The first time she died while having sex, it was her fault, in a way, in that she liked the rough stuff, that’s the kind of girl she was, and she was with this guy, a very big guy, as a matter of fact, who hadn’t done much of that sort of thing before, but, hey, he had said, with a small smile, he was willing to try anything at least once, so he had been choking her with one hand, and he had been slapping her in the face with the other hand, and he had been having sex with her, all at the same time, which was no easy task, of course, and required, in fact, a certain amount of ambidextrousness on his part, and it had gotten to the point where he had discovered he was, actually, really enjoying himself in this, so much so that he had altogether forgotten to take into consideration the inherent fragility of a woman’s windpipe under the firm grasp of his large hand, so at some certain time that would be hard for her to locate later, it had become difficult for her to breathe, and, unfortunately, he had been busy doing other things, because, you know, in the bedroom, that is how it goes sometimes, and then, she was going, and she was going, and then, she was gone, and, after it was all over, she hadn’t really known what, exactly, had happened, or what, exactly, he had done, and she had to admit the only thing she knew for sure was that, sometimes, if that was how you chose to play the game, that was how it happened.
The second time she died while having sex, it was an act of God, even though she was an atheist who believed in Buddha only while doing yoga, yoga being something that turned her boyfriend on, especially when she did downward dog, her ass high in the air like a monkey in the jungle looking to score, which was what she had been doing when her boyfriend had crept in behind her, and pulled down her pants, so now, here they were, on their bedroom floor, in their tiny apartment, next to a busy freeway, because that’s all they could afford, since they were young, and they didn’t really care, and they had only wanted to live together, it hadn’t mattered where, and she could see her boyfriend’s shadow going at her from the rear, and everything is fine, she thought, and everything is good, she knew, and all the terrible things that had happened to her before, the pain, and the misery, and the sadness that had been more than she had thought her heart could bear, faded, and the only thing in her head was a girl telling somebody to fuck the pain away, and that, of course, was when, out on the river of the never-ending freeway streaming past their house, a sixteen-wheeler blew a tire, and began a beautiful trajectory into an arc it had not expected to take, plowing into the building in which the young couple was making love, ramming itself in through their window, and pulling down their wall, and driving across their bedroom floor, knocking the girl and boy apart, leaving them in bits, a picture of the Virgin Mary hanging from the rear-view mirror in the cab all the while.
The third time she died while having sex, it was for love, for the petit mort, for the little death, for the great orgasm in the sky, which, because she was uptight and neurotic and, generally speaking, weird, she had, thus far, never been able to achieve, along with that promotion at work and finishing her undergraduate degree and starting to write a novel, so, at night, she would lie alone in her bed, making up stories for herself about men who wanted to fuck, marry and impregnate her, men who adamantly, with gesticulating hands, and stern faces, refused, absolutely would not, under any conditions whatsoever, not allow themselves to orgasm until she did, as if it were a matter of personal honor, while, in reality, there she was, prone and stiff and desperate atop her sagging mattress, her blankets over her head, her pajama bottoms wearing thin, her hand down her pants, trying, really, she was, to focus on what she was doing, attempting to remember what it was like to have someone inside her, because it had been so long, forever it seemed, that she had to wonder if she had somehow closed up entirely, all points of entry to her interior having fused themselves shut, doomed to a life in which any penises that dared approach her would only end up feeling like giant battering rams thrusting themselves at some impenetrable castle’s gates, until one night, she gave up, she gave in, and she imagined, for some reason, that she was the Visible Woman, skinless and exposed, and the man of her dreams was the Visible Man, and they were getting it on, and this turned her on, so her blood rushed, her muscles strained, and she let herself go, let it happen, and when she came, she looked up, and she watched while her heart exploded.
The fourth time she died while having sex, it was for the money, and that was understandable, and that made it okay, and she liked to travel, and she was an exhibitionist, and this was the real thing, and this was going to be white hot, and she wanted to go far, and she had done everything else, and it was only a matter of time, and it was how far you could go, and you never knew what was going to happen anyway, and you never could tell how things were going to play out anyhow, and she got in her car, and she went to the location, and she went inside the building, and she stood next to the bed, and the cameras began rolling, and the dialogue started being said, and she and the other woman took off their clothes, and she put her hands on the woman’s body, and she was excited, and she could taste it in her mouth, and this was living, she thought, watching the woman’s body writhe beneath her hands, and this is breathing, she thought, watching the woman’s chest lifting up and down, and this is what it’s all about, she thought, watching the woman’s legs spread open, and this movie would come to an end, she knew this, and its final scene would be widely seen, of this she was sure, and she would never watch it, she was positive, and before the curtain fell, and the bodies closed in, she thought, if this is what it’s like, for the love of God, please don’t let this be the end.
The fifth time she died while having sex, it was the last time, for, my God, she was an old woman now, and she had done so many things, and she had been with the same man for so many years, when, because of sex, they had been ticketed by the police for making love in a car parked near the ocean, and, because of sex, she had given birth to their children holding his hand, and, because of sex, they had refused, through these yawning years, to ever let each other go, and he had grown old, here, beside her, as she had, and they had watched each other’s bodies slide down their fronts, at first, gasping in horror, then admiring the great slow landslides they were, for it was beautiful, really, to watch somebody you loved in the nude, having dodged cancer, and softly pruned, it was a gift, so, over time, the sex had become something else altogether, from what it had once been, between them, for it was no longer about the way they did it, or how much they did it, or how well they did it, it was about how they could not not do it, they could not let each other go, they could not bear to be parted, and, in the sex, they held on to one another, through the years, and the wars, and the changes of the guard, and she was in his arms, having sex, but not having sex at all, really, when she died, and she didn’t mind it at all, not a bit, actually, because she knew, even when she did so, he would never let her go. n°