She brought me Mai Tais at my brother’s private resort in Mexico. They tasted like medicine – thick syrup on the bottom and pure liqueur on top – but I still downed them without any attempts at mixing. I was a freshman at NYU in the middle of my celibate summer on account of a recent herpes scare. Still, I felt invincible, bigger than god. While my classmates dealt with the freshman fifteen and impostor syndrome I discovered cocaine and my sexuality. That summer I went home thin and insufferable. My mother complained about my “irksome demeanor” and refusal to shower for a few weeks and then sent me to Puerto Vallarta where my brother was blowing through his dwindling inheritance.
She wore a tight little baby blue uniform and always had gum in her mouth that she chewed when she thought no one was looking. I was usually looking, watching her ass shift weight from one leg to the other as she walked. One night I saw her smoking from my window and waved for her to come up. She was at my door minutes later, smelling of cigarettes and bubblegum. She spoke as much English as I did Spanish, which was none at all. We scrapped small talk and played spin the bottle with an empty orange soda, the half-torn label that once read ‘Miranda’ now shortened to ‘Mira’. When the tip landed on her she pulled her underwear off and out from under the blue skirt. We went turn by turn, undressing from the inside out in perfect silence until we were nude save for our socks. She looked at me with an unreadable expression, and I couldn’t figure out if she was waiting for me to tell her the next rule of our game or making one up herself. Then she picked up the empty Miranda bottle, spread her legs, and pushed it in.
She brought me my Mai Tai the next day and lingered in the shade of the umbrella. I felt uncomfortable under the intensity of her gaze, the way she watched my mouth as I gathered both pink straws into my mouth and sucked until nothing was left but stained ice.
“I love Mai Tais,” I told her to break the silence.
“I love you.” She replied. I don’t think either of us knew the meaning of the word, but even then I remember thinking my use of it had been more sincere.
That night she came over uninvited. With a kind of nervous determination, she stripped down and lay back against the foot of my bed with her legs spread. Between them was something wild and pulsating. It was nothing like my own vagina or any other vagina I had ever seen. This was a commanding organ, living and breathing and hungry. She looked around the room with a look of desperation until her gaze settled on the hotel phone on the nightstand. Later I watched her watch the thick blunt end of it disappear between the blood-red ruches of skin. I think back to it often – the starved expression on her face, the sheen of sweat. The way she kept herself propped up by her elbows, shaking with the effort of staying upright but unable to deny herself the pleasure of watching through heavy lids. She pleaded with me in Spanish and I pushed the handset in, deeper and deeper until just the coiled cord stuck out. She came then, her hand splayed out against her stomach where the speaker was still humming its muffled single note.
We spent the next month experimenting with objects we could insert into Mira (that’s what I started calling her after the first orange soda bottle). We ordered whole vegetables up to the room and then graduated to less conveniently shaped objects – the entire shower head, a lampshade, my portable steamer. Three hard-boiled eggs. A gravy boat. Mira’s hole was as accommodating as it was greedy. She always came. I never did. We settled wordlessly into these roles – me the giver, her the taker.
Two months passed and I returned to New York. Mira and I sent each other nude Polaroids and filthy, clumsily translated letters. I declared a major in Comparative Literature, though really I was studying anything that reminded me of Mira – Bataille, De Sade, Anaïs Nin. I translated a passage from ‘Story of the Eye’ to Spanish and sent it to Mira. In the passage, the love interest Simone develops a fetish for inserting soft-boiled eggs into herself. “Como nosotras,” I wrote, like us. Two weeks later I got an email back – “Better do than read.”
Mira often emailed asking to see me again. If I could just get her the ticket, she said, she would even pay me back. Each time, I avoided the subject and responded a little later. One day, I stopped responding completely. I still thought of Mira every day while I read depraved French fiction for my thesis, but our reunion was impossible. Mira could only exist in Puerto Vallarta, smoking Camels and popping gum. The moment she stepped off the plane she would dissolve into the hyper-politicized late-stage capitalist god-bless-America of it all, find her place in it and thereby lose all meaning. I would not forgive her for it, and I would not forgive myself. And so I stopped sending letters, and after a few months so did she.
Two years later, a letter was delivered to my address from ‘Silvia Torres’. I almost discarded it, would have, had it not been for a tickle of intuition. I opened the envelope to find a brief note and a Polaroid from Mira. She wrote to say she was happy and in love, that she was expecting a son, and that she prayed for me. The Polaroid showed her pregnant and standing next to a nervous-looking man. She looked finally satisfied and full, so full.