Everyone is Making Love

by Lindsey Keller

is what I learned when I saw them, or heard them first, a blustery sigh—
my father? my mother? Couldn’t hear so well in the dark—and saw the
horizon of the covers half itself as one rolled off the other, like a hollow
wave collapsing. My bed next to theirs on Newport beach. Didn’t have
my sea legs yet.
I told everyone I knew. Everyone told me. Survival stories. We banded
together in hard times. We decided for a few minutes sex is not cool if
Mr. and Mrs. Next Door do it (tried to move the blame next door). Paid
close attention to the way our parents kissed when they came home—is
there tongue? Do they put their hands around each other’s necks, or
worse, their waists, or worse, their hips, or worse, do their hands lean on
each other’s shoulders and slide down just a bit?
Furthermore. Little siblings wandering halls with nightlights, nightmares
driving them to the master suite—can they get in? Or is the door locked?
If mom is taking a shower, is dad there also, brushing his teeth?
Sometimes. Yes. For everyone except Danny’s parents. His dad, we
learn, sleeps on the couch, and we hold a moment of silence for him, we
don’t really know why.
This was not the sex we were promised. Nobody’s parents dance under
the stars. Nobody dines together in candlelight. Nobody is getting a
dozen red roses. Amy’s father buys her mother a card with daisies on
the front, inside written Happy birthday sweetie, glad to have you
around for more, that’s all. Can anyone really be making love? In the
underwear drawer, Nicole finds dice, dice that say:

on the

We stole and rolled those dice through every possible combination until
they’d come up something like spank // hair, and we chased each other
around the table//chair shouting Spank my hair, spank my hair.
Hairspanking was better than lovemaking, we figured. Keep it in future
tense where it should be. No sex has ever been had, is ever had. We
would be the first ones. When we get older, we’d make the real love.
We’d dance the dance, dozen the roses.

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