love in unexpected places.

i sent my dad a text telling him that, during a fashion show, i was responsible for making sure no nipples were exposed. i sped back and forth between the two dressing rooms, handing outfits to models and making sure the clothes they were removing were being stored properly. i manipulated the necklines of dresses and blouses so that the proper amounts of collarbone and breast were revealed, using double-sided tape to adhere garments to the girls’ skin.

my dad called to tell me about a trip to paris my parents had taken a few years ago, specifically how he envied the people whose job was to apply ice to the nipples of the female performers in moulin rouge. it was his dream job. his declaration reminded me of his first visit to new york city. upon returning, he repeated enthusiastically that he wanted to become a taxi driver, transporting people across the boroughs, stopping at delicatessens along the way. you wouldn’t believe these sandwiches, he said, mom and i shared one for dinner and we still had enough for lunch the next day.

in the end we both agreed that eating a sandwich is more intimate than getting paid to make someone’s nipples properly erect or to ensure they are hidden from view. it’s like josh hartnett’s dream in the incomprehensible forty days and forty nights where he floats over and under detached breasts. it becomes non human, one blending into the next like a wall. in the same manner, one continues icing and taping in a daze, each movement automatic, operations become robotic, later unable to tell one breast from another.

sandwiches are different. there’s one i initially tasted on the third floor of the time warner center in new york city that i’ve been trying to recreate: cashew butter and apricot jam on a soft and crunchy brioche with a side of banana chips. for a short time trader joe’s carried pureed cashews but have since discontinued the item. i am at a loss for purveyors of such a product, but i shuffle on, scanning grocery shelves lovelorn in a quest for the unrequited.

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