Todd had cold blue eyes, and eyebrows that resembled giant leopard moth caterpillars. He hated me, before I even said one word. I felt the same way about him, but I had reasons. None I could express, but they were there. Formless, but very real, reasons. And if I could get him into bed, or the backseat of a car he was still paying off, I would be making a loud statement. Something empowering and progressive, something about female sexual liberation, something not at all about how I didn’t like being judged so severely by a smug asshole, who didn’t even know me.
We ran with the same circle of drunken miscreants. A group we had little in common with, but found that they made us feel better about our own lives. Next to the dime-store philosophers who wore discount jeans, the strippers making their way through online college, forty-five-year-olds trying desperately to pass for twenty-one-year-olds, with no one having the heart to tell them they couldn’t pass for a day under sixty-two, Todd and I were name brand next to store brand.
When he acknowledged my presence, which wasn’t often, he had this way of looking at me that said he wanted me to know I was an accidental birth. An unfashionable nonentity, with nothing interesting to contribute to any conversation. A reason vasectomies were practiced in higher numbers, the year I was born. However, because of our height difference, he often just looked into my breasts, which seemed to startle him. It’s as if the fact that I am a woman came as a surprise to him, but not a pleasant one.
He spoke to me, less than he looked at me. He had a soothing voice, and everything he said was well-thought-out. It was like listening to an NPR news report, but not as informative.
I thought we could go on like that forever. A mutual distaste that would never escalate into something worse, like, god forbid, a public argument. We were on the right track, until I decided to dye my hair black. He seemed fascinated by this, and stared at me with unabashed curiosity.
“Do you know that you look like one of those women that sell baskets, on the side of the road, in Mexico. You look indigenous,” he said.
And everybody laughed, like when I was in the seventh grade, and I fell down a flight of stairs. Granted, I kind of resembled a chicken that really believes it could fly, and doesn’t give a shit that every attempt has been unsuccessful.
“No, I mean that as a compliment,” he continued.
I believe that he did, and was just terrible at giving them, because he felt it was beneath him. He had no practice. But, despite believing there was only a small amount of malice behind his comment, I wanted revenge. Carrie on the stage after the bucket of blood got dropped on her Pantene hair, type of revenge. And I knew there was no better way to accomplish this, than by having sex with him.
It was time to plan, but I had a Golden Girls marathon to watch, so I didn’t put much effort into it. Then, I thought, who needs a plan when there’s alcohol and short skirts. After all, a man once told me that I look like a spider monkey, and I am almost certain he meant it as a compliment. I read somewhere that after full breasts, a round ass, a small waist, men definitely like long legs.
The weekend following the day he called me Tonto with weaving skills, I ran into him at a get-together. He stood alone, wearing a snug grey vest, he probably borrowed from a nephew after his christening. Without much thought, as this is the way I like to approach all decisions in life, I walked up to him and said, “You will take me to your house, because I am bored, and because yeah.”
My eloquence impressed him, and we were soon on our way out the door.
He lived alone, in a large, three bedroom home. It’s only furnishings being a sectional couch and a kitchen table. At nineteen, I should have been impressed by the fact that a man, only a few years older, owned his own house. Instead, I was depressed by his scarce Ikea catalogue décor. I wanted to go home, but that would ruin the image I had created within the last two hours. I was a strong, independent, sex goddess. All I needed was another drink, and I would believe it.
Something went terribly wrong, when he opened his mouth to speak to me. This man, who everyone believed to be a refined and knowledgeable gentleman, was an insecure mess. It dawned on me that I had it all wrong. He didn’t dislike me. In fact, he had always liked me, and his anxieties prevented him from interacting with me. Like a dreidel on a tabletop, I spun him right ‘round, baby, right ‘round.
I couldn’t allow him to become an actual human being. He had to remain the mysterious stranger, well-composed, and slightly hesitant to let me in. A man with a heart that was darkened by every frozen burrito, his mother had failed to heat up for him. Sex with him had to feel like a challenge, and a victory. But he just wouldn’t shut up, with his enthusiastic conversation about computers and modern literature. Oh god, not Chuck Palahniuk, not Linux.
“Do you want to fuck me?” I asked.
I am almost certain I said something like ‘fuck,’ but more like ‘fenk,’ yet he understood.
I took his hand and led him to what I thought was his bedroom, but turned out to be a bathroom. It smelled a bit like Formula 409 and ointment, but I decided to power through it, like a marathon runner that can see the finish line, through the desperate need to pee, and a gluttonous desire for a small hill of maple bacon doughnuts.
Todd began to gently kiss my face. I knew where this was going. He wanted to approach this with sweet seduction. He wanted to warm me up, like an old car in an Illinois winter. If I didn’t take control of the situation, the dry humping would soon commence. Before long, we would develop respect for each other, get married, and spend our weekends listening to Credence Clearwater Revival while eating Chinese Food, and cutting coupons.
“You should unzip your pants now,” I whispered into his forehead.
He excused himself to grab a condom, but I would have been just as satisfied with saran wrap. The financially well-off take every opportunity they can to grossly display their wealth.
Todd quickly returned and in one swift move, I was on the beige tile floor, beneath him. It wasn’t until he was pumping away at me, like a focused jackrabbit, that I realized I never learned his last name. Though, it didn’t matter anymore. I had finally won. He would have to live with the fact that he had sex with someone he hated. Pocahontas got the last laugh. There he was, thrusting away at me, sweating like a retiree doing laps at the mall, just losing.
Five minutes later, it was over. He helped me put on my clothes, and he thanked me.
“Thank you very much.”
He thanked me. Then, he walked me to the door.
We never saw each other again. He fucking thanked me.