in the country, a handful of kids, and also, a pet baby shark.”  He was always saying things like this — things that were about to be predictable and then made some sudden shift or turn — and maybe that was why I liked him so much. I turned on my side and pressed my lips to his shoulder, so tan and broad.

We didn’t always have so much to say, but still I thought there was something between us, something that eluded language.

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