Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nine: Transmissions

There's always the question of what the more romantic way of communicating with a lover might be. I'm certainly fond of the telephone. Voices late at night, whispers and sighs, the exchange of stories and memories, the ability to flirt and seduce... I do love the telephone for those things. So much of what I am to lovely young companions is based on the things I can say, on the stories I can tell. I love long conversations late at night, and I love a girl's voice out there in the dark. I'm told that telephone conversations are fading from fashion, though. That's a generational thing, I think. There's less and less incentive to go beyond 160 characters on a screen, and I do find that sad. I remember nights on the phone for hours--- though I'm also old enough when "long-distance" was expensive and talking to a lover in another city was a sign of serious interest.

Telephone conversations have always meant a great deal to me, though I suppose in so many ways I miss actual love letters. I miss sitting late at night with a pen and stationery and crafting love letters. I miss the permanence of a love letter. Love letters, if they're done right, end up treasured and saved. They end up bound in ribbon and stored away to be read on bittersweet nights a decade later. Looking over a girl's handwriting from another decade, another city, brings back memories in a way that a phone conversation can't. The old word "quiddity" is involved here. A love letter is concrete, something to touch, a talisman for summoning up memories. And of course any love letter is a manuscript, a story, a set of images and hopes that can spin out for pages. I always like that. I like the idea that a letter is always a kind of novel, something that can be re-read and amended and added to. No one writes letters any longer, and more's the pity. I do miss that--- writing late at night to a lover while music plays in my rooms. I even miss the girls who wanted to exchange letters in character, to create personae and situations for us to write one another about.

I don't really enjoy text messages at all. Too brief, too awkward. And too many people fall into the trap of txt msg speak and abbreviations. I really don't sext at all. Not because it's vulgar, but because it's just awkward. I'm not a skilled typist, and I'd be embarrassed to send sexts that could be criticised for grammar and spelling as much as content. I have to say, too, that none of the ideas and images I'd deploy in a seduction are easily reducible to 160 characters. Sex for me is always about complicated images and baroque encounters: not something one can easily reduce to a text message. A message that reads I want you now should by all rights be followed within moments by one that reads Come over now! or At your door, buzz me in.  The rest of the night would proceed without smartphones at all.

Someone wrote me to say that she thought a text message reading Admiring office intern, imagining her in your stilettos. Be wearing nothing but those when I return home would be a delight to receive. Someone else commented that the message was cliched and trite. Well, I can enjoy the inferred backstory to the text, and I can smile about how it's all very Zalman King a vision. Myself, though, I'd bring the intern home. Stilettos have their place, and I love what they can do for a girl's legs in a short black dress. But the naked-in-spike heels look has never been a major image in my fantasies or in what I ask girls to wear.

I haven't received a sext, or even a deeply romantic text message, in a while. Sexting is just a skill I've never much thought to acquire. It's phone calls and letters that I prefer. But should a young companion ever text me something seductive,  I think a good way to begin might be something like This is a sext from my Past. Seventeen, school uniform, panty-free at Upper East Side cafe--- wish I'd known you then. Kisses from 2005. That I think would be a very good way to begin.

So what indeed would you send me, and what would you hope to receive in return? Any thoughts?

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