Memoir

The Hole in the Sheet

The time I got asked if I was kinky.

The Hole in the Sheet

“Do you want to cum over?” someone texts me from Happn, a dating app that uses GPS to track people you pass in the street.

It’s a little hard to see what she looks like from her pictures — her face obscured by her curly hair in one and a bright flash in another. But, it’s been a while…

I type “yes” into the app and she types back her address. I stop by Duane Reade to tour the family planning aisle. I text her “20 minutes.”

While I’m walking over, she texts me again to find out how kinky I am. Not very is the answer, which I know she doesn’t want. So I type, “How kinky are we talking about?” Quick verbal pesticide. She says, “Whatever, just get over here already.”

By then I’m nearby, so I ask if we can meet at a bar, do a quick sanity check.

“No.”

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She texts which bell to ring, and immediately after I step inside her building, I receive another text that’s too long to not have been copied and pasted from another window on her phone and sent so quickly: “The door is open. When you come in, you’ll see a sheet on your right. The sheet has a hole in it. Put your penis through the hole.”

I am standing in the hallway. Put your penis through the hole?

I don’t know what to do. I’ve already come all this way. I imagine being murdered, a quick knife to the gut. I imagine being robbed, the loss of my ID, my wallet, the coffee card issued to me by my neighborhood café — I’ve nearly earned a free cup.

The door is open, like my date said it would be. Unwashed clothing, like topsoil, is strewn across the kitchen floor.

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There’s a sheet draped across a doorframe on my right. There is a hole.

“Hello?” I say, like I’m in a haunted house, trying to dispel ghosts with my words.

“Put it in,” a voice says.

The hole is the size of a human head. I see skin. I see curves.

“Can I see you first?” I say to whoever is behind the sheet.

Whoever is behind the sheet says no, I cannot see her first. Whoever is behind the sheet does have a distinctly female voice, but I imagine the knife again. I imagine having no penis. I imagine never having sex again, sheet or no sheet.

“I think I need to see you first.”

“I have a boyfriend,” she says, as though she’s worried one day I will see them holding hands on the street and I’ll tell him about her secret life.

“This is getting a little weird,” I say from my side of the sheet. “You’re not going to come out from there?”

She says she will not. There is a long silence.

“Think I’m gonna go.”

“You’re not kinky at all!” she yells, as I reenter the hallway and speed-walk home.

To read our Storyteller Spotlight interview with Jason Schwartzman, click here