Rebecca had sex recently, but she forgot. The guy had a
flat-screen TV in his room, and a brother, who also
had a flat screen in his room. There was a third flat screen in the
living room for the brothers to watch together.
Rebecca slept with the smaller but older brother. The younger brother
looked up from his flat screen as though,
Rebecca thought, surprised that his older brother could sleep with a girl
as pretty as Rebecca. Later she found out that he only looked surprised
because the brother
Rebecca slept with actually had a girlfriend. The
look was the "You're not his girlfriend" look. Rebecca had seen it
Rebecca had seen it this
year, when she slept with a bass player, which caused her to get a neck injury
and discover a chiropractor. The chiropractor was young and dated another
chiropractor. Rebecca left out that the bass
player had a girlfriend, because it
didn't seem related to her neck. The
chiropractor told Rebecca that her problems were in her whole body.
"You can't separate one part of your body from the rest," said
the chiropractor. "It turns out they're connected."
Rebecca's insurance covered some of the treatment, but not
enough to keep going and find out what was wrong.
The guys with girlfriends never told Rebecca they had girlfriends until
after they had slept with her. Maybe they detected some
moral strain in her, some impetus to protect
girlfriends. Maybe they detected the
opposite, and were thus protecting
their girlfriends from Rebecca. Rebecca wanted to tell them not to
worry, she forgot all the sex she had as soon as she had it, she didn't really
have it when she had it, and she hadn't for a long time.
Rebecca Schiff lives in New York. "What We Bought" and "Third Person" are from her
collection, THE BED MOVED, which comes out Tuesday (Copyright 2016 by Rebecca Schiff.
Published by arrangement with Alfred A. Knopf,
an imprint of The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of
Penguin Random House LLC).
Detail of art on main page courtesy
of Helga Weber.
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