Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

Like a Flat Surface


I told Sherry I had a theory that everything was happening at the same time. We were driving through the countryside in Illinois at night and we were maybe 24 years old. We think what comes later has more weight, that it cancels out or helps us forgive or understand or lose credit for what happened earlier. But what if there is no later? What if it’s all the same? Like a flat surface, I said. And then she started crying and said she had sex with my boyfriend. We didn’t care so much about fidelity then, but we did have standards. Like you couldn’t sneak and it shouldn’t involve your best friend. Later I asked the boyfriend about it. Did you have sex with Sherry? He said, yeah but it only lasted a second. Like the unsatisfactory nature of it had some bearing on its meaning. Like it didn’t count as much. He was also a philosopher, see, but more self-serving.

Categories: aging, belief, memoir, sex

Tags: , ,

2 replies

  1. Your blogs are really fun to read! Keep them coming plz.

    • I’ve started thinking of my journals like Marie’s sketch pads. I like that. The idea of looking at a moment, looking at it carefully. Trying not to evaluate it. The lovely thing about her and the sketch pads is that the focus is always on what she’s seeing in the world, rather than looking at herself. The problem with journals– the incessant self examination.
      When are you coming back, Dick? The flowers are blooming and soon it will stop raining.

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