We're Just Two Strangers In A Bar

We’re Just Two Strangers In A Bar

It starts as these things usually do.

We make eye contact from across the room.

The way my sundress rests low on my chest is no accident, neither is the way it falls on and hugs my hips. I knew what I was doing when I stood in front of the mirror earlier in the evening. I don’t admit as much to myself, but I wanted attention from someone like you.

I am unaware of exactly what you’re thinking in those brief seconds, but I’m certain it involves imagining making a mess out of my scarlet painted mouth and wondering what the color would look like smeared across your certain body parts.

Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong.

I divert my all back to my friends, wait 10, 15, 30 seconds, a minute at most, and when I glance back at you again, your eyes are still pinned on me. I can’t help but lift the corners of my mouth and you’re already smiling at me.

You take notice, and the fact that my drink is all too suddenly empty is no accident, either.

“What are you drinking?” You bite all too quickly.

Or maybe that isn’t at all how it goes down. Maybe I walk up to you out back and ask you for a cigarette, swear up and down that I only ever smoke when I’m this drunk. You tell me I don’t seem drunk at all, and I tell you I can hold my own. We talk about the way my mother raised me to always be poised, the way yours taught you how to be a gentleman, and next thing we know, we’re two cigarettes in, the attraction palpable. We walk back inside and you ask me what my favorite shot is. I get on tippy toes, closer to your ear, and almost purr when I call you a gentleman with not so noble intentions. I pull back and wink and bite my lip.

It does not matter how it begins. The ending is always the same: you and me in the backseat of an Uber on the way to your place.

What matters is that just an hour ago, you and me were just two complete strangers in a bar. I don’t know you at all and I’m letting you take me home to do all the things you want to do me. There is something dangerous about this, something exhilarating, something that makes my heart beat faster. There’s something about this that should make me afraid, and I am, but there’s also something so very primal and intoxicating.

And sometimes, just sometimes, on the bad days, there’s something a little sad.

It gets heavier – the panting, the kissing, the grinding.

I know what’s coming next, as you slip your hand beneath my blouse, free my breast from the cup. You’re biting my neck, breathing in the Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf, or the Mmmm… by Juliette Has A Gun, on my throat. I’m trying to fight you off of me long enough to take off my dress.

“You’re so fucking hot.”

Right on cue. Sometimes you can all be so painfully predictable. You don’t look me in the eye, no, you just take me in long enough to picture me as your pornographic starlet.

You kiss me harder. Grind a little harder. I forget to fake it for maybe two or five seconds. You look at me and ask, “What are you thinking?”

I don’t tell you I’m wondering if I really spend $165 a bottle to have men like you lick the perfume from my skin. That no man I’ve met has been worth the fortune. I’m running low on my favorite scent and I’m not sure I’ll make it into Nordstrom for a new bottle anytime soon. You’ve got your head buried in my neck, your thumb and index finger on my left nipple, and all I can think about is how maybe it’s time for something different.

I don’t tell you I hope the lights are dim enough for you not to notice the scars on my hips and pelvic bone.

What am I thinking?

Right now I’m thinking you look sharp enough to be a substitute for a single-edge razor blade.

For a brief second, I’m thinking what it would be like to be touched by hands belonging to someone who didn’t just look at me but saw me. How I’m sure I’ve never been seen by anyone who has laid a hand on my body. But the truth is that maybe no one sees me because I am too damned good at hiding. The truth is that I keep everyone at a distance, and it’s so fucking ironic because the truth is also that I look for comfort where it hurts.

I don’t say any of these things because what you’re doing right now feels good, because what you’re doing right now is exactly what I need. Sometimes I just need to be drunker. Higher. Sometimes I live for the fucking bender. Sometimes I just need to feel anything other than hollow.

If I cannot be seen, then I sure as fuck will be felt.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this, what’s happening between you and me in this moment. I never feel as alive, or as connected to my vitality, as when someone is moving inside of me. In this moment, my pulse isn’t playing hooky with my wrist again. I have no regrets, no shame, and no guilt. Doing what we’re doing right now is what our bodies were made for. It’s certainly what I was made for.

You ask me what I’m thinking and I don’t say anything, I move my hips, instead. I meet your thrusts and put your hand on my neck, you squeeze, and I close my eyes and say “harder.”

I scream your name and maybe I mean it, or maybe I scream your name like I don’t mean someone else. You call me baby and I try to ignore it because I truly hate you calling me this. You don’t know me, I am not your baby, and you don’t own me, not outside of this moment. But tonight I’ll let you get away with it, because tonight I am going to pretend that you do. What you don’t know is that I am letting you do all the things you’re doing only because they make me feel good. Used, maybe. But good.

I don’t stop to care about how I may or may not feel tomorrow.

In the morning, you ask for my number, and I don’t bother wondering if you will call. We were just two strangers in a bar, and I don’t want to entertain the idea that you might not want to keep it this way.

Maybe I run into you again, you keep walking, or I do, the two strangers in a bar that we are.

I make it outside and ask him for a light. He doesn’t smoke, he tells me, and neither should I. I swear up and down I only do when I’m this drunk. We talk like we’re getting to know each other, and leave, later, like we’re something more than just two strangers.

Houston-based writer and artist.

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