Asexual/First One Out


Michelle had a certain way of sitting on the high stools at Mando books. She arranged her lower legs on the stool, then sat on her calves while leaning forward so that her ass bloomed round over her inward-turned feet.


I was chillen in the deserted back parking lot of the bank next to my house, smoking a blunt with Ned and Jack and Mitchell after getting off a nine-hour day as the supervisor at Mando.  Jack and Mitchell could skateboard; Ned was trying to learn.

Mitchell did a grind off the top of a ramp they had built, landed and looped around the stretch of parking lot. An attractive latina a few years older than us started talking to him as he stopped on the lot’s far side.

Jack and Ned continued to bullshit, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off the situation brewing with Mitchell. The woman laughed flirtatiously.

Ned turned to me.

“The fuck are you staring at?”

I sneered. “I guess someone’s having trouble providing for her kid.”


“Look at that shit…can’t STAND it…it’s like, why is she talking to him…the REAL reason…relationships are all about using people.”

Ned and Jack each cocked an eye at me.

“Whatever. I’m going back to work.” Mando was closed, and I wouldn’t be paid, but I was increasingly finding that it was the only place I felt calm.


Michelle and I laid next to each other on her bed, fully-clothed. We had done this several times, but had never touched. We were watching 30 Rock. It was early April.

All of a sudden, she curled her diminutive form up against my side, yielding like yew. Without thinking, I yielded back, cuddling her.  She placed her head on my chest, and the weight gave me calmness.


Late April was Restaurant Week in the Hudson Valley, and I had made reservations at a fancy joint on the Newburgh waterfront. Michelle and I were standing on the porch of my new apartment as I smoked a stoag. I had asked her several times if the taste of my cigarettes offended her. She told me that the father of her grammar-school best friend smoked, and it held a certain nostalgia for her.

Michelle was normally very high-strung, but tonight she was clearly agitated.

“What’s the matter?”

She avoided my eyes, jerking her glance out to the parking lot.

“What’s the matter?”

“Can we…can we not go to dinner in Newburgh?”


“…it’s just…it’s just John lives in Newburgh, and I don’t want him to see us together.

John was her boyfriend of two years. They had broken up in February.

I laughed. “What does it matter?”

“…I just…I just don’t want him to see us together…he’s very sensitive.”

“Whatever you want.” I genuinely wasn’t annoyed. Whatever made my baby comfortable.


Michelle and I didn’t spend a night together until early May. I remember waking early to her phone ringing. She slowly glanced at it, then rose quickly, snatching it up and rushing into her living room. I tried to listen through the closed door, but couldn’t make out words, only stressed strains of speech.

She reentered to pull on clothing.

“What’s going on?”

“You can just go back to sleep…I have to go, though.”


She almost seemed angry. “I’ll explain later. I need to go.”


Tears dripped down Michelle’s face as I held her. It was the only time I ever saw her cry.

“Tell me what’s wrong.”

“I…I have to tell you something…John…um, John and I were still together until yesterday…I broke up with him yesterday morning…to be with you…the call I got this morning was from his mother he…he slit his wrists last night.”

“Is he OK?”

“He’ll survive. He’s in the hospital.”

“What are you gonna do?”

“I don’t KNOW…” Michelle rarely raised her voice past a squeak.

“Well…I almost feel like I shouldn’t comment, because my position is obvious. I mean, you must feel pretty…pretty bad that this happened. I think you shouldn’t let whatever you feel about this affect your actions. Don’t be held prisoner by guilt. It’s not like he did this to guilt-trip you or anything, but that’s the effect that it had on you…”

Michelle’s eyes were blurry with tears and she turned her gaze away from me even as I held her.

I didn’t even take into consideration that she had been lying to me these past few months.


The fact that Michelle still had a boyfriend while we had been seeing each other explained in my mind why we hadn’t yet had sex. In my experience, sex usually came before any sort of date in relationships, and it was interesting to experience it another way. At any rate, she hadn’t made any advances, given me any indications.

The day after John slit his wrists, when the decision to keep away from John and stay with me was made, Michelle explained that she was asexual. It’s not like she had NEVER had sex or anything…she just never had the desire to.

“How often did you have sex with John?”

“We were having sex…then he got really depressed for a couple months and we stopped, and it never started up again. So we didn’t have sex for the last year we were together.”

“A year? No WONDER he went crazy.” Probably not the most couth thing to say.

I didn’t even bother to ask if she was into giving head. She didn’t even like the word panties, twisted up with disgust when I said it. We had sex on occasion, a couple times a week, which was barely anything to my over-sexed mojo. What was made available were handjobs, which hadn’t really been a thing for me since middle school. I always had to request anything sexual from her, as opposed to just turning her on and letting things spin.

Later that summer, when I had moved, my housemates Frannie and Omar and Hollis were away for a few days, and I had the place to myself. Michelle and I made the futon in the living room our cuddle-nest. We played house, making food and watching TV and chatting deep.

I would always cuddle her up to me while she stroked me, placing her head on my chest.

She would normally watch TV until it was over.


“I think I may have been molested…that might be why I’m asexual.”

I doubted it. It just seemed to be part of her general prudishness. Though 23, she had never been drunk or smoked pot or done anything dangerous. I remember telling her about some gory drama in my group of friends while walking one day, and she kept on glancing around and shushing me when anyone passed by.

She had never had an orgasm.


I snuggled into her cold neck as she stroked me, fondling her substantial, perky breasts. 30 Rock was on.

“Can we just have sex?”


During late September, when my Birthday was coming up, Michelle kept asking what I would like.

“You don’t have to get me anything. Just have sex with me a lot.”


As my birthday approached, I decided that it was too much. I lusted for Michelle because I liked her so much, but it was not an emotion that she could return. I decided I was going to break up with her soon after the events of my Birthday.

A few days beforehand, I entered her house (she rarely hung out at mine, because her prudishness extended to social awkwardness and I had housemates), to find her perched in front of her bedroom door. Her housemate was still at work.

“We need to talk about something.”

I eagerly walked into her bedroom, glad that the conversation we had last night about the sexual issue had come to fruition. Maybe I wouldn’t have to break up with her now. Maybe she would give me head or something right after the issue was verbally resolved.

“I think we have to stop seeing each other.” (I never see it coming.)


She explained about how the guilt of her ex’s near-death had become too heavy a burden, and being with me made it worse.

I guess I mixed it up. This was the second and final time I saw her cry. She looked up to me and asked:

“Do you love me??”

I smiled. “Love is something I think takes longer than this to form.”

She tried to give me a hug at the end of the conversation, but I shrugged it off.

“OK, you don’t wanna be hugged.”

I left, and talked to her for the last time later that afternoon. I would bump into her in occasion and try to say hi, but she always avoided my eyes.

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