I’ll be writing for the next month, the last month of my twenty-eighth year, to purge stories from my “romantic” history (inspired by recent abandonment).
In an effort to not be such a bitch, I’m going to protect the anonymity of my past lovers by calling them all Eddie. I have thereby entitled this series, “Eddie, I hate you”.
The Bitch At The Table
Eddie was my manager.
He had a girlfriend when I worked for him. I don’t remember having any particular kind of chemistry with him but, he was good looking and nice so, perhaps he had “chemistry” with most women. Good looking kind men tend to have that “issue”. Ergo, their character kindness.
I had a new job, all my friends from that workplace had a new job because the establishment closed down and we were all transferred. I had decided to work for my dad but there was a small group of individuals who still worked together.
We all went out one night and for some reason I remember it being one of my friends’ birthdays but the point of the night is obscured by the memory of a boy I had never met before. We’ll use the word Boy purposefully.
We ran into Eddie at the second bar we went to. He was standing outside, walking his bike, drinking from an unmarked bottle when he explained to us that he had broken up with his girlfriend. He was amused that we were all together.
None of us had been friends with him. He had stuck to his girlfriend as the entirety of his social life when he was our manager and, maybe because he was our manager or maybe because he was never one to make friends, he didn’t bother to spend time with us but it wasn’t strange for us all to be together. We were close friends when we worked together and a lot of us remain close friends now. Eddie is gone. At least gone from me.
Inside the bar, The Boy starts touching me.
I’ve never met him before but he’s friends with the presumed birthday boy. He starts asking me if I’ll take him home and when I joke “SURE” he takes me seriously. He sits beside, very close beside me, places his hand on my inner thigh and tells me just what he’ll do. I tell him I was kidding but I can’t loosen his hand from my leg. He squeezes my leg further and calls me a bitch. I tell him “I guess so please move your hand, ok, I don’t want it there.” He calls me a bitch again and squeezes further. Half way through his monologue regarding my apparent illegitimate gestures towards protecting myself, I realize I can stand up and walk away. I do that.
There’s an empty chair beside Eddie.
I sit. He asks if I’m ok. I tell him, yeah, but the guy who none of us knows very well won’t stop touching me and I don’t like it.
Eddie finds this funny but also abhorrent. He finds it funny because, he says, some men are idiots.
Some men are idiots, I agree.
We speak a bit about whatever he was doing at the time, art, some things but eventually the conversation broadens across the table and seats get shuffled again as friends decide they have something to say to the person “over there”.
Eddie is gone.
The Boy takes his place.
It’s hours later into the evening at this point. The Boy is far drunker.
“I’m going to follow you home.”
I don’t look at him.
“I’m going to follow you home, bitch.”
He keeps talking, his hand finding its way further up my leg this time, broadening it’s fingers a top my cunt, closing in towards his palm, towards my inners. I’m so dry, it stings. I am memorizing the top of the table.
Overtop my left shoulder, Eddie’s voice asks me if I want to go home now.
I get up immediately and look Eddie in the eye. I smile the slightest most grateful wink of a smile I can and he says “let’s go”.
The Boy follows us.
He’s yelling about me deserting him for another guy. He’s yelling about following me home. My friends keep him at the bar.
I start breathing again a block later.
Eddie and I laugh at the absurdity of male ego.
He tells me personal stories about how stupid he was when he was younger. He’s years older than I am, at least five years but probably closer to seven.
We get to my apartment which is close enough to the bar. I didn’t know Eddie well at all before this. I hardly ever spoke to him. I’ve really only known him for this eight block walk.
In front of my apartment, I thank him for walking me home.
I go to hug him and feel his kiss on my cheek.
I think nothing of it but when I pull away he says “no” and forces a kiss on my lips.
I didn’t quite know what to do.
I didn’t think about it.
At first I kept kissing him.
The sensual intensity rose from “Zero, let’s get home because someone tried to follow and assault you and isn’t it lucky I was there”, to “A Million, let’s get naked because I brought you here and how we’re here and what else will we do.”
I like the kissing and I’m flattered. A kind, older, good looking man is spreading my legs for me in front of my apartment building, standing on a city side walk.
My friend had been living on my couch so I felt uncomfortable bringing men home without warning her. I tell him this exact detail. He tells me over and over it doesn’t matter and I should just let him inside, it won’t even take long.
He kisses me more and with a sly expertise, slips his hand down my pants, starts “pleasing” me.
Shock overcame my body at the touch of his fingers.
What a kind little dance of assault. Much kinder than the overtly idiotic predator at the bar party. No, this is much less idiotic.
It’s exciting, I decide.
I like that this drunk, recently broken up, desperate man is begging me to come inside.
I tell him no. I go upstairs.
I tell my friend on the couch my story.
I then tell her, I should have let him upstairs.
I look down from my balcony. He’s gone.
I got Eddie’s number from a friend of mine.
I asked him if he maybe wanted to hang out some other time.
He ignored me. No sign of him. I asked him again.
He told my friend to tell me that he wasn’t interested.
Even hindsight is confusing. Or, at least it’s upsettingly clear.