We met at a beer tasting party. The sun beat down as a drop of sweat rolled down my back. I took another sip of peach summer ale. You were towering over your friends smoking a cigar. I tossed back my hair as I caught your golden brown eyes and reached into my purse to find my pack of cigarettes. They were an impulse buy three Saturday nights ago, and I still had a few left.
I sashayed over to you and asked to borrow your cigar. You laughed with your whole body and said in the perfect Southern drawl, “You can’t have my cigar.” The frigid New England in me cut back, “I don’t want your herpes, I want to light my cigarette.” When you grinned out of the corner of your mouth, I knew this would be easy.
As my group of friends dispersed to attend birthday parties, moving-out-of-DC parties, and pass out in their beds, you put your hand on my shoulder and then found the small of my back. We left together. You’re just another stranger from Delaware who lives out in Virginia.
And as we walked to your friend’s house and made the normal DC small talk, you grabbed my hand and pulled me in to kiss me. Your lips tasted like stale tobacco, your kiss felt like another sip of beer. We walked up the stairs. You led me to the kitchen and handed me a drink, leaning in one more time before leading me to the backyard.
As you grabbed my hips I remembered my ex, only to remember that I hadn’t thought about him this entire time. I let the thought float out of my mind and into your body as you pulled me closer. I knew this was just another fling.
We left the party to go bar hopping. I taught you how to cut lines without getting noticed and how to survey a room without being seen as we searched for your friends. As the night drew to a close, you asked me for my number. I invited you home with me, but you said you wanted to take things slow. I knew we weren’t looking for the same thing, but I let you know how to find me anyways.
I walked home alone. Passing the bars on U street, passing the restaurants on 7th Street, passing the police cars that patrol my neighborhood. It was 2AM and I should’ve taken a cab, but instead I reached in to my purse to smoke my last cigarette. I took a drag and fumed that I didn’t have someone walking home with me and cursing the family oriented, wholesome Southern morals that men such as you have instilled upon them.
Three days later, after the appropriate amount of time had passed, I got the text.
But this was not going to be a relationship.
We went on our date, a date idea that I stole from Jay. We drank wine out of Arizona Iced Tea cans and walked around the mall. You were incredibly awkward so I did most of the talking, but you loosened up eventually. We stumbled from the Lincoln to the Capitol, where a Navy band played Michael Jackson covers. We went to another party and then to the bar where I gave you my number. You leaned in again to kiss me.
I stood on my toes, and whispered softly “want to get out of here?” and nibbled on your ear.
I walked home with you. Passing the bars on U street, passing the restaurants on 7th Street, passing the police cars that patrol my neighborhood. I didn’t have a cigarette this time. I only had you. I fumed when you asked me if it was safe for me to walk around my neighborhood—or really anywhere in DC—as a woman, alone. I cringed, turning off my feminism, my Democrat, and my brain in order to forgive your southern charm. You listen to country music, drink bourbon, and own guns. I work for a Democratic policy maker.
You dominated me. You ripped off my clothes and held my hands over my head as you fucked me the way I needed you to fuck me. You didn’t let me push back as you rolled me over and hit my bare ass hard. You had no patience for technique. As I feel light radiate through my body I almost say Jay’s name and not yours. But you’re not Jay. He approached sex with a lot more tact, a lot less force, and knew the nuances and subtleties of my body. You’re still a stranger to me—a stranger from Delaware who lives out in Virginia.
And after you finished you grew gentle and pulled me into you. You wrapped your arms around me as we drifted off to sleep.
I woke up the next morning to your lips brushing against my neck. I rolled over to your golden brown eyes. Jay’s eyes are blue.