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Okay, I’ll admit it: she was sloppy drunk.
There’s also a good chance she was a nymphomaniac.
And, two hours after I first spoke with her, we were having frenzied sex on the couch in my living room.
Her name was very likely Erica (though, if we’re being honest, it could have been Adria, or Angelica, or India, or, really, anything else that ended in “A”), and we met at The Biltmore, about four days after my encounter with the Smilodon.
Rather than dying down, in the days before I met her, it seemed my aggressive streak had begun to pick up speed; now, when I went out, the first thing I wanted to do was circle the room in search of available females. When I talked to my friends, conversation inevitably turned to pickup, either failed or successful. Strategy. Planning.
All my life, all I’d ever done was have relationships.
Sex was Relationship Sex.
Fights were Relationship Fights.
I’d been considerate. I’d been monogamous. I’d even been celibate for a good length of time when Maggie was in California. And, the worst part was, most of the time, it hadn’t even been my idea. I’d gone along with it because that’s what they had wanted, and because that’s what I thought I needed, and because I was a “decent guy”.
But now, I didn’t want to have Relationship Sex.
Hell, I didn’t even want to have a relationship.
I wanted to be free. I wanted to put myself first. I wanted to behave like every entitled asshole I’d ever gone to high-school with; every thoughtless prick who’d ever gotten the girl over me, and then dumped her three days later. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to have random hookups that I never called again. I wanted to be the person that men warned their sisters and girlfriends about, the kind of guy that would walk into a room, and, from the minute he made eye-contact with a woman, everyone would know that it was all but over.
“Then, Ian walked in,” they’d say, “and that was that.”
And, as my opinion on the subject continued to shift, I noticed a marked change in myself, and those around me.
When I talked, people listened. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a strong, confident man. The mechanics that DJ Strangelove had so often blathered on about had become entirely clear to me.
Or, so I thought.
It was around nine o’clock on a Wednesday night, when Leon, Brittany and I met with a small group of friends to drink moderately (for once), and watch an eccentric local band rock and thrash their way around the stage.
I first saw her as I made my way back from the bar: a brunette. Short. Spunky. Her cheeks freckled in a fashion that shouldn’t really have been sexy, but was. She was dancing with a friend off to the side of the stage, though “dancing” might be a bit of an understatement. Her legs spun like she was in a Warner Brothers cartoon, and her arms flapped so quickly, and with such vigour that, at any minute, I expected her to take flight.
“Whooo!” she screeched, as I passed.
“Wow!” I shouted. “You guys are totally rocking out!”
And that was that.
That was the full extent of our conversation.
A second later, she was back to dancing like I didn’t even exist.
“Who was that?” Leon asked, as I returned to the table.
“You talk to her?”
“Oh, yeah. It was scintillating.”
I turned back, and looked at her one more time.
“I don’t know, man,” he laughed. “I’m not sure she’s your type. I mean, she hasn’t even been through menopause yet.”
“Oh, fuck off.”
I didn’t see her again until the end of the night.
And then, as I was casually unlocking my bike, preparing for the brief but chilly ride home, I saw her, along with her friend, scanning the streets for a taxi. By this point, she was nowhere close to sober; steps unsteady, eyes glazed, makeup slightly smudged.
“Whoooo!” she shouted, as she caught sight of me.
“Well, if it isn’t the Biltmore Dance Team,” I laughed, extending my fist. “Pound it.”
“They didn’t appreciate us at all in there. The Lead Singer told us to shut up.”
“I can’t say I blame him.”
“You’re an asshole.”
“It’s been suggested.”
I removed my bike from the rack, and prepared to leave. But, before I could throw my leg over the seat, Possibly Erica pawed once at my forearm.
“Where are you going now?”
“Home,” I replied, confused. “Why?”
“I’m not ready to go home, yet. Maybe I’ll go downtown.”
“Sure,” I shrugged. “Go for it.”
“Are you walking to the bus?”
“Want to walk me to the bus?”
“I’m going that way anyway. You can come if you want.”
“I like your shirt.”
“You wouldn’t be the first.”
And so, we began walking toward Main Street. We chatted pleasantly, about the show, about her dancing. I dissed her repeatedly, found out she was an artist (currently unemployed, collecting EI). I punched her lightly in the shoulder, steadied her as she swayed.
And then, we reached the Bus Stop.
“Well, this is it.” I said, waving.
She looked disappointed.
“What are you doing now?”
“I told you. I’m going home.”
Why does she keep asking me that? I thought.
Then, it occurred to me.
“Did you want to come and hang out for awhile?” I asked.
Her face lit up.
Then, I grabbed her, pulled her in close, and made out with her aggressively.
And, that was that. No date-plan, no clever scheme, no Planet Earth strategy. Just me, and the Biltmore, and one rather intoxicated drain on society.
I made a mental note to call DJ StrangeLove later and gloat.
We arrived at my apartment twelve minutes later.
“Mmm!” she exclaimed, as we walked through the door. “It smells good in here!”
“Stir-fry. I made it myself. Do you want some?”
“Yes. Where’s your bathroom? I need to freshen up.”
I pointed, and, within a second, she was gone.
However, she’d neglected to mention that, by “freshen up”, she actually meant “brush my teeth, collect my thoughts, and spend close to ten minutes quietly vomiting in your toilet.”
So, I sat at the kitchen table, spooning through stir-fry, and, some time later, she emerged, looking refreshed.
Well, I thought.
This was certainly a low-point.
Or was it?
Up until now, I hadn’t physically been able to have sex with a woman without getting attached to her. The old me would maybe get her phone number, meet for coffee once or twice, and do my best to stave off a panic-attack. The new me was out of control, and I wanted to see what he was capable of.
I kissed her.
Damn, she was cute, I thought.
Cute, and very drunk.
“Ah,” I said. “I see you found my toothpaste.”
She giggled, becoming momentarily gorgeous in her inebriation.
We sat back, and I passed her the remainder of my stir-fry.
“So, tell me something awesome about yourself.” I said, with authority. “You’ve got me all the way here. Why should I keep hanging out with you?”
“Well,” she said, with a grin. “I can put my legs behind my head.”
“Fuck off,” I replied. “No, you can’t.”
“Yes, I can,” she grinned.
“Fine, Prove it, then,” I chided. “Show me what you’re made of.”
And, she did.
And then I ripped open her tights.
And that was that.
I awoke the following morning in a cold sweat.
We’d been up most of the night, and damn if the sex hadn’t been incredible. Once again, I’d revelled in my newfound aggression, and, for her part, Possibly Erica had loved every minute of it. Afterward, when we both collapsed onto the sheets, panting and exhausted, I’d promptly started to fall asleep.
“That was fun,” she said.
I managed a grunt.
“Am I annoying you?” she’d asked.
“Talk all you want. I’m going to sleep.”
Then, I’d passed out. Certainly not the wisest move with a complete stranger in my home. For all I know, she could have been up stealing my iPod.
When the alarm went off the next morning, I rose quickly, showering, dressing, eating breakfast. But, when I returned to the bedroom to collect my watch, I found her, still fast asleep, face-down on my duvet.
I watched her for a brief, triumphant moment.
When I looked at her, I felt nothing. No attachment. No feeling.
“Get up. You gotta go.”
She stirred, but didn’t rise.
“Get up,” I barked. “I have to go to work.”
I picked her clothes up from where they lay, strewn across the apartment, and threw them at her.
“Come on, man. It’s time to go. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. I know life is hard for you artistic-types, but not all of us live off of the government.”
She rose. Stretched. Slowly began to dress.
And, as she sat by the front door, clumsily pulling on her boots, I could see the shame in her face. She tried to hide it, of course, but it was there.
We exchanged a brief, meaningless hug.
“So, enjoy your walk of shame, then,” I said, leaning on the door-frame.
She laughed unconvincingly, getting to her feet.
“I think I’m ready for it.”
“Well, I’m sure you’re something of a veteran.”
Her eyes flashed with anger.
“Wow. You really are an asshole.”
“Damn right, darling. And you made me late for work.”
Then I slammed the door in her face.
And that was that.