By the time he had pulled up to her townhouse he was drunk off a quarter-bottle of tequila, the cheap stuff, and a warm beer that he had chugged while eating a plate of eggs over the sink crowded with dishes, eggs the way he always ate them, heavy with salt and hot sauce. The street she lived on, the manufactured boulevard for the manufactured homes lining it, was just that: fake—fake wrought-iron lampposts made to look like actual candles aflutter inside dispersed at intervals, fake shutters on all the windows of the condominiums, fake labels on the clothes and fake smiles on those wearing them.
He walked up to the door and before he had a chance to ring or knock, he wasn’t sure which he would do, there she was, the tiny thing, standing in the doorway wearing a skirt—a short skirt, a shirt—a tight shirt, and a smile—a forced smile (for she didn’t really know what to expect, since they had only met online that day), and he greeted her in semi-slurred speech, composing himself (trying to, at least), studying her body, watching her as she studied him. She smiled, greeted back, they even shook hands (why not), and she invited him in and offered him a beer (which he said yes to) and he watched her (small, tiny, even) walk to the fridge, seemingly drunk herself, watched her as she bent over to look for a can or a bottle, he wasn’t sure what she would produce. Her hair, her long, dark hair twisted in little lanyards down her back, seemed to double her size (for she was small, tiny, even), and she came back with two cans, two silver cans, handing one over and smiling nervously. She was older than him, this girl, by six years, so something in him snapped and he felt no fear, not like this, not here, so he asked her: “Are you drunk? ”
She smiled, caught off guard, and popped her can open: “A bit, yes.”
“Me too,” he said and felt no shame in saying it. They drank in awkward silence, watching each other, undressing, more likely, and soon she offered to show him around, show him her place, which he took great delight in. She had a bedroom—large, a bathroom—small, a dog—annoying, and heaps of clothes piled everywhere. He especially took notice in the bedroom, of the bed, of the size of it, imagining throwing her down on it, having his way with her, and he could tell, smell, even, where this night was going, so he plotted, plotted for no other reason than he could, determined to make it so.
They soon left, at her suggestion (not wanting to give in to him just yet, even though, in her mind, she already had, twice), and drove to a bar, a local bar filled with locals, finding a table in the corner, away from everyone, judging them, leering and laughing. They ordered beers, cheap beers, and talked nervously, checking their phones, engaging in the niceties typically afforded to first date conversations (where, when, how, why), all the while getting drunker, getting fresher, reaching out to touch her hand, her leg, telling her how beautiful she was, watching her drink, get drunk, feigning ignorance in such matters, pushing her back and letting him watch her, fuck her in his mind. Two beers ,three, then four were drunk each.
The waitress, a homely girl who seemed to sense it being a first date, kept them coming, kept them drunk and happy, and they, he and her, found her more charming as the night wore on. Eventually, though, talk came to sex, as talks usually do, and they said what they liked and didn’t like, but mostly in generalities, not wanting to give away their secrets just yet, but even still a warmth spread between them, through them, and they knew what was coming, what they hoped would come, what they had already pictured in their minds since their encounter at the door earlier that evening. So when the time came, they decided to leave, to take it back to her place (her suggestion), since it was, after all, so close.
At the car something happened in him again, something ferocious he couldn’t explain nor cared to, so he pounced, leapt, even, touching and rubbing, furiously grinding his lips against hers, and then, as if it was predestined, he told her to undress, told her to remove her skirt, and so she did, right there in the car. They pulled out of the parking lot and he told her, demanded, that she play with herself, touching and prodding, fingering, and so she did, she obliged, that tiny little thing, and he grew hungry, fetidly hungry, told her to go deeper, longer, become louder, and she said, in spasmed breaths, that she wanted him.
“I want you,” she said.
“I know,” he said, mostly because he didn’t know what else to say, but it was true, that he knew it, and he could tell the moment he picked her up, the moment he looked in her brown eyes, so he said it.
They pulled up to her house and she half-attempted to cover herself, pulling her skirt down as she walked from his car at the curb to her front door, her ass still hanging out, and his mind, it went crazy, not just because of the beers, the drunk rattling inside him, because of the possibilities she seemed to encourage him to explore. And that hunger, it kept on growing. They sat on the couch and kissed and he told her, matter-of-fact, to stand up and undress, so she did, did it as if it was her sole purpose in life, and he loved it, loved that she did what he told her, right when he said it, so when she was naked, standing there, wanting him, and he, wanting her but waiting, holding off, she, the tiny thing, he told her to get on the ground and crawl toward him, like a dog, so she did. She got back, near the television—a flat screen, near the chair—a La-Z-Boy, near stacks of books—vampire novels, and got down, on all fours, and she crawled, crawled like she knew no other way of mobility, and he sat there, eating it up, soaking in it, touching himself in anticipation, and when she reached him, and begged him, he finally gave in, but under his terms, and he fucked her, his way, and she went along with it, being told what to do, and they fucked and screwed that night, she not saying a thing unless told to, not coming unless given the command, writhing on top of him, writhing below him, taking him as he wanted it, when he wanted it, how he wanted it, until there was nothing left to give.
So they laid there, on the floor, worn out and covered in sweat, covered in those first date promises now broken, fantasies broken free and now spread over them both, and she cuddled up to him there and he let her, for the time being, her small head with the great mass of her resting on his chest, thinking about what happened, how he had taken her, how he had made her his own, how this man, a man she didn’t know (a stranger, really, since they had only met online that day), had become privy now to all her secrets—even the protected ones, the dark one, the ones no one else knew. And he lay there, that man, wondering when—to leave, how—to say goodbye, why—he must go, and she stood, smiling (fake, forced smiling) and went to the bathroom. She kept the lights dim and she looked at herself in the mirror, her face and her body caricatured by the shadows, her tiny, small body bruised and used, manhandled and taken, and even though she smiled at herself as if she approved, as if she had invited it—this man, this sly man, this night, this night of firsts—into her life, there was something else forming inside her, a coldness that began to spread and she too wondered when—enough was enough, how—to stop it, all of it, why—she let this happen, and suddenly, she hated what she saw.
Photo: Chris Floyd