As one could imagine, A Nihilistic Story About Eva isn’t a happy story. It’s as happy as famine in Africa. In fact, it started to get sad and then, I decided to lean into the misery instead of injecting artificial humor. Because of that, I’m never surprised when people don’t like this story. No one in this story is overly likable, but still, I like it. There’s something inexplicably beautiful about this man and Eva’s relationship. I don’t know what it is and I don’t really care.
I picked this scene because sex sells and because I wrote this scene with Rita Dove’s I Have Been A Stranger in a Strange Land in mind. That poem’s first line jumped at me and spoke to this story. Dove wrote, “It wasn’t bliss.” There are several sex scenes in this story and none of them are blissful. Little snippets of the poem snuck their way into this scene. ‘It wasn’t bliss’ becomes ‘It isn’t bliss.’ The narrator calls Eva’s body a strange land. He refers to ‘the red heft of desire.” That’s another stolen line. In both her poem and my scene, the Garden of Eden is referenced. Mine is more clumsy and random. Here are all the allusions I was trying to make:
Why are they on the head of a pin? Because of the question – how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? And, that alludes to two things: their sex being linked to something divine. And, because it’s an unanswerable question, it should suggest that these people – Eva especially – are unknowable. This should have been enforced by the narrator calling her body a strange land. And then, he just makes the subtext text and says “I don’t know this girl.” And, of course, the rocks below is Hell since the sex above is heaven.
And lastly, the fact that ‘the lips are the best part’ came about because I didn’t want the narrator biting Eva. Again, she’s unknowable. That with the Garden of Eden allusion hopefully makes one think of the Apple of Knowledge. All of it was meant to suggest the fear that true intimacy or connection with Eva would damn her and him both.
And, without further analysis, here’s the scene in question:
“I dream of Eva and me fucking on the head of a pin. Far beneath us, there are dashing waves, crashing and clawing up the long, metal shaft. There’s craggy rock there too; Kill-a-man rocks bearing their teeth from behind dark, liquid lips.
Her thighs hug my hips; she drives me into her hungrily, riding me. I cup her breasts; thumb her dark, small nipples. My hands slide down her waist and hips, her legs, her thighs. I play with that button just above where she and I meet. Her thighs lock in tighter. I’m driven deeper inside her. My hands and cock are strangers exploring a strange land. I don’t know this girl.
The sound of us is not flesh slapping flesh. It’s hollow thumping hollow, hard hitting hard. All that’s there is the red heft of desire – a palm fruit full of ash. We are dead things, working with each other mechanically.
Even still, her lips are the best part. Her mouth’s on my mouth. Our tongues work in secret. My fingers work through her dark curls. My hand holds on her neck. I slide it around to her throat. Still, she grinds on me as my hand closes. Her moans cut short.
But then, there’s the water below, the kill-a-man rocks. To let her drive me into her is to edge us both toward the edge. We’ll both fall. The sea crashes, and she cums and I cum inside her. It isn’t bliss. It’s escaped. But, she’s not stopping and I haven’t stopped. God, don’t let me have a kid. We edge, edge, edge….
Eva’s father wakes me, cursing and confused. I’m grateful he’s blind. He can’t see my hard-on.”