He followed me down the stairs into my bedroom, and shut the door behind him. I apologized for the mess and tried to make small talk for a moment. I was relieved when he said he couldn’t stay long. He came toward me with a purpose, not the sort of purpose that is romantic or sweet, but an aggressive primitive purpose. He touched me and hovered around my face. I always hated the way these men smelled. It was just skin and sweat and stale breath. I think when you love someone you can tell by the way they smell to you. They’ll smell like a shower, or mint chocolate, or fresh linen.
I shut off the light and he put me on the bed. He didn’t get in with me, he couldn’t stay long after all. He undressed me and I laid back. It felt good, as long as I pretended it didn’t matter that he didn’t matter. I didn’t love this man, I didn’t want to love this man. He made bad jokes and he felt like a cold lobby masquerading as a living room. It’s a talent of mine, pretending they’re someone else. If I close my eyes I can convince myself that this person loves Billy Joel just as much as I and that he knows who my roommate’s cat, Mortimer Brewster, is named after. I closed my eyes and pretended he had pretty blue eyes and an innocent face. But he didn’t. His face was gaunt and his teeth were sharp and I felt badly that he was just going to be a short story for a sad girl. I wonder if he realized this. I wonder if one of the cleaning women at the hotel he works at is secretly in love with him and wishes he’d touch them the way he’s touching me. I wonder if he’s pretending I’m someone else, someone he used to love, someone who use to love him. I wonder if there’s any light behind his eyes at all, or maybe this is exactly what it is and I put too much into a meaningless meeting.
When we’ve both finished we stand and get dressed. All of this only lasts 40 minutes, and then he’s gone. I put on pajamas and lay on the couch. I eat cereal and fall asleep at 2:30 in the morning. It’s a Monday, and this is what my life is. Or at least, this is what my life sometimes is. It feels as if I’ve never truly been touched by someone who loved me. I’ve been feeling lied to and pushed aside. I fall asleep thinking about kissing a boy who I can’t have and wondering why I can’t be happy. Wondering when I will get what I want. Wondering if what I want is even good for me to begin with.
I just want to be in love with someone who is in love with me and in the same room as me and doesn’t have to leave. I’m beginning to realize that this is a tall order.