I’m sitting backwards in the car because I always do. She’s driving the way she always does which is badly. The radio is on and it’s playing some boy band song that she likes but I hate and her stupid, pocket-sized dog is riding shotgun. We had just left the party because one of her slutty friends decided to have sex on the pool table. She’s one of those chicks that studies Yoga and Kama Sutra so the lights were busted and I think the felt was ruined.

I just realized how gross that probably sounds. It wasn’t ruined from any protein staining or anything but all the acrobatics knocked over the Jungle Juice that I’d set near the corner pocket. Her friend, the slutty one, was in the middle of the Prone Muskrat or something when her earlobe hit the side of the Bart Simpson mug that I’d used for my drink. The rest of the party was sipping their drinks and smoking their cloves (yeah – it was one of those parties) while we watched the flexibility display on the gaming table.

So we’re driving away from that lame Goth party (remember the cloves) and she was still listening to bubble-gum-lover’s-lament crap while I watched the road shoot out in front of me into the darkness while where we’ve just been fades into the night. I guess she’s talking but I couldn’t tell you what about. I catch words here and there like “direction” and “connect” but I have no idea why she would say them to me. Our relationship isn’t the kind that would involve words of such intimacy. Basically, she spends my money and tries to get me to wear V-neck sweaters while she lets me have sex with her.

Sometimes.

That party…

It was at my girl’s friend’s house. They know each other from work and I hate all her work friends if for no other reason than they work at the same place as my girl. We arrived late as usual; she had to make sure her skirt was short enough and that she was coated in a layer of glitter. I find the idea of her getting all tarted up for a bunch of strangers at her work friend’s party sorta funny because I know that she’ll be sleeping with me tonight in a face mask and a huge T-shirt with MC Hammer on the front.

“Did you have fun tonight?”

She always asks me this after we do anything. We could be driving through a Dairy Queen after the burial of both my parents and she’d ask if I had fun. I guess she’s trying to relate and make conversation but I think if she was really trying she’d realize that I never answer. She always asks what kind of day I had and I don’t really know what to base my response on so I never answered that either. This is the kind of noise she makes me sit through at the end of the day.

When we arrived at the party her slutty friend took our coats. Well, she took my coat because my girl would never wear a coat because it might cover up some of her skin and we couldn’t have that. There was bad music playing – something about a butterfly by a band from Crazytown (wherever that is.) There were drunk sorority girls with butterfly tattoos on their lower backs. Every one of them unique in their own mainstream way. Pink colored drinks in martini glasses slosh around from their drunken stumble dance. It’s their song – just ask any one of them.

It smells like wet dog in her car and I’ve got so much stuff with me in the back seat my feet are asleep. Somewhere wedged between her Vogue magazine and her change of pants I’m sitting backwards listening to the bad music. All I hear is her droning voice, the dog farting, stupid Pop and other cars honking at her driving.

When we get home she asks me if I had fun. Of course I don’t answer but she doesn’t notice. She’s too busy changing the litter box for her dog (that’s how small he is.) I’m trying to light a cigarette even though I know that she hates me smoking in the house. She comes out of the bathroom with her face all shiny from a good washing and she’s wearing soft flannel pants with a big T-shirt that I won in Vegas. Her hair is pulled back in a loose ponytail and all the pretense of the hard-core party girl is gone. She’s just the cute, light-haired girl I met that loves Sammy Davis Jr. and can’t stomach tequila. She smells good with her brushed teeth and remnants of her perfume from the party.

We climb into our bed and she sets her glass of water on the edge of the nightstand that we found the first time we went pawnshopping. Our sheets were a present from her sister when we first moved in together and the alarm clock was a Christmas present from my younger sister that we decided was better than the one she bought in Cabo San Lucas. She turns off the light that we bought at the Pottery Barn for our one-month anniversary and turns to me. There’s nothing but adoration in her blue eyes and they’re the same eyes that captured my attention during that dinner a few years ago and I remember something-

I love her.

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