Sunday, August 14, 2011

this town's gotten too small

You'd think that deciding to get into sex work would be the story of the week, but no.

Friday night was a trans dance party on the other side of town. I was waiting for a call from work so I put my black dress on a hanger, stocked my bag with condoms and lube, and rented a Zipcar to drive down. What'd I'd heard was mostly right: I'm not looking for trans men to bed, but I felt free to drink and dance there. I recognized the bartender from frequenting the cafe in my last neighborhood for too long. Felt myself gazing at the cis guy in glasses, is he gay? Spun so the skirt of my vintage dress unfurled, shook my not inconsiderable cleavage to the ceiling.

After two drinks, I made my way to him at the bar, where he'd been the whole evening, and told him I liked his glasses. The DJ was actually good and it was hard to make out his words.

"Did you say your girlfriend is over there?" I shouted at him.

He shook his head and said more, and I mouthed at him that I had no idea what he was saying.

"Go get a girlfriend," he said, and gave me a meaningful look.

I took my bruised self to the other side of the room and danced some more until I got tired of the wallflower making sheep's eyes at me and took off home. No calls that night.

Saturday afternoon I went downtown to buy a ticket for a show, only to find it'd already sold out. So I went to the nearby vegetarian hangout and found a seat on the patio. I am not good with faces but as soon as I saw the server I realized it was pee guy.

At the beginning of the summer I'd bedded the friend of the guy I was seeing. She was a beautiful trans woman and a traveling singer: a devastating combination. While my friend was playing his set we stumbled upstairs, stripped as quickly as our fingers would allow us to unbutton, and fucked on someone's bed. My menstrual blood nearly matched the duvet.

Later I went to see her play one last show before she left town, and she sat on the steps of the house with me and told me that what had happened was organic and meant to be and that she was in an open relationship but that fucking someone else wasn't quite right and it shouldn't happen again. I spent the rest of the night drinking however many PBRs were offered to me in the name of hospitality.

The bathroom to use, I learned, was situated through a person's bedroom. On my second or third stumble there, I came across someone standing at the dresser, riffling through what were obviously their belongings.

"I'm sorry," I said, smiling and inebriated. "I'm coming through here and you have to listen to me pee."

"I don't mind listening to you pee," he said. A little too casually.

If there's anything alcohol sharpens more for me than the desire to have sex, it's my ability to find an opening.

"Do you want me to pee for you?" I asked him, just as casually.

He only wanted to watch me, and afterwards, since my musician had left, I consented to lying back on the bed and letting him go down on me. When we tried to fuck he smiled weakly and said, "Whiskey dick," and the next morning I couldn't remember where I was at first.

He was asleep so I tried to sneak out, but when I turned back around he was staring at me.

"Hi," I said.

"Hi," he said.

He asked me if I knew where I was going and I chirped that I did, said, "Bye!", and hightailed it out of there. And here I was, sitting in the sun on the patio, watching pee guy pass by my table.

There were many other servers and I stared hopefully at each of them, sizing them up as to probability that they would be my waiter and not pee guy. And look, here comes another person starting their shift! Even better odds! And look at his cute glasses...

Glasses which look uncomfortably familiar. Glasses which I seem to remember from last night.

You have to be imagining that, I told myself. You're horrible with faces. How many people in this city have clear plastic glasses frames? And I ordered a beer from the girl whose face, I'm glad to say, I had absolutely no memory of.

He brought me my beer. And since I can never keep my mouth shut, I stared boldly at him through my prescription sunglasses, and said, "Were you at the M---- last night?"

He was. "I think I met you. Do you remember telling me to go get a girlfriend?"

After a stumbling exchange, I was sure that he was the man, and he claimed to have no memory of saying anything to me, nor to having a girlfriend at the event. He left me to my beer and the couple next to me smiled.

"We were just thinking that sounded like an awkward conversation," said the woman. I chatted with them idly a bit, and realized, He probably said, 'I'm going to go find my girlfriend.' That makes so much more sense.

When he came back to take my food order, I was relieved. "Hey, I was thinking about this, and I realized what you must have said. Did you say that you were going to go find your girlfriend?" I said, proud of myself.

"No," he said.

I'd finally tipped the line into embarrassment, so I murmured some apologies and changed the subject to the vegan burrito I wanted. "With vegan cheese, please," I said cheerfully. Afterwards, I said no to dessert and headed home, alone.