Last week, I made out with two men — a butcher and a singer in a Zeppelin cover band.
The butcher smelled like meat, like he should have, but the singer smelled way too good, not smoky or dusty like I wanted.
“Why do you keep sniffing me?” he asked.
The singer was wearing leather pants that were tied up on the side with a braided string. I’d seen him up on stage whisking his long hair out of his eyes and screaming like Robert Plant about a half hour before. I did not think he had the right to ask anyone why they did anything.
Both of these men gave me a ride home from the bar where I waitressed. I made out with them because I kept having the same dream night after night. In this dream there were two men fighting over me and it was raining very hard and the two men were shirtless but wearing suspenders. I was totally sick of having this stupid dream and I wanted to have a fun one. I knew that the best way to do this was to have two men fight over me for real.
“Have you ever fought someone for a girl?” I asked the butcher. We’d just seen a movie and he was driving me back to my apartment.
“I knifed a guy in the calf once,” he said.
“What about just plain punching?” I asked. “Over and over? Maybe with some tooth loss?”
“I try not to get so excited now,” he told me. “I’ve got pretty bad asthma.”
In front of my house, I kissed his good meat-smelling neck.
“Maybe we’d be more comfortable inside?” he asked.
“Only people who do favors for me get to go inside my apartment and get inside me,” I said.
“What favors do you need?” he asked.
I pulled out the pair of suspenders I’d stashed in my purse before our date.
“Come to the bar on Thursday night,” I told him, “and wear these under your shirt.”
I’d gone out for Indian food with the singer and now he was trying to get his hands down my pants. I pushed him away.
“I need to take things slow,” I told him.
“Is there any way to speed things up?” he asked.
I went into my purse and dug out his pair of suspenders.
“Here’s a way to speed things up,” I said.
I’d already seen the weather forecast for that night – thunderstorms. When I started my waitressing shift the dark clouds were forming overhead. Inside my two men were sitting at opposite ends of the bar.
“That guy over there called me a whore,” I told the singer, pointing to the butcher.
“That guy there said he hates your assface,” I told the butcher, pointing at the singer.
They kept drinking. And I kept telling them things the other had said. Finally after I’d finished my shift, the butcher got up and walked over the singer and poked him in the chest. Then they walked outside into the pouring rain. I followed right behind them. I watched them circle each other and then the singer threw a punch that nailed the butcher in the mouth and then the butcher threw a punch that hit the singer in the ear and then they fell to the ground and began to wrestle. The butcher ripped off the singer’s shirt and then the singer did the same. I left them there on the ground fighting over me and I drove back to my apartment. I was really tired and I laid down on my bed and I closed my eyes and immediately fell asleep and had a messed up dream about a dog fucking a whale.
–John Jodzio is the author of If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home