A Strange One-Night Stand
By Paul Barker
We’ve all been there. Drunkenly rolling home with some piece of ass we found in a bar, horny and settling. The sex may be bad: sloppy, disconnected, false. Alternatively it could be good: hot, refreshing, kinda real. Whatever it is, generally these moments of weakness are followed up with a universal feeling of shame, regret, disgust. (note: I’m not placing judgement on those of us who enjoy these hook ups, k?) However, it does happen. And usually it happens more than twice. Why? I dont know. I used to bring people home because I thought I wanted to have sex. I am single and I have a hard time meeting people in a non drunken state. Lucky me. So the sad dragging of men to my studio just happened. Not all that often, but over the course of two years when I first moved to the city, my virgin homosexual self was thirsty – and ready for some meaningless raunchy sex. These are the commonplace bedroom tales that we all know/love/hate. They will happen again. I’m just not sure what happened one particular Very Special Night is ever going to happen again. Like a shooting star, it was a fleeting streak of immolated debris, maybe it burned up completely – or perhaps theres a cold hard lump somewhere in my apartment that will rekindle that flame if I find it…
Like the rest of my one-night stands, it starts with me drunk and alone in a dirty gay bar. Rewind two hours and you’ll find me having drinks with friends and heading home around 12. “Bye” I say “I’m tired too, just gonna go home and go to bed.” I am a liar. I am a sneaking horny liar. I am going to stop by the gay bar near my apartment, and have “one” drink. Whoopsie! 1 becomes 4, which becomes whatever. The walls start looking like quarterbacks and other exotic fantasies. My urgency rises as 4 am approaches. Always this. I wonder if I should just cut my losses and make out with my body pillow. But no, I’m pretty committed to making my mistakes happen with gusto, so typically if I don’t find ass of my own, I’ll at least stay to watch people leave without me.
This night I am drinking, looking around, waiting. I don’t do much approaching, rather I will perch and play scrabble on my phone – waiting for a hot, cute, average, gross, or breathing dude to chat me up. I have a few moves up my sleeve. Like asking someone to light my cigarette. Or freakishly lighting someone’s cigarette who doesn’t even know I’m standing behind them. Alcohol makes me great at chatting, eventually. And if I have learned anything it’s that chatting leads to anonymous sex. I’m not making any progress. It’s crowded but I seem to be the only guy flying solo. I need a wingman. I become agitated, my arousal blending with anxiety. Confusion. I eat an olive, look at my velvet slippers, take a long slow drag from a Camel; look utterly pathetic. I realize I’m not alone. A woman is sitting directly across from me on the outdoor patio. She smiles at me. I look away. She draws my eye, she is sitting right in front of me after all. Smiling, she motions for me to come over, to sit next to her. I am torn. There have been no leads yet this night, the boys are all in packs. Holding each other as their scruffy faces fly to the ceiling in laughter and their strong jaws rotate in the dark corners, tongues spilling. Sloppy. Hot. They’re not delicately placed on stools, wrapped in silk and pretending the umpteenth martini will last 30 minutes. Yet, it’s relatively early. And as the morning hours crawl, flocks spread out. Sex gets heavier, and eyes will find me. Rough paws will swat me home and gather me in their arms, where I will disappear and forget. So in the morning those bodies will be pushed gently out with the lie “I have to be at work in half an hour, yes I work at 6 am.” I lose my creative tongue in the light of day, I guess. But I’m impatient this night and I just feel like chatting with this girl. I want to meet her cute friends, I want to become an active part of this environment. Someone bright and smiling, unaware of onlookers, appealing. People are more attracted to that kind of thing.
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