We’re leaning against your car sometime past 1 a.m. in a mostly abandoned parking lot in a northern suburb of Geneva, Switzerland. You’re wearing your sports coat and smoking, like always. The moon lights you up, or is it a street lamp? You face me, half in shadow, and ask me, in French, to say something: Dit-moi quelquechose.
I pause. I’ve never had sex for that long, I say. The only way I know how to say sex in French—faire l’amour—means “make love,” which is factually inaccurate. That’s not what we’ve been doing in the backseat of your BMW for the last hour. My sweat is drying but my hair is slicked back and starting to curl.
Once the windows defog and you’re driving me home, you ask if I’m always this quiet. I tell you I’m bouleversé, turned upside down. Sex plays with my emotions, I say. Well, at least it was good, right? That counts for something, you say. (But what does it count for? And what are we counting?)
Though your jacket is black I remember it white, my imagination coloring you into a Portuguese hot shot. On the A1 motorway, you take the turns fast, the straightaways faster. Back in the city, you zip around Benzes, Audis and the odd matte black Lamborghini to trace the trajectory of Lac Léman, its promenade offering the night a pink glow, its jet d’eau a constant, sky-reaching spray. As we accelerate, sometimes I brace myself, sometimes I get high on adrenaline, sometimes I wonder about the risks we’re taking.
Last July I left my husband. Now it’s May and I’m having sex with strangers in parking lots. No, make that singular. One stranger, one parking lot. But who is this girl who only says yes? Where is she going and how long does she have?
We met two days ago, at 5 a.m. in a kebab shop in the rive-gauche neighborhood of Plainpalais after the clubs, everything closed. You eyed me. I eyed you back. You said au revoir on your way out, literally “to the re-seeing.” Factually accurate—I did see you again. Five minutes later you were standing at the door. I walked outside wearing a slip, gold platforms and a leather jacket—from a costume party, but you didn’t know that. You entered your number into my phone because I was too drunk to do it myself. You asked what languages I spoke. English, French and Spanish, I said. You asked what I was doing tomorrow. Not much, I told you. You leaned in and kissed me. Cuidado, I said. Careful.