Just like that
It’s after lunch, and the two co workers politely smile at each other. One always interprets some sexual tension merely from being of opposite sexes, but their relationship was professional; neither were the type that exceeded the limits of simple ‘Good Mornings’ or ‘Good Evenings’. And yet that afternoon, something interesting occurred.
The male co worker makes his way towards the bathroom, but feels someone’s presence looming behind him, snapping him away from his routine. He turns around to see his smiling female co worker, but this time her smile conceals a neurosis that they soon will both share.
They face two toilet cubicles separated by a thin wall’s feeble attempts at privacy, creating an intimacy surpassing their accustoms. They ignore one another in the hopes that the moment doesn’t materialize, they both take in a deep breath and enter the room of emptied dreams.
The pressure of silence settles in. The woman, now squatting, waits as if anticipating the starter’s pistol. Her sigh travels to her co worker’s cubicle, he appears to be waiting for that very same gunshot. Minutes pass, tensions intensifies, but no one is folding. Upon realization that a decision needs to be made, the female co worker heroically takes on the unclaimed responsibility. Her echoing actions, allows her co worker to join her in this tense and emotional situation. Speeds synch while waterfalls separate them at their most vulnerable state. The simul interrupts when the female co worker raises her underwear and flushes her bygones. Upon opening her door, once again, she is greeted by her co worker. She accidently locks eyes with him, creating the moment they both feared. They both consider the ethics of not washing one’s hands.
This time the male co worker takes charge; he gestures taking a phone call and vanishes into the hallway. Relieved, the female is now alone. She opens the sink’s tap and lets the water run through her fingers.
"The real reason Strandbeest enchant us is the same reason that any so-called “living thing” fascinates us: not because it is “alive,” but because it is so complex and, in its complexity, beautiful." - Ferris Jabr “Why Nothing is Truly Alive” (NYTimes, March 2014)
I made this.
I guess the fact that we were watching reruns of Seinfeld on Valentine’s Day suggested that something was amiss.
Eric and I were in love from the get-go, and knowing that perhaps enabled us to get too comfortable too early into the relationship. Two years later, we wouldn’t even bother with dates, but to be perfectly honest, it didn’t matter; neither of us had noticed this, until today.
“Babe, we can’t be that couple that always stays in, let’s do something fun tonight, no?”
That’s all it took to ruin everything.
In theory, we can blame television for our terrible decision-making; just because the strip club in The Sopranos looks cool, doesn’t mean we need to Zipcar our way to New Jersey to experience it in person.
An hour and half of traffic later, we arrive at the infamous Bada Bing Strip club and we’re overwhelmed with excitement, mainly because we’ve spotted the All You Can Eat Buffalo Wings for $3 sign. We make ourselves comfortable, and we experience our first stripper. I reach out for my wallet but Eric stops me.
“It’s on me babe.”
I couldn’t help but feel immense love for him.
The stripper introduces herself as Daisy, no judgment there, but what bothered me, and perhaps Eric too, was that Daisy was a. not topless, b. barely dancing and c. putting her hand out for cash barely within a ten seconds routine.
There wasn’t much variety with the other four girls; the most we got was a flash of a nipple.
I try to reason to myself that we’re in a recession; these girls probably can’t afford to get their hair permed anymore. Their favorite costume stores may no longer offer the seasonal sales they’ve grown to depend on, thus forcing them to rethink their strategy.
At this point I was running out of dollar bills (Eric had stopped being generous) and these girls wanted my money. I had no choice but to look away, they couldn’t ask me for money if I hadn’t watched their service right?
“Eric, is she still there? Is she still standing there?”
We knew we had to do something; this was obviously not working.
So we ask for a couples lap dance.
This time Marguerita takes charge; she leads us to a music-less room shared by 2 other guys, one fat, and another wearing airplane headphones. Marguerita takes the opportunity to share her ethnical background, an interesting one sure, half Russian half Spanish, but truth be told, knowing that she named herself after her favorite type of pizza didn’t particularly put me in the mood. Couldn’t this be just a little bit like Eyes Wide Shut?
Marguerita is doing something entirely different to my definition of a lap dance
“Baby don’t be shy, just relax”, she says.
The problem here is that I can feel her prickly hair against my leg, the friction of her leg against mine, scratching up and down.
Eric doesn’t notice the trauma in my eyes. He was always so fucking self-absorbed.
Did he even consider my feelings? Did he even consider that perhaps I wouldn’t want to be holding hands during a couples lap dance? No, he didn’t, he never does.
Marguerita doesn’t waste any time and spreads my legs wide open.
We broke up soon after.