Last night I lay in the arms of my love and stared at the sky. Clouds like curdled cream clung to a brilliant half moon. A puff of air stirred the black-coffee sky. In the distance, a truck careened down the highway. Closer, a horse kicked a metal trough. A dog barked. Juniper and dust. Southwestern romance.
Sleep came before the sky cleared. I surrendered to its mercy, but woke hours later alone. I found my love on the couch watching John Oliver.
“You have to see this,” he said as I kissed the top of his head. “It’ll just take a minute.”
“What’s up?” I asked.
I snuggled against him on the couch and yawned. “Why aren’t you sleeping?”
He squeezed my leg. “Hot. And Tillie was trapped outside and howling.”
Tillie is our oldest dog. At thirteen, she is snake-sleek and muscled. I want to howl like her when I’m old.
He rewound the video and I listened to John Oliver speak at lightning speed about Internet trolls, rape and death threats against women willing to speak about sexism, the ineffectiveness of law enforcement, and the absence of laws. Oliver finished the segment talking about revenge porn.
“You should have showed that to me in the morning,” I said.
“I’m sorry. I thought you’d be interested.”
“I am, but now you’ve got my mind going.”
Later, in bed again, he pressed his body against my back, the weight of him strong and comforting. I settled into him and murmured, “John Oliver was wrong.”
He twitched, regained consciousness. “What do you mean?”
“He did this segment on Internet trolls threatening women for expressing their feelings and ideas.”“Yes. Okay. He did…”
“But he ended the segment with revenge porn. He should have separated the two,” I said.
“Because revenge porn has nothing to do with trolls. Ending the segment that way changed the focus from women’s minds to women’s bodies and made the topic sexual again.”
I waited for a response that didn’t come. In the cool air, under a cloud-cloaked moon, I listened, sleepless, to him snoring.