If one were to change the question: to ask that the other be desirable.
Interlude One: Desire articulated stabilizes itself, normalizes its temporality so one may have pleasure. There is no necessary link between desire and pleasure. We might read personal ads as stop signs on the desire highway. Tearooms. Articulations of non-desire. Reining in rather than letting go. Compulsion is the mark of desire.
As simple as a misused article. He writes “off of” and I am cold.
Interlude Two: I am startled by how quickly it changes. Less beauty, more voice. Less pitch, more accent. Less refined, more mellifluous. Perhaps I am repelled by my own foreignness. After 3 words, 4 at the most, I turn away. Politeness compels me to nod and speak. I am waiting for the moment of arrest.
On the bus. He turns every so often, switching angles. Each time, I am arrested and then repelled. My breath catches, victim to desire’s amnesia.
Interlude Three: Anecdotes and anniversaries remind us we once loved. I have known the joy of seeing beauty in the same person. This might be termed desire’s faith. Even the option of desire is itself an act of faith. Some call it ontological. Such big words frighten me. I think they mean it’s like salt.
He once looked at me as though he might care.
Interlude Four: Strangers understood him to be dull and indifferent, his blank face offering little encouragement and even less entertainment. They marveled at her choice in friends. He can be charming, she said. They felt it was too much work and wished her well.
The intimate lives of complex people.
Interlude Five: Desire can be capacious. Desire is paratactic. Desire may be parasitic. Desire burrows. Desire digs. Desire spreads. Desire infects. Desire corrupts. At a certain point, we wondered why they all wanted the unattractive singer with the terrible voice.
After she stopped smoking.