About Sam


Sam and Andy spent a lot of time together, mostly lying around entangled in each other’s limbs. They shared comfortable, touchable silences and engaged in occasional debates revolving around culture and discrimination (the subjective clashed with the “objective”), watched movies (one loved horror, the other fantasy) and cooked together (chicken versus Mexican food). Andy was soft, lean, and long; dark hair glistened over pale skin—skin sometimes too pale. Butterfly licks and bumping noses freckled the couple’s nights. … But Andy was a prosaic lake and Sam yearned for a river, or an ocean, even; for slippery edges and vertiginous rims.

“What would you say if I offered to penetrate you anally with a sex toy?” Sam inquired, a sparkle in the eye.

“Uh … okay, I guess,” was Andy’s reply.

But Andy’s request for anal sex wouldn’t come. Andy was an interesting mix of devoted, sober, and winsome—as well as acquiescent and lackadaisical. If anyone was going to take the lead, it became clear, it would have to be Sam. Lengthy months of burgeoning impatience proved this to be true. Sam was led to wander.

And another thing: Sam wasn’t used to this sort of placid stability. Like with Jordan: Jordan had made Sam feel rejected every single day, be it by phone, visit, or IM. “Don’t give me shit, Sam,” Jordan would demand if Sam complained. It was Jordan’s most conspicuous talent in the relationship—being an asshole—since Sam couldn’t even orgasm with this “partner.” And yet Sam had remained in this relationship, allowing Jordan to shred every tender feeling to pieces until Sam unknowingly and automatically expected and demanded this demented treatment from every subsequent lover. (This had actually begun about a year prior to Jordan, with Alex—the only lover who had ever cheated on Sam, as far as the latter knew.)

At first Andy’s personality seemed so foreign and even spurious to Sam, that it came to pull them apart. Then, curiously, while it was Sam who broke it off, it was also Sam who shed tears and got all red and snotty—and loudly—out in the streets among the weekend crowds. Andy just sat by, a confused cotton arm around Sam’s spastic ribcage.

“I didn’t see this coming at all,” Andy said. “Why?”

“I just don’t think we have enough in common, I don’t think we’re compatible enough,” Sam replied unconvincingly, eyes to the ground.

Later they walked while holding sweaty hands, Sam desperately and Andy awkwardly.

“Why aren’t you sad?” Sam asked while reaching for clean tissues.

“These things don’t hit me until a few days in.”

The next time they met, at Sam’s request, Andy was gloomy. They took a walk downtown on a Saturday, as Andy had to work. Sam needed to hug, to hold hands with, to feel Andy again, if for just the twenty minutes they were allowed before Andy and his suit had to get back to the office. Regardless, days later Sam complained via IM that Andy didn’t seem to care too much. It was then that the latter confessed to lonely nights spent crying in bed. Not so sober after all. Sam was shocked, as well as crushed to have caused such aggravation.

Finally, Sam asked to come over and watch a movie. Sitting side by side, fingers interlaced, caresses led to ardent kisses to a first explosion into orgasm. Their most passionate night yet ensued. Nothing was said.

It wasn’t very long at all before a nervous Sam asked Andy for another chance. It was a breezy February afternoon with pollen in the sunlit air. They celebrated their first Valentine’s Day with an outing to see the new Tim Burton and the shyness of starting all over again. Their relationship got tighter after that: more snuggles, luscious anticipation, and other things no one had known had gone missing in the first place. This lack, previously unbeknownst to Sam, was what duly characterized the relationship, the pair’s lethargic dynamic.

“Do you want to watch a movie tonight?”


“What do you want to watch?”

“I don’t care; whatever you want.”

“Well, don’t you have a preference?”


“Give me a genre.”

“I don’t know. Whatever you want is fine.”

And on it went. Except now, the sluggish dynamic that at first repelled now cajoled. When people must choose between familiarity and taking a daunting risk at happiness …

… Sam just needed to learn that drama isn’t the only way to go. Regardless, Sam had now branched out. Sex had become brighter, glossier, and dicier again.

When Sam met Alex for an iced coffee knowing it was to get dumped, the utmost effort was made to look flawless. Alex broke Sam’s heart, it was fucking obvious and they both knew it. Sam looked round at the other tables, yuppie automatons sipping lattes in the middle of summer. Then Alex had the nerve to try and taunt Sam into crying.

“I’m not going to cry at Starbucks!” Sam exclaimed with a furrowed brow.

“You’re so cool,” Alex replied and laughed. Sam snickered grudgingly.

Alex made it sound so … natural, or something, to break up and seal it with a “pop kiss” that Sam couldn’t stay mad. Otherwise Sam would have come out as mad. And Sam had been called “cool” before many times, but never been dumped for somebody else by a person whom only days prior had sworn unfailing, transcontinental love. That was one of Sam’s worst summers, having to see someone she realized she hadn’t even loved, but who had manipulatively betrayed her, almost every day. And Alex would flirt. Sam finally felt better when, around July, Alex got dumped. Sam found out via Alex’s booty call.

Once, Sam became so upset that it led to rage, and before we knew it Sam was out in the street smashing car windows. Then, somebody stopped her before she could get into trouble.

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