You are not for me. When she said, “I don’t usually do this on a first date.” I should have known there would be a deal breaker coming, and soon.
I opened my eyes and actually scanned the room for it, as if something obvious sat on a shelf waiting for me to discover: a
long-haired troll pencil topper collection, or perhaps a Ruger broken down to all its attendant parts, waiting to be cleaned and re-assembled, a clip full of hollow-point bullets with My Little Pony names written on the shells in sparkly nail polish.
She was tall, lithe and blonde and just my type, with the marked exception that she had no real chin; something my brother was happy to point out seconds after meeting her for the first time – a mere half hour, I might add, past the time she upended an unnamed emollient against parts of her body I’d rather not mention.
“Her chin’s a little weak, so what?”
“A little weak? A little?” He made a point of whispering loud enough for her to hear every cruel word. “I could stretch a string from her nose to her adam’s apple in a straight line.”
“Who does that? Who says shit like that?” I was angry and miraculously, spontaneously loyal; especially after having parts of my body – as yet, and perhaps perpetually unmentioned – just minutes ago slathered in an emulsification of parafins and stearates, fragrant oils and globulous leaf extracts.
I pulled him aside, pinching the soft skin of his triceps near the armpit the way I’d been practicing since age one.
“What about that hook-nose, pock-face, chicken-lip whore you brought here two nights ago?” I was beginning to stoop – OK, had already stooped – to his level.
“Did I say anything about the obvious sores on her face when you dragged her to your room, more or less by the dark roots?”
“Did I complain when you made her debase herself, cursing her until she barked, how was it you screamed, um...just like a fucking collie, you whore? Did I?” I rolled my thumb and index finger closer to the tips, determined to raise a bruise.
He twisted away from me, rubbing under his arm, drawing an exaggerated line from his nose to his collar bones, sucking in his lower jaw, executing a perfect, nyah, nyah, nyah, ny-aaah, nyah on his way out of the room.
We dated for a month, her telling me repeatedly how she “never had done this before” or “always wanted to try that” all the while clearly demonstrating proficiency exceptional to one whose expertise relied on practice, practice, practice of the very acts we committed. She was limber. And tall.
Then it happened. Unexpected, like most deal breakers. I’d given up scanning her apartment for it, et voila! One morning, while she prepared a breakfast snack, it landed on the table like the fecal plosture of a great condor whose bowel had refused to move for more than a week and then suddenly broke loose on her woven hemp placemats. The furniture practically groaned from the very weight of it.
“You want juice?”
“Sure,” I said, thirsty.
“I’m a juice mixer.” She smiled, waiting for me to look up, which I did, which I positively had to do.
“I just like to mix juices, like, you know. I like the different flavors, the way they swirl together and make something, you know…different.” She giggled.