I woke up sweating in the night remembering things I didn't want to remember from the Museum of Sex. The slugs that chew of each other's (or, if pickings are slim, their own) penises in order to procreate. The sexually aggressive koalas spreading a chlamydia epidemic through the entire cuddly species. The duck rape flight saga. That last one was the most disturbing. A scientist (who went on to be awarded an Ignoble award for his paper on the subject) watched as one male duck chased another around his garden. The pursued, evidently desperate to get away, smashed into a window and died. His pursuer then mounted the victim's corpse and proceeded to copulate with it for the next forty five minutes.
Now that's dedication to the cause.
Perhaps it's the hormonal excesses of Fleet Week, which are making these facts stick so doggedly in my head. Manhattan is a sea of hungry sailors, honking middle-aged women and jail-bait teens giggling behind their chipped pink nails. Or perhaps it's the little not-quite-love scene I overheard yesterday on the subway. I only caught the Hoyt-Schmerhorn to High Street section, but I'm guessing the pair had been sat next to each other all the long trip from JFK.
"So I'm probably just going to hang out with my Grandma. Go see Terminator, you know." He glances across to see how that deliberately quirky mix goes down. She smiles an approval.
"Well I'm sitting in on my sister's class. Crazy times in New York, I know."
"Well..." a hint of panic flickers in his voice, "I'm getting off at the next stop, but you should ride it all the way into Manhattan."
They both look down at their luggage. The girl speaks first.
"Well it's been really great talking to you. If you're ever down Denver way, come to the Boudoir. That's where I work."
"Oh yeah? What kinda place is it?"
"Oh you know, a sort of bar restaurant place. We could hang out..."
"Sweet. Yeah, Definitely. And look..."
But we're at the station.
"Well have a great trip."
"Yeah, you too. Have fun with your Grandma."
"Yeah you as well. Your sister, I mean."
"And like I say, it was nice..."
But the doors have already closed behind him. She plugs herself into her Ipod and stares straight ahead, heading for the city.