I’ve been leering at the door from my perch beneath this boy’s arm all night. With a margarita in my hand, the red lipstick slightly smudged on the edge of the glass. I’ve been good, though, with my timely laughter at his insipid jokes and my buttery, gooey smiles that I lob at him every time he leans in for a kiss. Yes. Kiss me. I want him to kiss me. As place my hand with it’s red tipped fingers on the denim on his thighs. Love me. I want him to look like he loves me, as I toss a glance around the room, wondering when he’ll show up. Who? Oh, you know. You know what I’m doing here. Coquettish in this bar on a Monday night with a little bit of wild in my eyes. I’m doing the same thing I always do, tapping my foot to the beat of this music while I wait for the subtle vibrations of my phone inside my purse so I can have any excuse to check and see if Victor has texted me.
Of course Victor hasn’t texted me. That’s why I’m sitting in this bar in the first place. Out of boredom. I was getting sick of waiting. My internal little fantasies of Victor whisking through my bedroom door and enacting every dirty detail of my sexual yen – those have grown stale and impractical. Which is why I left my house after sending out text messages like missiles of sexual desperation until one of my anybodies responded and met me at this bar. This anybody – tonight, oh, what’s his name again? Christopher, with his arm around me, the gristle of his beard pressing against my face when he kisses me. Christopher pays for my drinks while I think about Victor. Christopher grabs my waist and holds me on the dance floor while I wait for Victor to walk in the door.
I’m skittish. Mostly because I’m a bad girl, and on the off-off-off chance Victor, the boy that I love, walks in tonight – what then? I’m feeling nervous just thinking about it. The aplomb with which I will have to execute the old bait and dick switch on Christopher. How will I explain to Christopher that I am bolting across the room just to talk to Victor? I am envisioning the hurt in Christopher’s eyes right now, that wounded puppy look that bubbles across the surface as he watches me run up to Victor in a guarded but obviously enamored way. And then there’s Victor, who will probably greet me with a sneer of some sort, or a half-sneer, half-smile tinged with victory and mercy. The kind of look that lets me know that he already knows I’m here with someone else, but that it doesn’t bother Victor one bit to know that I’ve been soothing my broken heart with the touch of other men. Victor, who could easily just shrug me off and push me backwards, stumbling right back into Christopher’s arms, although, who knows, by the time I land back in Christopher’s arms, will he know? Will he see through my veneer? Will he push me away, too, having caught on to the game of me using one man to mend the wounds inflicted by another?
Or will I have to make the decision myself. As Victor puts me through the ringer of his interminable mind games yet again, dodging me artfully throughout the night in order to assess my true motives, only to grab me rudely on the dance floor away from my friends and into him? I can never tell what Victor is up to or what his game is. If he loves me or if he loathes me or if he needs me to quell his insatiable boredom and voracious libido for another night in heaven. Victor, who could balk or bawl as soon as he sees me with another man – I really have no way to gauge this, because on the one hand there’s the constant conversations he has with himself decrying the promiscuity of lesser woman, eschewing jealousy, avoiding emotion, but I can still feel the craving in his hands when touches me after weeks away. What will happen if Victor walks in this door?
But Victor hasn’t walked in the door. It’s only Christopher right now, with my hand on his leg and his hand on my hand. Intertwined fingers in a disingenuous display of affection, or, at least, for me it’s disingenuous because it’s not his hand that I want right now. But it’s the hand that I have, so I should play it to the best of my ability. As I lean into his neck to breathe him in and kiss him slightly. Not too much. Not here. Not now. Just a bit. If I can’t fuck the one I love, then I should love the one I fuck. So I let him touch me. Christopher. Sweet Christopher. Sweet, stupid Christopher, a man whose utility will be fully realized tonight as I continue to watch all these people who aren’t Victor come and go. A man to soothe the yearning that is rocketing around the back of my brain right now. He’s innocuous right now, steady and lovable, and I am telling myself that I should care more. I should love more. I should give a fuck about Christopher, because Christopher is here. Christopher texts back. Christopher shows up. Christopher touches me like he loves touching me, and he calls the next day because he wants to do it again. Unlike Victor, and I should be grateful for Christopher. Christopher, who strokes my hair and kisses me at night. Christopher, with his cups of coffee when I stumble out in the morning. Christopher, who walks me to the door and kisses me goodbye. Christopher, who is always good enough for right now, but somehow he doesn’t hold my heart. And I don’t think he knows it either, as he buys me another drink and looks at me with an inch of love.
I’m the type of girl who doesn’t see a monster in the mirror, as I’m standing there in those bright lights and the blurry graffiti and the golden haze of too much tequila to dull these thoughts. My lipstick is crooked, but my smile is straight, so I march back outside in this mini skirt and these bad thoughts. Where is Victor. Where is Christopher. And if Victor show up, will we run off together? And if I run off with Victor, will Christopher still call? Will Christopher still love me if I fuck someone else, or am I psyching myself up for the end all, be all moment of tonight’s sexual decadence? I try not to over think. In fact, I try not to think at all, because if I started thinking, I would realize that Victor showing up here tonight – it would be a disaster. As he’d saunter in with some blonde chick on his arm, and me with my insecurities and my heart beating faster. If Victor shows up, I know what will happen. A spat, discreet at first, and the unwinding into us going home together. Fucking a lot. Maybe some fighting. A couple days of honey moon bliss before he disappears into the ether yet again, not to be seen or heard from for weeks. And Christopher – he’d be left there at the bar, with his $80 tab and nothing left to show for it. Christopher, all alone at the end of the night, and I’d wake up the next morning with Victor in my bed and a sad string of text messages from Christopher, always the fool, asking where I am. And Victor, that scurrilous dog, he’d grab my phone and throw it against the wall. Victor is about to ruin everything I have going with Christopher right now, and Victor still hasn’t showed up. But that’s just Victor isn’t it – he ruins things. That’s what he’s good at. He ruins my life, whether he’s here or he’s not.
I lean back into Christopher as we chatter away. Hold me, Christopher. I check my phone. It’s getting late, isn’t it? Shouldn’t Victor be here by now? Shouldn’t Victor be staring at me from across the room already? We’re inching too quickly towards last call. I can feel it, the time aching through my veins. And Victor isn’t here. Fuck. Victor isn’t here.
We saddle up at the end of the night. I grab my thing, dragging my coat on the ground a bit like a little girl. Feeling sulky. Starting to pout. If Victor wasn’t here, then where was he? And who was he with? As Christopher piles me into a cab, picking up on my sour mood. Because I wanted Victor, and he didn’t show up. Christopher, as he undresses me in the dark and lays kisses down on me. I groan and thrash, turning over in my nakedness as he presses against me. This is fine. I’m okay with this. I inhale deeply in my too drunken state and I embrace Christopher. It’s okay, Christopher. You can fuck me. I’ll enjoy it with my eyes shut and this reel to reel playback of the memories I keep stored away in little drawers in my mind for moments like this. Christopher, who is beautiful, in his own way, and these images of Victor and all the awful things he did to me. Christopher, who fucks like he loves me and looks at me tenderly.
I let Christopher fuck me, and I fall asleep immediately afterwards. I don’t say much, and when I wake up I erase my mind with the poor excuse of too much booze, and I check my phone, and I have no new text messages.