Good Sex, Bad Music

It was a warm summer night in Paris, almost ten years ago, and we were lying in bed savoring a joint made sweeter by the post sex haze that flooded us. He started a game of true lies and random confessions; it was one of our favorite past-times, second only to "Who can come up with a more thought-provoking question?".

He told me he'd lied to his shrink that week, because he couldn't stand to tell her that we'd gotten back together again, after yet another of our nasty break-ups. But that the sex was so good, he just couldn't stay away. He was artful with his flattery, flirtations, lies and make-belief. And there was no denying that we used the sex and the conversation to stimulate each other to such heights, that all sorts of indiscretions were forgiven, just for these moments of post-coital glow.

I'd been intently focussed on a futile attempt to make smoke-rings in the still night air, but gave up when I realized that it was my turn now. Pretending an air of nonchalance, I told him that the one fantasy that never failed me, was picturing Michael walking in on us any moment now. I heard him run his fingers through his shaggy brown hair, as he tried to decide whether or not he was going to take the bait. In the end, he settled for an old joke, "As long as he brings us some more of that fine scotch, there's room for three".

Yes, a moment of comic relief, and I was ready to play my trump card in the game: "Mon Cheri, I have a confession to make: I think I've had you fooled for a long time, but now it's time you knew. I have bad taste in music".


He took a deep drag of the joint, gently flicking ash with his forefinger, in a practiced gesture I knew so well. Raising my chin with his left hand, he gazed into my eyes, while I saw the shadows of mirth, pain and laughter mingle in his countenance. And he said, in his thick French accent: "The question, my love, is whether you have bad taste in music, or a well-developed taste for bad music. I strongly suspect you of the latter."

I can still recall his scent, as we lay in his tiny Parisian bedroom that night, our intertwined limbs telling their own stories, while we tried to live a life of make-believe. Who knows how it all might have turned out, had we but known that we only had one more night together.

The very last time I saw him, the sex was to me, like rice and lentils: deeply satisfying and highly predictable. As usual, we playfully wove a tangled web of words to trap nuances of each other, to be savored in our individual universes. I was in rare form, offering up spicy-sweet, crazy-beautiful love-juice. He kept baiting me to raise the stakes, gently smiling and teasing, all the while. In the end, he won the round, by confessing to secretly sniffing his fingers after they'd been in my anus during the last round of sex.

I was still trying to come up with witty rejoinders and brilliant repartee on my way to a mid-morning meeting, when I heard the news.

It was years before I could enjoy my well-developed taste for bad music without hearing the screech of failing breaks, and the silent goodbye we never said.