I had started working in LIC. It was a decent job as far as things go but I hated it. Sometime in my second week I found my local bar. The Bartender honed in like a missile;
– I love that dress but all I want to do is take it off you
That week the radiator was at full volume. A man followed me down the street, people were yelling out of cars, someone sat next to me on the subway and told me I “defined beautiful.”
I had been out of sync though. Off kilter. The Lesbian had sent me a song:
I understand that we are all swimming around in the soup interpreting this bizarre experience in our own way but he really blindsided me with this one. Was that how men saw me? I felt scared. It wasn’t sexy. I wasn’t sexy in that role. It stuck with me.
The Bartender had been coming on strong and I really wasn’t feeling it in return. He was leaving for another job and wanted me to have a drink with him on his last day. I wanted to hang out with P but she was home with her sick daughter.
What the hell?
We went to a bar in Astoria. Definitely not my kind of bar. A sports bar, a theme pub. He was always on his phone and he checked out every chick as she walked by us. Fair enough. I wasn’t particularly attracted to him so why criticize? Then a woman who works on my floor and her boyfriend came in. I didn’t know her name. She was in another department. She was damaged goods. She had rotting teeth and she was an oversharer, the way lonely people are. But The Bartender knew her and her man and they loved him. I have to say right here that recently, it’s been pointed out to me by JnoK and J-k that I attract crazies. This might be true but I had a soft spot for teeth and her construction man. She was red raw like a skinned cat. I always feel that I could have been like that if I played my hand differently but that’s another story. The Bartender was kind to them. That was the moment I knew I’d spend more than the next 20 mins in his company. We took a cab back to my place. He did all of the things I would normally do: we only had sex on the couch, he rushed in too quickly. He told me he had to go before he even had his cock back in his trousers. Plus the sex was, well. Ok. Suddenly, I felt a strange pang
-you’re not going to stay the night?
It’s as if I was channeling someone other woman from a romcom. My goodness, I wasn’t even sure if I liked this fellow! I didn’t know what had come over me but I knew it meant one thing: I wanted more. More of what I wasn’t sure. It was a mild buzzing in the background that had no tone yet.
I was due to see Marvin the next day. I had been to bed late and had 2-3 hours sleep. I went down for a nap and woke to a text. Holy shit, I had meant to be at Marvin’s at 3:30 and it was already 4:30. He was a little cross and it was understandable. So far, Marvin had just been tossed into the salad of lovers and randoms. He was reliably good though and always kind. There was also the fact that he was extraordinarily good looking. His smile could pull me across the room. It was his hands though: the size of dinner plates; fingers striped like tigers and always, always warm. Plus, he was big. I liked that. He treated me to a lovely orgasm and told me it was ok to get closer. He’d said this before but I couldn’t hear it. For some reason, in this moment the timing was right and for the first time I thought I could do this.
I saw H immediately after that at Webster Hall. She wanted to see Atlas Sound and she was in love. To see her in this way, watching her watching him and I wanted to kiss her face. To think, to know that there are things that mean so much to someone, it was refreshing. She was effervescent, touching everyone around her and her energy was a pulsing beacon. We all loved her. Before the end of the night we made 10 new friends. In particular there was one young man from the South who was here visiting a friend and studying Recreational Therapy. He had experienced a serious brain injury recently. Had been in a coma for many months and had several operations. He spoke slowly, his words were considered. He struggled to form them. Now, he wanted to practice the thing that “saved his life.” If I could have put him in my pocket and taken him home I would have. He smelled like flowers, he was daggy. He was a real human.
I had promised Marvin we would go to where he worked. H and I took a cab.
– Which one is this?
– The big black guy. Marvin. I think you’ll like him.
And she did. If you don’t get along with H there’s something wrong with you. So obviously, Marvin liked her too. This was the first time I had introduced a lover to any of my friends and I was tredpidous. I liked to keep my men away from the people I cared about. Earlier that day Marvin told me “You’re so beautiful but you’re so confused.” I told H that M and I had been knocking boots for at least 6 months now and she reminded me that it was ok to put ‘buddy’ back into fuck buddy. So, Now that my separate worlds were coming together and we were all ok I was feeling some relief. I was ready to spend more time with Marvin.
The place he worked was strange. There were a lot of rich kids there. We were making Gossip Girl jokes all night. Many people came and talked to us but we felt outside of it all somehow. Not superior, just anthropologists running commentary on the species we were surrounded by. Just as we were leaving H and I were separated. Our phones were dead and I walked out into the Manhattan streets and looked for a subway. Normally, I would use my phone but I was at a loss: I stopped a man and asked if he could guide me to the nearest subway.
– I’m going there. Walk with me.
Perfect. Except he was so fast I was almost running to follow him. In my heels, I tripped on the subway stairs and he picked me up. I felt goofy, drunk, ungraceful. I didn’t care.
– I’ve lead you astray, this isn’t the right train for us. Let’s get a cab.
No worries there. When in the car he touched my shoulder, I looked at him and we started kissing. It was hot. He was touching me in places and I could feel his hard on. We went to his place and in his room. He had a bare mattress on the floor, he rolled a joint and we smoked it. We fucked. Afterward, He said
– Guess how old I am?
-Well, you fuck well for a 23 year old!
He was chuffed. I normally don’t do young guys because they’re shit in the sack but he was quite good really. I asked him if he remembered my name. Of course he didn’t but it was all ok because I didn’t remember his name and told him so. We laughed, I put my clothes on and left. I’d never see him again.
Still that night, Marvin came over after work and I told him about the young guy. He loved it. We had sex and he loved me the way a real man does. I loved that he did. There was someone that could be with me for who I am. Or I hoped so. I couldn’t imagine someone saying ‘just how you are is ok.’ But he was saying it and just now, I wanted it. I slept in his arms. I smelled his skin, I woke and looked at his ‘self’ for a moment. He was beautiful. Heavy, strong, otherworldy. He was a behemoth, a new barge making it’s way through my rocky seas. Slowly, my ice was splintering, letting him come through. It hurt a little but I trusted him, perhaps it would be ok? I thought of him on that day as “my” Marvin; just like H was my girl and P was my wife. He had done it perfectly, taking my hand gently, pulling me back to life. Without trying to take something from me or getting angry with me for being unable to give more than I can. I was putting ‘buddy’ back into fuck buddy and I knew there was no better vehicle than Marvin.