From an earlier tryst, before the most recent falling out, I had a sweater of Astrid's. Grey wool, and just a bit too small for her chest. It would be hard to get that chest off my mind.

We had had an argument about something silly (or so I thought), and realizing that I would probably never get along with her I'd told her our relationship not working out and that I felt we should call it quits. "I still have your sweater," I mentioned. "Is it OK if I bring it in to work tomorrow?"

"You know perfectly well I don't want any of my private life happening here at work," she screeched, the beginning of yet another tempest in the making. "Bring it to me tonight - I'll be home."

Later that evening, I drove to her place. The stupid sweater, last tangible remainder and reminder of a stormy relationship which had finally foundered, was in a plastic shopping bag. I rang the bell, she buzzered the door, I trudged up the stairs and stood outside her half-open door, looking ill at ease. She was standing inside, looking painfully beautiful again. I lifted my arm to wordlessly hand her the bag. She pulled me in by my wrist. "Come in," she somehow dominated me while looking up from all of 5-2. "Sit down; I want to talk to you".

Still clutching the plastic bag with what had once been my trophy, I shuffled up to the recliner and sat down. There was no anger in me, just sadness. Our... whatever it had been, it was over. I was going to have to say goodbye. Her blonde hair was falling into her face in a way that made it even harder for me. As she berated me, I pulled the sweater out of the bag and made futile male gestures of trying to straighten it out before gently draping it on the arm of the recliner. Had I hurt her yet again, to deserve being lectured like this? I was still wearing my jacket, and quietly folded up the bag and stuffed it into one of the jacket's roomy outer pockets. I looked silly, sitting with my jacket draped around me, and the stuff in my pockets would make me look fat when I stood up. I was too sad to care, though, and would have liked our parting to be over soon. Instead, I was being made to explain myself.

"Everytime I do something, you yell at me. I'm never able to satisfy you, and I just cause you problems. You want me gone, so I'm going." Made sense to me, anyway.

"Do you know what I want?"

Hell no. That had been my problem with her all along. Not just with her, come to think of it. For a moment, I panicked: Another trick question. Then I relaxed. It was over, I had nothing to lose. "No, I don't think so. Is there something you'd like me to do?"

"I want you to sleep with me tonight."

"But why? What's the use, I thought we were through?"

"Never mind about that. I don't want a relationship, I don't want you to stay, I just want to sleep with you. Is that so hard?"

I shrugged. "Doesn't matter much to me - I've got nothing planned. Can I use your shower tomorrow morning?" Over all her allocutions, it had gotten late. I followed her into the bedroom, dispassionately aware that she only wants me for sex.

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