Missy, part 2

20 Jun

I lay on the bed next to Missy’s smooth and well-formed torso.

The rest of her was there too, of course. Her legs, encased tightly in denim, tangled themselves with my legs, and her toes curled around mine. Two days later, I’d develop my first ever case of athlete’s foot.

Her head also lay next to mine, but her hair covered her features. I didn’t think too closely about her face; particularly, I didn’t think too closely about her mouth and the words coming out of it. When I kissed her mouth, there was almost nothing to kiss. I could feel my beard bristling back sharply against my lips, and I wondered with a sensation of slow, retrograde panic whether this is what every woman I’d kissed since I’d grown my beard had felt. I’d grown it originally as a breakup beard.

A few days earlier, I’d made the mistake of offhandedly mentioning that to Missy when she asked why I decided to grow it. She pulled me to the back of the club to talk about it. By which I mean she asked me to shave it. Earlier, she’d cooked buttered scallops with red wine for us, and she’d bought us tickets to see We Are Scientists, mostly because I had recognized one of their songs on the radio. They pulled in a small crowd. A band called Pirate opened. It was a local band, apparently her favorite, but I’d never heard of them. I knew the drummer by accident, but she was deeply impressed. He worked down the street from my house and sometimes he gave me free coffee. She’d put all this together for my birthday.

Another rule of internet dating is that if you’ve only been dating for a week and a half, don’t mention your birthday.

Her torso was perfect. I couldn’t ignore that. We’d spent the end of the evening making out, stopping awkwardly whenever anyone’s hands moved below the belt line.

It was becoming more difficult to ignore other aspects of her. She’d decorated her bedroom with wide-mouthed designer monkeys. Her only bookshelf, a tiny thing, held cookbooks, coffee table books, and nothing else. Earlier, she’d tried to make me watch Mamma Mia. I begged off on the grounds that it was my birthday and that I fucking hate ABBA.

She rolled off me and smiled.

“Did you have a good time tonight?” she asked.

“I did.” It’s true. I did. Mostly.

She’d put enormous effort into making the evening impressive, and I was impressed. Also, I was worried. We shared literally no common interests. She smiled and returned to whatever it was she’d been talking about. I had trouble paying attention. She talked a lot about ABBA, Pierce Brosnan, and Paul Frank. I tried so hard to care about any of it.

The beard thing was going to come up again.

Actually, technically, I’d shaved the beard once already and decided that, on reflection, I liked the way the beard hid most of my face. She found this particular sophism unpersuasive.

She wanted me to stay the night. She told me that insistently, with her arms around my neck, pressing her hips into mine. I claimed I wasn’t feeling well and left, thankful that she’d be flying for work for the next four days.


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