I circled the parking lot, scanning the long rows of abysmal one-story apartments. Their sad grey brick appeared equal parts pay-by-the-hour motel and work camp. No “1B.” No “1B” under the garish street lamps of the apartment buildings across the street. My car teetered on the crest between driveway and pavement when I spotted two more buildings tucked behind the first set of rentals. Wooden-clad, they rose two-stories with relative dignity.
Clicking off my headlights, I stepped out into the cold night, tucked my gum in its wrapper, and picked up my phone.
“Turn around.” His voice rang twice – once tinny through the cellphone and a distant echo from a wooden balcony on the building behind me.
The studio apartment housed a couch against one wall, a bed against the other, a Dexter poster, and a grey cat. The cat leapt from the single cube of kitchen counter to perch on the arm of the couch. It stared at me.
“Come here, you.” He placed a hand on my cheek, and I eyed the bed cautiously. Catching my gaze, he chuckled, “He said I could have sex in it.”
He lived with his girlfriend’s sister. The room belonged to a friend, a former member of his band, who was visiting family for the holidays. He offered to watch the place and feed the cat.
Pulling off my sweatshirt, he lowered himself onto me, lowered me onto the stranger’s bed. I had dreamt of grabbing his wrists and leading his hands to my breasts as I choked him, rode him, used him since that ill-fated Thanksgiving coffee date. He pulled off my leggings. Fingers tracing lace, slipping under lace. I bit his lip.
The jackhammering fingers returned. Six years and reportedly ten women later, this boy had truly evolved very little. I stopped him, guiding his face down my body. There he had little skill as well, but could do little damage.
Enough. I pushed him onto the bed and searched for what I drove a half hour to fulfill. He wilted in my hand.
“You’ll have to blow me.”
I withheld my scoff and eye roll. I did not have to do anything, but I had come too far to give up. The only man to ever disrespect me such, he thrust into my mouth and nearly shouted in pleasure. I clawed into his hip bones, carefully considering the power of my teeth.
Enough. I straddled him and bit into his neck instead. Reaching beneath me, I searched and had to stroke again. And again.
“I’m sorry. I can’t,” He finally conceded. “It’s just… it’s you. I’ve wanted to sleep with you since high school.” He sat up, “It’s a lot of pressure. I’m just so nervous.”
I stared blankly for a moment before my well-taught reflex to comfort men for their own failures took hold.
It’s you. You. Too intimidating, too ferocious, too illustrious, and too insatiable. Too far beyond reach.
Three months ago, I unwittingly slept with a damn virgin and earned the drought I had hoped to banish this night. Since the night of the curse, I held three other men in my hand and in my bed and – for reasons besides lack of desire – none delivered. Now, this man revealed exactly why. I was too much, and they too ill-equipped to admire, much less compete or satisfy.
I lay in bed next to him while he played his fingers across my body like a child. He gleefully reminisced the near past moments of his tongue in my ass, lauding the act with a sense of accomplishment. I shared my current state with many great women. My infamy was defined as my sexual body for men to possess. I was not a woman. The men I had brought to my bed in the past three months only saw a trophy yet they used its brilliance to stare at their insecurities. Recognizing inadequacy, they backed out of its acceptance but claimed its success.
But I was a full woman, and even in casual sex I deserved to be loved as a woman.