Drop #172: Why?

at your disposal‘Why does this keep happening to me?’ Jane asked, following Sarah outside to bum a smoke. She wanted more drinks too but was broke and too proud to ask Sarah to buy her another. ‘Am I just a loser? Do I suck? Am I ugly? A dork? Why does every guy cheat on me or break up with me? Am I a psycho? Too selfish? Too needy? Do I smother them? Do I talk too much? Why do they all dump me? Why, Sarah? Why? Am I delusional? An idiot? Am I annoying? Too fat? Help me understand. Am I gross and stupid and useless and boring? Tell me, Sarah? Am I? Hey? Am I?’

‘Well, actually, yes. Yes you are. All those things, in fact.’ Sarah tipped ash and watched it paraglide down to the pavement. ‘A guy would have to be bat shit crazy not to run once he gets more than a glimpse.’

By EM Vireo

Drop 170: Decision

‘Oh, God,’ Beth thought, stubbing out another cigarette, ‘it’s so difficult. I love them both in their own way. There’s so much history with Larry – years of warmth and love and caring, but John is new and exciting. Sex with him is just incredible and he makes me feel so fantastic – so young and attractive and full of hope.’

She didn’t know why, but over the past week the burden of secrecy had grown too heavy and she felt she had to choose. Her emotions, forever easy-going and forgiving, had suddenly swelled to demand action right away. There was no fighting it. She knew what she had to do.

She lit another cigarette as she made the call. He was on a business trip. After years of comfortable silence, she couldn’t wait another minute.

‘Hello, darling,’ he said. ‘Everything OK?’

‘Hello, Gunther,’ she said. ‘I want a divorce.’

By EM Vireo

Drop 169: You Know?

glass bottomAmanda is surprised Joe’s still talking to her. He’s blonde and good-looking, with bright eyes and a tanned fit body. He has been laughing at her jokes and has given her more than one complement already. As an overweight, nerdy girl, she’s not used to the attention, but it’s going great – so great in fact, that she decides to go for it. Why not? You never can tell who a person might be into. It’s personal and sometimes quite surprising. Maybe this guy’s into big girls with glasses!

‘Say, Joe: you think you might wanna get some dinner with me some time?’

‘Yeah, sure, would be fun.’

‘Just the two of us, you know, and maybe catch a movie too.’

‘Oh, you mean like a date?’

‘Yeah.’

‘Sorry, darling. I think I gave you the wrong impression. You’re awesome and I think you’re really cute too with your funky glasses and pretty eyes, but I’m into dudes. Actually, if you want to know, I’m into older bald black guys with tattoos.’

‘Oh.’

‘Something about them just gets me, you know? We can still catch that movie though!’

‘Sure.’

Later that night Joe hits his usual spot for a quick drink, just to check out the scene.

Bingo!

After talking to Chuck – a large black man in his late forties with an amazing wide smile, fully tattooed arms done really nicely, and a perfectly round shiny head – for half an hour, and buying him a drink, Joe suggests they get out of there.

‘Oh, sorry buddy,’ Chuck says. ‘I must have given you the wrong idea. I’m not gay. Just here with some friends. You’re a handsome dude, for sure, but I’m into chicks – hefty pale white girls with glasses, to be precise. Something about them just gets me, you know?’

 By EM Vireo

Drop 167: AKA

wine shadowShe’s in the bathroom, halfway through the date. She really likes this guy. He’s handsome, with a great smile and seems smart and nice too. It’s definitely going well. The conversation is flowing and there’s plenty of flirtation going on. She’s only just met the guy and is surprised to be into him, but it’s exciting.

Back at the table, he’s waiting for her with a smile. He’s topped up her water and her wine. The dessert menu has also arrived.

‘So, any plans for tomorrow?’ she asks, sitting and looking it over.

‘I have an acappella battle.’

‘What?’

‘Yeah. I’ve been practicing all week, and tomorrow’s the big day.’

‘You sing acappella?’

‘Every weekend.’

‘Really?’

‘Yeah. Acappella is my life!’

She gets up, drinks down her wine, drops a few twenties on the table. ‘Don’t call me,’ she says as she walks away.

By E.M. Vireo

Drop #166: Date

This post is not suitable for children – you have been warned

icecream bearThey stepped out of the movie theater into the warm night, hand in hand. It was only a first date but it seemed to be going well, and he hoped it would progress to something delicious quite soon.

‘So, what do you want to do now?’ he asked.

‘What do I want to do? I want to fuck – that’s what I want to do. I want to fuck you. I want you to fuck me. I want to suck your dick. I want it between my tits and in my ass. I want to lie you down on the floor and destroy your face with my meticulously waxed pussy. I want to do it for hours on the couch and the bed and the kitchen table, rest for half an hour while we drink champagne and do lines, then go again even longer. That’s what I want to do now – right now. I want it bad.’

‘Yeah, that sounds good. Also – and I’m just throwing this out ­there – there’s this new ice cream place that opened just up around the corner I’ve been meaning to try. It’s an organic creamery with like 56 flavors, all made in-house, and a million toppings to choose from, and they mix it all together on frozen marble slabs right in front of you. Anyway, that’s another option – I’m easy, either way.’

By EM Vireo

Drop 153: Napkin

orchidThis post is not suitable for children. You have been warned.

‘It’s kind of refreshing,’ she said, looking at him across the table and smiling softly, ‘to be out with a nice guy for a change—you are a nice guy, right? I mean, it’s our third time out and you haven’t made a move beyond that one short and careful kiss. You haven’t grabbed me, made any crass comments, acted macho, even stared openly at my breasts.’

‘Because I respect people, and women especially.’

‘I see that.’

‘And yes, I am a nice guy, in terms of: I would never prey on insecurities, coerce or manipulate a girl into doing anything, or make it seem like she has no option, or is flawed if she doesn’t, or use alcohol or promises to seduce her; and sure, I only kissed you that once, and gently, and I haven’t tried to sleep with you, and I’ll always value a woman’s wishes and comfort as I try to do with all people.’

‘Yes, that’s clear.’

‘But, if I may speak frankly?’

‘Of course.’

‘In truth, my urges are not so polite; I just manage them skillfully. For instance, if I knew for sure you’d want it, I’d be under the table in an instant, teasing your panties aside and gobbling up your pussy as if it were an impossibly ripe mango, then ripping them and diving so deep down that snatch I’d almost drown. Yes, if I had a green light, I’d be under this table tonguing your asshole till it shone like a star, wearing you like a warm winter hat before filling you up with my footlong sub. Of course, I always put subject above object, even though, if you gave the word, I’d straight up beast on your delicious pink, plain revel in that stank. I’d snort coke off your clit, film it all so I could jerk off to it later, record your squeals and use them as the ringer for my phone—the higher ones to alert me of a WhatsApp message. I will always respect the person first and foremost, even if I want to deconstruct her into options, objects, holes to abuse. Always! But damn, girl, I’m less man than epic throbbing cock for you by now!’

She was silent.

‘Forgive me, have I shocked you?’ He looked at her meekly and topped up her wine. ‘Have you nothing to say?’

‘Oh, sorry, yes,’ she said, adjusting herself slightly on her chair. ‘It’s just that I dropped my napkin under the table and was wondering if you’d be a gentleman and get it for me.’

By E.M. Vireo

Drop 147: Invitation

lovers‘Want to come up? No one’s home.’

‘You want me to?

‘I asked, didn’t I?’

I pause, tapping a sneaker against the curb. ‘Don’t think I will.’

Her disappointment is at once recognizable and foreign, like a childhood home revisited as an adult. She is wearing one of the many similar simple dresses that suit her so well, and those olive-green knee-highs that remind of all I must have missed in the sixties. She is playing, as she often does, with the tiny gold seahorse hanging from her neck, and she is beautiful–a little too alluring to have to deal with, really. Too much expression in her face, too much roundness in those cheeks. No one wears glasses better, and that practiced naïveté she flaunts only belies a sensual cleverness, a roguish greed.

‘So, that’s a hard no?’ she asks, sliding hand under cloth to gently scratch collarbone.

I look at her as a quiet man might watch the winter sea from a deserted beach. ‘I can’t,’ I say. ‘I won’t.’

We kissed earlier—kissed in a way that stole something back from time: some magic, some truth. We kissed for several minutes, naturally, comfortably, as if we had always been in love.

‘Really?’ She leans against the door frame and smiles, mocking my attempt to postpone the inevitable.

I have already, over the course of the afternoon, imagined her a hundred kinds of naked, met so much of that nakedness with fingers, mouth, and face, been shattered over and again by the thought of her tightly around me. How gorgeous it must be in there. How perfect.

‘Is it your wife?’ she asks, ‘or my husband?’

After three weeks of close, almost daily interaction, the project is finished; we won’t be working together any more. Nothing happened in all that time, until today, but it was instantly flirty and easy between us—and almost immediately I had also imagined this moment, this invitation. The possibility has lived with us since, like terrible, lovely, exciting disease that is never discussed, but will not just go away.

‘I guess,’ I say, watching her stare at me, unblinking, ‘but that’s not the whole of it.’

She looks down coyly, and I resent already missing her eyes. I know it spells madness, but it’s a deep relief when she looks back up.

‘I fear if I touch you again today, I won’t be able to let go.’

‘Hm. Fear.’

‘Look at us together. Look at what we already are. This could never be a passing thing. Of course I want to come up—the thought is beating me to a pulp, but I if did it would be too good, and prove what I already know: that I like you too much. We’d definitely do it again, start a proper affair and be really into each other. I might even leave Sarah for you, and you might leave Will. We’d move in together, and it would undoubtedly be wonderful, maybe even for years, but who’s to say it won’t lose that drive and wonder?–it would already have to carry the weight of all we have given up: everything we have hurt, and risked, and betrayed. We might fight, and get frustrated, and start new affairs and only end up back where we are now. Why set all that up when we could just absorb this perfect moment, this perfect day between two recent strangers and move off into the night?’

‘Wow. Someone’s a fucking downer.’

‘Sorry.’

She shrugs but I can tell she feels this same tectonic force, but for some reason is was willing to act, as I might be willing to do on another day, or maybe still am. I have always been careful, though: too careful to throw something great away for something else that is sure to be incredible.

‘No, that was a good speech. Articulate and charismatic.’

I know this sarcasm is used in defense, maybe as a stalling technique too. Even now the invitation remains draped on her face, and I still haven’t formally refused it. Minds are seldom made up with the words they sell to mouths. Half of mine has already climbed the stairs to her bedroom, or is it more than half, or less? Sex itself is not so dangerous but there’s no room here for love. Not today, in this falling dusk. Not for love the destroyer, love the callous cunt. Souls are impatient; we tend to appease the offhand passions they peddle, riding them on into the new and the immediate. But not every time, on every watch.

The hug goodbye is brutal, so heavy with the sadness of sense.

By EM Vireo

Drop #92: Business

‘Can I get you anything else? We’ll be landing soon.’

‘Another red please.’

‘The Shiraz?’

‘That’s the one.’

‘Coming right up, Honey.’

 

He waited for Sylvia in one of the long hallways before immigration.

‘How was it?’ she asked, reaching him.

‘Good wine. Decent port. The white was a little warm.’

‘And the food?’

‘Tasty. I had shrimp and a cheese platter. How was it back there?’

‘You know. A bit mushy, but not too bad.’ They started walking, each pulling a small, square bag.

‘I still think you should have sat in your own seat.’

‘Your legs are longer, you like good wine, and I sleep fine on the regular seats,’ Sylvia answered robotically.

‘Yeah. Anyway, thanks.’

‘You’re welcome. You get some sleep?’

‘A little. Watched a couple of movies. Hugo and Drive.’

‘I watched Drive too.’

‘I figured you would. Ryan Gosling’s your guy.’

‘Any cute air hostesses?’

‘Yes, in fact. It used to be standard protocol, especially up front, but it’s almost a rarity these days.’

‘You’re telling me. You should have seen the gorillas on my British Airways flight last week.’

‘They’re all men in their fifties, right?’

‘I was scared to ask for a glass of water.’

‘So. One gave me her number.’

‘An air hostess?

‘Yup?’

‘You must have flirted with her.’

‘That’s possible.’

‘You always flirt when you drink.’

‘That seems to be my way.’

‘Was she type A or B?’

‘What do you mean? This was a person, not a kind of hepatitis.’

‘Come on. Spit it out, Ned. I know you, and I know what gets you going.’ They approached passport control. ‘There’s type A, the injured bird: slim with slumped shoulders, a little sad, big eyes, dark hair, thin wrists, delicate fingers, downcast eyes looking for answers, used to be a goth but doesn’t know what to be anymore; and type B, nice and fluffy: blonde, a little dumb, a little plump, touchy, in a perpetual good mood, white teeth, smiles a lot, say’s ‘Aaaaw’ without fail when she sees a kitten, calls guys Dear or Honey or Sweetheart. Of course, there’s type C too: anyone with tits and eyes – but those you can usually take or leave. A and B are hard to pass up.’

‘She was a classic B.’

‘Hm. Will you call her?’

‘You think I should?’

‘She’s probably not worth it.’

‘I’ve become so confused about what is and isn’t nowadays.’

‘Don’t let it hurt your brain.’

 

‘You’ll probably want to have sex at home,’ Sylvia said, while they passed through customs. ‘Won’t you?’

‘Probably.’

‘You’re always horny when you flirt with other girls.’

‘At least I’m not never horny, right?’

‘That, my dear husband, is a very good point.’

By E.M. Vireo

Drop #80: Hotel

I tipped him for bringing up my bag.

‘Thank you, sir. I hope you enjoy your stay.’

‘You too,’ I said, before I could stop myself.

They had an ad for Mamma Mia, the musical on repeat in the elevator on a small TV. A red-head with a baby got on at 34, maybe 5 or 7 years older than me.

‘What floor?’ I asked.

‘Two please.’ Australian accent.

I hit the button. “I’m sure getting my fill of Abba.’

She laughed. ‘Have you seen it – the musical?’

‘No, this is plenty Abba for me.’

She laughed again

“Traveling with your husband?’

“He’s coming on Thursday.’

‘Want to have a drink tonight?’

‘I don’t think so.’ A small change in the muscles of her face.

‘Sure? You can bring the little one, if you want.’

‘Yes,’ she said, ‘I’m sure,’ though she looked tempted. It’s always a 50/50 proposition

In the foyer, I looked around trying to imagine who each of these fuckers was fucking: the skinny guy with the big nose; the chubby guy with the crooked smile; the short Greek with too much cologne; the bald guy with the angular face; then I hit the bar.

I drank two overpriced Mojitos while I watched. I waited patiently till he went to the bathroom, then sauntered over and sat down next to her. She looked at me blankly, raising an eyebrow. She wore a dark purple dress, her straight black hair neatly tied back, with only the bangs on the left hanging over her eye.

‘Come on,’ I said, my voice cracking slightly. ‘I’m much better than that guy!’

Back upstairs, I lay on the bed with the five fluffy pillows. Wasn’t I supposed to be good-looking. Didn’t all the girls want me, or was that years ago by now?

I got up to check the mini fridge. There was a framed 18 x 12 black and white photo on the wall behind it: dramatic mountain scenery with clouds. From the adjacent room the sound of sex – enjoyable sex – passed clearly through the walls. I reached for a tiny bottle of gin.

By E.M. Vireo

Drop #72: The Lot

You turn left on 19th, following the Puerto Rican chick in low-cut jeans till she peels off on 8th Ave. There’s a mixed group of twenty-something punks on the corner: three guys and two girls in faded skinny jeans, with mohawks and tattoos, but soft faces. You continue east collecting glances: one from a middle-aged Jewish lady with frazzled hair and red cheeks; another from a bony black dude in a white wife beater with an impressive afro.

You walk downtown on 6th Ave, stretching your legs through Chelsea where two plump Indian daddy’s girls waddle by in colorful swathes, and wiry Ethiopians move heavy cactuses, past the delis and coffee shops. You stop for a minute on 13th to watch a bus unload three German tourists in high heels and short skirts, giggling at something with wide mouths; an accountant type in his late forties, a gray striped suit and glasses; a tall MTR employee with dirty hands, and a Latina with short legs and greased back hair who smiles at you with the whitest teeth.

There are plenty of interesting characters between 14th and 4th, including a thirty-something broad in spandex and purple sneakers with a bare midriff and long red braids, and a guy, shirt draped over shoulder, with one of the three best six packs you have ever seen – actually, it’s more of an eight pack, with abs jamming into each other like they’re at war. You stop on 8th to watch the eclectic crowd at Gray’s Papaya dig into their dogs. You take a second to observe every face in the joint, lingering on the pale white girl with fake eyebrows and the mustached hipster.

You take a break at Washington Square Park, making a slow round, looking at the peeps and freaks and street performers. The juggler is great, doing his bit on a unicycle while cracking jokes – he seems Hungarian or Bulgarian, but you might be wrong. A girl is playing guitar on the grass at the south end. She has the sweetest round face and loveliest vibe. A scruffy guy straight out of Seattle is playing Alice in Chains covers a hundred yards over, and doing a great job too. A man with a huge belly and mean face stands watching, unimpressed. There are a couple of guys that look like drug dealers walking around all businesslike, one in an oversized football jersey and baggy jeans, the other in a white T and baseball cap. Who knows, though? Maybe they’re undercovers instead. A couple circles around on rollerblades holding iced coffees, both with just impossible bodies; a bearded hippie type does tai chi on a rug, and two intellectual types talk Woody Allen nearby. A tall skinny blonde sits chatting to a tall skinny brunette. Maybe they are models, one from Finland, one from Latvia, or maybe they’re just students taking in the sun.

You sit on the small wall near the pretzel cart, kick off your sandals and recall all the people you saw on route, and those you have just encountered in the park, confirming that you’d fuck every single one of them – that if you could, you’d give the lot of them the business; well, except maybe that guy with the belly watching the musician. Then you consider getting a knish.

By E.M. Vireo