Lucy sat cross-legged on the bar stool, her face with an elfish glow above her phone. She was with a couple of guys from her work – I thought I could remember one of their names but it wouldn’t click.
The Charleston always had this old rag smell, it didn’t get a lot of light and was open the majority of a twenty four hour window. I wondered what it would have been like when you could still smoke inside – whenever that was – it probably wouldn’t have been a whole lot different, you never get rid of a scent built over a hundred years, they should bottle it. I was chatting to a mate that works for the Brooklyn Nets the other day; they have a scent that they pump into the Barclays Centre. Someone had the idea to sell it so people could take it home. That would work here – all the tourists that flood the L train could take an authentic piece of the hipster experience home with them.
The other bartenders from Lucy’s work gave me the classic look – the one you give someone who turns up to take away the girl they’ve spent the last six hours flirting with. I hadn’t seen her since before new years so no doubt they had all been hanging out, she never showed up to the after parties. After a quick tequila shot, followed by a beer chaser we said later to the guys headed for the door, she turned and went back to give the bartender a couple dollars.
“Good night?” I said, once around the corner.
“Not too bad, a bit shit. About the same.”
“You save your shitty mood for me? McGrumpleson.”
She crashed into me and tucked herself under my arm, silent as she burrowed into my side.
“You’re McGrumpelson, dork…. grumple.”
I let some silly smile out which she mimicked and fed back at me. They liked to get pretty high after closing up, she looked kind of hot when she was dazed. It made me think of the cliché stoner chicks in the movies; jeans, long hair, hanging out in the back of vans.
I nudged her with my shoulder, leant on her and pulled her in beside me as we walked. She had been smoking, which made me feel better – after a horrible experience last year, I had sworn to never to inflict the same experience on anyone else.
She had an old soul record on and was dancing, leaving ripples as she spun across the floorboards.
Back at mine Lucy kicked her boots against the brick wall, the thick heel landing hard against the wood. I took a piss, brushed my teeth. When I came back from the bathroom she had an old soul record on and was dancing, leaving ripples as she spun across the floorboards, my eyes trying to follow in the dark.
I flicked on a lamp and she came back round to meet me, stopped short, falling forward, stuttering before crashing onto my chest forcing me to wrap an arm around her to hold us steady.
“Woah there black swan.” I said.
“Dance with me.” She said, grabbing my hand.
“All danced out.”
On the couch I put my face in her hair and pulled at her shirt, she smelled a little sweaty apart from these little sweet spots where she must have sprayed perfume earlier. I kept coming back to these spots, creating this raw and sweet combo. I once knew this guy who learned the names of the top girls’ perfume, would use it as a pick up line in bars. I never really noticed the smell unless I was right up close to a girl.
We were standing now. Her eyes straight on me, her dramatic look. I hoisted her up, pressed her against the wall. Who was this girl? She had a different energy running through her tonight, snarling as we kissed and hooking one leg round behind me. It was hot – it felt like an act – that’s kind of how it was with Lucy.
With one arm free I tugged at her shirt, having more success after I switched arms. All this exposed skin catching the light, I buried my face in it, brushing one of her nipples with my cheek and letting it track into my mouth.
Lucy clamped her teeth with a loud double strike – jabbing at me with her hips. She slid down the wall and wriggled free under my arm, pushing pass my shoulder and walking with purpose across the room, each step coupled with an accentuated roll of her hips that tugged her skirt lose. She was able to step out of it mid stride. I wondered if she practiced at home. Why just get undressed when you could perfect a flawless performance like that? I felt that straight guys lacked these dramatic everyday opportunities.
She reached the heavy wooden trestle table, arched, and came to rest on her elbows, I could tell she was distant, that I was a pawn in some movie scene she was recreating but I was more then ok with that.
I just stood there, letting her dwell on the situation, giving her space to think whatever a girl thinks when she is in that position.
She rose up on her toes, not even glancing back, eyes straight as her body crept over the table. The record came to an end so I went over and flipped it while taking off my pants, far less graciously – but without much of a sound. Still far across the room, I just stood there, letting her dwell on the situation, giving her space to think whatever a girl thinks when she is in that position. Thoughts men would love to hear – although the reality is likely a mix between the Alexander Wang boots that are on sale and the final of the Bachelorette.
She shifted weight from one foot to the other as I approached, eyes still firmly on the wall. When I finally touched her she arched to try and catch my body, I kept a distance to avoid full contact, wanting to take some of the control back. We finally connected; the rhythm was rough and impersonal – each of us taking from the other. She didn’t even relent when I gathered a fist full of hair and slowly drew my arm back – her eyes remained forward. As we finished up, I was lost for what to do. She collapsed further onto the table. This wasn’t a cuddle scenario. I stepped back, paused for some sort of subconscious mental snapshot then went over to the kitchen for a glass of water.
Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint when your relationship with someone changes, a gradual decline – but not this time. Perhaps we didn’t fit each with each other’s vision of life in 2015. As we got into bed, pulling up my duvet that she always complained was too thin, we shared a quaint little goodnight smile, I heard the voice inside her head, “Why am I still hooking up with this guy? I could do so much better.” I liked the obviousness of it.
Sex often thrives on lies, but it can be the fastest way to expose truth.
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