I do, and the now-familiar warmth of his lips steadies me. He tastes of salt and the wine we shared with the others at our small farewell party.
Aladdin pulls away first and lifts one of my hands to his lips, kissing the delicate henna patterns on my skin, then turning my arm over to kiss the inside of my wrist. The ship’s crew makes themselves busy on the other side of the ship, giving us privacy.
“You’re the most beautiful girl in the world,

I had a dream about you last night… you kept meowing at people and licking yourself it was not unlike you normally.

If I could walk one week, why not six? If I could walk to London, why not to Paris, to the Alps, to Jerusalem…I would show with money and a pair of strong boots you can get to Rome. Good-bye, all ye vampires of modern travel. Good-bye, insistent cab-men, and tip-loving porters. Good-bye, mis-directed luggage and dusty railway carriages…Good-bye, trains – punctual and unpunctual, I am your slave no longer. I am free. I am FREE.

We drove to the hotel and said goodbye. How hypocritical to go upstairs with a man you don’t want to fuck, leave the one you do sitting there alone, and then, in a state of great excitement, fuck the one you don’t want to fuck while pretending he’s the one you do. That’s called fidelity. That’s called monogamy. That’s called civilization and its discontents.

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