Dry Spell

Have fun tonight… & don’t die! 😉

I roll my eyes. Gretchen’s dry sense of humor almost got her arrested this morning. It wasn’t funny when she wrote it on my whiteboard at work, and it’s even more inappropriate now that I meeting the guy she’s supposedly set me up with.

Blind date or serial killer. These days you never know.

“Great guy. His name’s Walter. He’s a lawyer. A total animal in the courtroom—and in the bedroom, from what I hear. Careful, he might bite too hard.”

“I’m perfectly fine being single,” I lied.

“You forget I had the misfortune of seeing all the toys in your closet. You need the real thing… now.”

It’s not that bad. I barely even play with those toys. I splurged one night while watching a bedroom shopping channel. Honestly, I thought they were selling comforters and queen sets. I’d been meaning to buy a new once since the divorce. It’s hard to fall asleep to the scent of my ex-husband and that sweaty bimbo he was screwing in my bed.

I would’ve changed the channel, but the vibrating, rotating dildo that filled the screen awakened in my mind fantasies of hitting pleasure points my ex wouldn’t even have dreamed of reaching, and insomnia, sexual frustration, and nineteen dollars and twenty-nine cents later, I opened the package to a toy that didn’t work.

I think the battery compartment might have gotten damaged in transport. They shipped it in a flimsy plastic bag, didn’t even bother to pad it with bubble wrap. It was as if they had thrown it in the package in a hurry and sent it on to the needy ex-housewife looking to be fulfilled.

Did I sound that anxious over the phone? I might have been breathing heavy. Sex dreams take a lot out of you—they’re almost as exhausting as the actual sex.

Though I wouldn’t know. John and I were never that physical in our relationship. It’s probably why he eventually turned to porn and Tinder. If an app like that had existed when we were dating, he probably would’ve swiped left on me without thinking twice.

Sexual experience: virginity lost to middle school best friend’s older brother; frisky, suspect basketball coach in eleventh grade; undersized seat of stationary bike at local gym. 🍆

I’m pathetic. I deserve to be single. I don’t know why he even married me. Twelve years of both our lives wasted.

I quickly stash the phone in the front pocket of my purse as a man walks toward my table. Tall. Dark skin. Steel gray eyes. Buzzcut. He’s the one. I feel it in my somersaulting gut, in how my inner thighs begin to sweat, in how the hem of my cocktail dress clings to my skin. Gretchen’s made it her mission to get me laid. I should at least play the part. So I catch his eye, and his cool gaze sends shivers down my spine. I arch my back as he smirks, revealing a dimple in the side of his jaw, and I think about how my tongue would fit inside.

Or how his will…

Stop, I remind myself. Don’t appear too desperate. Don’t make it so obvious that the last remnant of sex you’ve gotten was from a broken dildo.

I return his smile, but he keeps walking, right past me, three tables behind me, to a woman much younger, much skinnier, much prettier than I.

Dammit. It’s the third time tonight my face has dropped to the floor.

I pull out my phone and text Gretchen.

He’s late… 😡

Her response is almost instantaneous.

Could be worse… 💀

I put the phone away again. Is there even a Walter? I get the feeling she’s teasing me like that damn dildo. I never returned it. It did the job for the limp rod of rubber that it was. Not the astronomical orgasm I was hoping for, but I probably wouldn’t have known what to do with it if it had worked. I was so clumsy with John the first time. It took him longer to get into a rhythm because I kept squirming around underneath. He asked me to get on top and I gave him a blank stare. I’m not good at taking control. Hence my impulse purchase of a sex toy that did most of the work. Finally he stopped to ask if I was lying about not being a virgin. I was too embarrassed to answer—I started to cry instead—so he flipped me over, finished himself off and went to sleep.

That’s John. Always the finisher.

Another man enters the restaurant. He’s shorter, a little husky. Cute but homely. Not something I would give up my defunct closest of sex toys for. Even in my inexperience, I still have preferences.

My phone buzzes again. I’m relieved when he brushes past without making eye contact. I glance down at the screen.

Sorry!… a break in the case… he asks for a raincheck. 

👿

I look at the open menu in front of me. I never ordered. I’d told the waitress my date would be here soon, pretended not to hear the snicker under her breath when she said, “Flag me down when you’re ready,” with a courtesy smile.

Is it that implausible for me to have a date? Sure, maybe I could’ve done something better with my hair. Pincurls wasn’t the smartest style for this humidity. And I probably could’ve worn a bra with this dress. My breast just hang like an over-exaggerated adult cartoon. Not from kids—because John never wanted any—not from age—because if you read any pop magazine, thirty-four is the new twenty—but my boobs have always sagged, even when they first came in. I could work on my posture, and instinctively I unfurl my shoulders, which had managed to hunch themselves with the disappointment of Buzzcut passing me by.

But what’s the use? Walter’s already canceled. He probably found my Facebook page and read potential “Cat Lady” from all the funny cat videos I post. I imagine he thought up a good and legal excuse for why he had to wrangle himself out of our appointment, even if Gretchen had managed to convince him that he was guaranteed some nookie at the end of the night.

I’m more disgruntled by the fact that now I have to explain to the waitress that my imaginary date’s not coming. I scan the room for her, but I can’t remember what she looks like. All the waitresses are wearing black shirts and slacks, their hair pulled back in low buns. I taking a chance on the hope that she’s in the kitchen and sprint for the exit, ducking away from the hostess who pleads, “Come back and see us!”

Yea, not a chance in hell.

—Nortina


It is Short Story A Day May, and while today’s prompt from Phil Giunta, “A Friendly Warning” was pretty good, the story itself had other ideas. You may see more from Gretchen and our horny nameless narrator in future posts. I feel a new serial story coming…!

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