Outside it smells like diesel. It’s dry, the color yellow. Like silence I want to break, this summer has lasted too long. Time moves sideways and I move with it. In class I’m sixteen years old again, I’m not shy, but I’m bored and rolling my eyes. I’m not the first one out the door but I still feel embarrassed when he calls goodbye after me. As if I’ve been rude in not farewelling him. I wave and feel my face flush red. I’m mad at myself afterwards, this isn’t high school and I’m not a schoolgirl. I hate my breasts and my background. I hate that it’s early in the morning and I’m smoking outside in the heat. We share a class and he’s a customer at work, but he doesn’t recognize me. He smiles at me, then turns to smile again, lifts his eyebrows and says I look good. I enter the room five minutes after he does and he’s mid-conversation, he doesn’t see me at first and I hear him say that they’re trying to start a family, he and his wife. We make eye-contact and I raise my eyebrows. He shuts up mid-sentence and doesn’t speak for the rest of the class.
I do not believe anymore. I’ve lost my religion. And it’s not just this. I don’t write about the testing I do. How horrible it is. I am. I push myself and I test their boundaries. When they tell me they’re married, they’re engaged, they have someone waiting at home, it’s so easy from behind the bar. To be that girl. To see. Will he waver, will he say yes, will he cross the line? And they do. Time and time again. It’s so fucking easy. It shouldn’t be so easy. And it’s not the same type of guy, they’re not all drunk, young, or inexperienced, old, or jaded, they are not one type of man. It’s all types, and it’s easy. And it has nothing to do with validating myself, low self esteem or proving that I can. It’s some sick urge to see what it takes, how little it takes, how effortless it is–for them.
And the justifications, my god: she’s put on weight since we had kids, she’s not attractive to me anymore, she doesn’t notice me, she’s too busy with the kids, we never should have got married, we got married too young, I can’t please her, she doesn’t fuck me anymore, she won’t give me head, she wouldn’t mind–honest, she’s really cool like that, I’m lonely, I just want to be with a woman that I am attracted to, it’s all but over. And I’m sure that some of these reasons are valid, that there exists so much gray, but fuck, it shouldn’t take so little, it shouldn’t be so easy. All I’m doing is reaffirming my own lack of trust, playing out my issues, I know that, but then...to live with eyes wide open. I miss believing in fairy tales and if I could, I would go back to before. I regret knowing because I don’t know how to unknow.
It’s over in every way, but it’s not. I do it, because if it’s easy, then it wasn’t because of me, it was because of him.
She Was going to tell us who she was, but decided she wouldn't.