it was a friday night and i managed to catch your eye as i walked by the event you were working. cole haan, #dontgohome. a shoe launch? something. there was music and a spotlight, you were holding a logo. suddenly three drag queens emerged - i couldn't tell if they were part of it or not. you assured me later that they were, but often times a spider man pulling a cart, or a fully naked woman would join of their own accords. "welcome to new york," you said.
but i caught your eye and we kept smiling at one another. you nervously looked around and held two fingers up at me, two minutes? two hours? what are you saying to me? i figured two minutes, so i waited with my friend, who was upset that we were waiting because she had her own men to pick up on. when the music and the drag queen dance routine showed no sign of stopping, i decided to leave but your eyes begged me to stay. i took a receipt out of my purse and wrote my name - "nikita" and my number on it. i walked up in front of the entire crowd and slipped it into your front pocket. i heard some laugh, "awkward," they said. you hadn't expected that. you looked nearly embarrassed, and i wouldn't have been surprised if you never texted me.
i have no shame anymore. it's this city. welcome to new york.
but in half an hour i received a text. "i get off at two. #dontgohome ha" you seemed young to me, or at least juvenile. i told you to let me know if you were up to anything interesting at two, and i'd see. you texted me a couple more times that night after i didn't reply, asking me to come 'smoke a solid' with you in soho, or to come to a bar. ah, so you didn't know my age. i feel that men who are always saying 'let's go to the bar' are men who just got access to the bar. again, juvenile. i didn't expect much of you.
but you'd keep texting me every couple of nights or so, we'd talk about ourselves and you'd ask me out and i'd let you know that it couldn't work. you thought i was in law school but i told you i was in undergrad - "just a baby." you said. but you kept texting me.
finally you invited me to your place for a drink - a drink was doable, only because we didn't have to go out, i wouldn't have the chance to be carded. i agreed, though i shouldn't have, i know it's dangerous to go to a man's apartment. i left your address and some code words with my roommate in case i should feel unsafe and she'd have to call the police.
when i got there you looked surprised - i was younger than you thought. you were older than i thought. but still only 24; i've done so much worse than 24. i drank white wine, you drank three bottles of red stripe. there was tension. we listened to music, i played "she's only 18" by the chili peppers. as i sat in your lap in front of your desk you had your hand on my back, under my sweater touching my bare skin, my skin is soft, you said, "i think i have a little sister your age."
i laughed and looked sideways at you. i would've kissed you but i didn't know if i should have. i couldn't read you, but i didn't mind, i didn't care if i never saw you again. i had already come all the way there, so eventually i kissed you.
we moved back to the couch. i sat next to you, you put your legs up in my lap, you yawned and told me you were tired. i looked at your wall and smiled. you asked me what i was smiling about, and i said "nothing". i asked you why you were smiling, you said "believe me, i'm not." and we laughed ironically. you pulled me on top of you and started to touch my bare skin again... after a while i left.
we stood facing each other awkwardly in the hall. you held your arms open for me, we embraced, i rubbed your bare skin, you might have kissed me on the cheek, i had wine and wasn't walking straight, i don't remember. "good night jacob," i said, starting out the door and you grabbed my arm and turned me, touched my face, kissed my lips. "let me know when you get home so i know you got back safe."
i did not let you know, i do not plan to see you ever again, i was only using you for a little company on a friday night. you felt guilt, but i'll have you know that i feel nothing.
i have no shame anymore.