curve balls

Let me come over, says Mark sounding hysterical. This should be a warning to me, but isn’t.
You’re insane, I say. Leave me alone.
Listen to me, he says. We’ve been hanging out but we never talk about the fact that I really like you -
Why don’t we?
Because you’re always too fucking cool for school.
Why are you calling me like this?
Just let me come over, he says.
He stands in my kitchen.
Are you high? I ask. He must be. I would be at this hour.
No, he lies.
Why are you here?
Because, he says. Goddamn you. Do you like me?
I don’t know yet.
You do know. You know everything.
I don’t, I yell. I’m just trying to get by without losing my mind.
Shut up, he says. Come here.
He pulls me close.
I didn’t think this could happen but you’ve made me believe again, he whispers.
I lean into his sun-honeyed skin.
Girls like you really strike me, he says.
There is only one girl like me, I say pretending to stab him in the heart.
That’s exactly where you strike me, he says.
We float to my bed. He lifts me onto his belly. Jesus you are so wet, he says. Why don’t you fuck on this for a while.
He lays his tongue on me. He’s amazing as usual. I open my legs wider. I come for him for the first time, really hard.
Look at me sweetheart, he says holding my face. I’m afraid to but I do it anyway. My body opens to him and I find his rhythm and I follow it until he comes with abandon.
I must be getting comfortable with you, he says.
I can’t believe you’re here, I say. Big beautiful boy.
Gorgeous girl, he murmurs.
We fall asleep mid-kiss, our bodies plastered against each other, our lips touching.


Two weeks later. For the hundredth time I wonder why Mark isn’t calling. Note to self: do not sleep with a Republican ever again. I’m drinking as hard and fast as I can.
My cousin swims to me through the glittering throngs.
The after party is at Float, she shouts.
We get to the next venue. More glittering throngs. There is the prince of darkness, standing against a wall. He tells me his name is Gabriel. He starts talking my head off. I wish he weren’t this intelligent. I just want some peace and quiet so I can get loaded. But he doesn’t care how I feel, he is just so ecstatic to meet a chick who reads Nabokov not Cosmo. Except he doesn’t like Nabokov. This should be a warning to me, but isn’t.
This guy who’s been hitting on you, my cousin says an hour later in passing. Is fucking gorgeous.
I take another look. She’s right.
He kisses me like a maniac. Everyone stares at us. I wish Mark was here instead of this stranger.
He says, Come do a line with me.
We are in someone’s apartment. There is a hit of coke on the table. I do it then he tumbles me on the couch. His mind is pure speed, his body all force. He keeps butting me with his huge hardon. It’s like swimming with a dolphin. Something tall, elegant, and inhuman. I wrestle out of his grip.
Let’s go visit my friend, he says.
On the street he holds my hand. I really like you, he says pulling me along.
We are in a long dark bar after last call. Red lights and black couches everywhere. He introduces me to people. Someone gives us drinks. Come over here for a minute, he says.
Out of sight in an alcove we tangle in a frenzy. He lays me down.
Do you have a boyfriend?
No, I say.
He puts his tongue between my legs. He feels kind of good so I open them wider. I flash on the other night when I came in Mark’s mouth again.
I have to go, I say.
He takes my number.
He starts calling.
Let me come over, he says.
You can’t, I say. I did something stupid to my leg.
Let me take care of you.
I lie on the floor wacked out on painkillers. We kiss. Sensations of lust and malaise transmit to me from his frantic body. I push him away again and again. I expect him to go but he keeps talking.
He sings me the lyrics to all his favorite tunes. He plays with my puppies and tells me that he loves them. He goes for cigarettes when we run out.
He says, I feel like I’ve known you for a long time.
At the end of the day I throw him out.
Another night we go to a party and stay up until the next morning. We talk for hours. I watch the way he smokes each cigarette down to the quick. His fingernails are dirty.
I’m telling you everything, he says. I want you to know what is going on in my life.
I begin to like him at last.
Careful of my leg, I say.
Honey, he says. It’s going to have to hurt a little bit. He pins me down.
He says, Your body is my religion.
On the fourth night I ask, Why are you still here?
I like you, he says. I need you.
He washes over me in many different ways. Finally I tell him to go home.


Two weeks later. The rooftop barbeque is off to a slow start. Everyone has left to go get more beer. I sit by myself and wonder why Gabriel hasn’t called like he said he would. Note to self: never let a guy who doesn’t like Nabokov into your bed.
The old man and the girl sit on deck chairs among the geraniums. It’s a perfect night. Ivy grows along white walls. We could be on Capri. The old man gets up to go look at the stars.
It’s so weird hanging out with my father, says the girl. I haven’t seen him in my entire life.
Oh, I say indifferently. I light a cigarette. I wish Gabriel were here instead of these strangers. I start drinking.
Paul comes up the stairs. Pulls up a chair, puts his legs around mine. I look at his cute body inside his hipster clothes.
I can’t kiss you, he says. You’re wearing that perfume I hate.
I’ve always worn it.
You didn’t before.
Right. We were covered in beer back then.
Beer and blood, he says.
What blood. That was champagne.
You gave me a bloody nose once remember? When we had our wars. You made me so hot.
Will you make me a hamburger? I say.
He disappears.
Jesse comes up the stairs. He sits in front of me and starts talking. I’m trying hard to get loaded.
How about oysters at Balthazar? He says after a while. How about a Percodan and a bottle of really good champagne?
Bring it on brother, I answer.
The glittering throngs are pouring up the stairs.
This guy who’s been in your face for the past three hours, says my cousin in passing. Is really fucking cute.
I check him out. She’s right.
Let’s go to Sway, I tell her. DJ has to save my life tonight.
Can I come too? he says.
The club is going off.
This bottle looks like it has cancer, I say holding my weird Budweiser.
It looks like my glass dildo, he says. No one likes it.
Why not?
They all said it’s too cold.
We dance to ACDC. His body is compact and warm and magnetic. He lifts me off the floor. I lick the sweat in the hollow of his neck. I flash on Gabriel’s skin, which was white and cool and clammy.
I’m glad I came out tonight, says Jesse.
I have to go, I say.
He takes my number.
He starts calling.

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