“the closest thing to someone”

*this is fictional, just so everyone knows

I feel like Bukowski right now.

I signed up for SA again

A guy’s gotta quench his

thirst somehow, and an

average dude like me

is not able

to quench

his thirst

in the arena,

not reliably

anyway

So I got a profile and

upgraded and

put out a booster

and got a bunch of messages,

mostly all time-wasters

but one night I get

a random message

from one of the girls

I’d chatted with a few days

prior and forgotten about

It just says “Yes”

She looks Mediterranean

It says she’s from Flint

She has mean eyes —

Kardashian eyes —

and it says,

“Prefer not to say”

under “Children”

on her profile

I tell her to text me

and give her my

burner number

She does and

soon I find she’s

with a friend at

a hotel, they send

me a sexy pic of

them on a bed

They’re both clearly

stoned on something

Now, I know exactly what this means here

deep inside, anyway

But I’m too thirsty to care

It’s been six months since

I’ve had anything real

Soon I’m in the car

roaring towards Roseville

They keep texting me,

asking when I’ll be there

“Why are you in such a

hurry?” I ask

Upon arrival, they’re in

the back of this seedy

three story hotel in a

blue Chevy Malibu

that reeks of weed

They’re both early

twenties, sweater-

wearing druggie

bitches, olive

complexions and

tumble-tangle

brown hair that

somehow manages

to look tinged grey

even though they

don’t have any

actual grey in it

Reia is thicker and

Molly is thinner

Both their faces

show hard living

a world with no

excuses or breaks

It’s not in their skin

or their wrinkles,

per se,

it’s in their eyes

and their

expressions

Life at the lower

bottom of the world

They show me to

their room,

which they say

they don’t have

a key to,

which is suspicious

but whatever

I attempt to banter

attempt to cuddle

“At least he smells good,”

says Molly

We get naked, they’re

rushing along, we play

tickle games as is my

thing, I try to make out

they don’t really want

to do anything, the whole

mood is just depressing,

there’s no fooling myself

into thinking this is

something other than

what it really is

there’s a bottle of fireball

on one dresser and a

bottle of captain on another

my chest is super sweaty

They’re so stoned they

both let it slip that Molly’s

real name is Ashley and

Reia’s real name is Leah

Leah has stretch marks

and a body that has

clearly seen pregnancy

Ashley has acne on her

chin underneath all

her caked make-up

She keeps complaining

about everything, it’s too

hot, now it’s too cold, don’t

touch my armpits, etc.

She storms off to the bathroom

once when I make fun of her

for “…shoving her ass in my

face when I said I’m not an ass man.”

I have to go get her and tell her I

make jokes because I like her and

I want to make sure she has a

sense of humor

it works and she’s back out

bitching and half-assing the

experience ten seconds later

Earlier, when we discussed pricing

I decided on 200 a piece, they were

both cute enough in a trashy way

to warrant that for the night

But this is not going well enough

for such a price

I think of Zach

Galifianakis’s old joke that he

would write on a giant notepad

“Hookers don’t like to snuggle.”

Long story short, I end up jizzing

on Ashley’s stomach, jerking off

while Leah plays with my balls

We fuck briefly, Ashley on top

then Leah on bottom then

Ashley on bottom, they seem

annoyed when I say I haven’t

cum yet, and while I’m inside

Ashley on top of her, Leah

— who is on her phone —

mentions that, “Jessica had to

take Watson to the ER because

he stopped breathing.” She says

it stoner casual. I’ll later find out

Watson is an infant in the next

room, not Leah or Ashley’s infant,

but someone’s

After I finish, they immediately

put their clothes on and I

immediately regret being there

I impotently bitch to them

about how

sugar baby meet-ups are

supposed to be girlfriend

experiences

and they bitch to me

about how I don’t have any cash on me

and having

to go to the ATM

they ride along and while

I’m getting the money I

hope they’re not stealing

my personal information

out of my glovebox

but

i don’t think either of

them have the presence

of mind to pull off such

a feat

“How often do you guys do this?”

I ask on the way back to the hotel

“Not often,” says Leah.

“When you need to?”

“Yeah.”

“How long will this last you?”

I ask, about the money

“I’m good with money,” says Leah

“It’ll last me awhile. But with her

it’ll be spent tomorrow.”

I feel pity and revulsion

both for them and myself

Ashley tries to smoke in the car

I make her put it out

She stink-eyes me

from the backseat

worthless little gutter-bitch

I drop them off, they

leave without a word

On the way home,

the highway lights are

flickering in a weird way

I listen to “Believe You’re Mine”

by Nada Surf on repeat

I heard it in the summer of

2016 on my way into my

second shift job in Livonia

I remember the trees being

radiant in the August sunlight

I can’t even fucking describe it

and I was thinking about Kajira,

who was this stripper I was going

to as a regular at the time

but I remember hearing that sad

song on NPR for the first time

and thinking of Kajira and

how she was the closest thing I had

to “someone” at the time and how

fucking sad that is, that I have to

part with money to have some

semblance of female affection

in my life, but there’s never

any sympathy for the john and

maybe there shouldn’t be,

but hey

Everything is a work in progress.

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