It was clear to me in the cold light of day; last night was not what I had thought it was. All I had to do was enter my washroom and see the air thick with steam. On the shower’s ledge, my exfoliating apricot scrub lay sideways, half-empty, contorted by strong hands. On the shelf, my Shea butter moisturizing cream has been violated by rough, male, fingers. Next to my sink, my toothbrush was wet. I took a deep breath, and pulled back the shower curtains. There, stood my one-night stand, shaving his face with my pink Venus Divine razor.
Motherfucker, I thought, watching the last of my hot water dribble over his impeccably clean, fruit-scented body and down into the drain.
I’ve been used.
I had been single for almost a full year when I met — well, whatever his name was, let’s call him “Fred” — at a crowded bar uptown. After breaking up with my boyfriend of almost four years, I wanted to indulge in what I called “The Year of Slut,” twelve months of dirty hookups and casual friends with benefits, before I even thought about getting into something serious again.
It hadn’t been going so well. Men, I found, were too sensitive, too date-driven for my goals. I was about to throw in the towel when I saw Fred across the bar. He was tall, handsome and so dirty he looked like an old-timey train-riding hobo. I told my friend that I would be going home with him within the hour. It took 15 minutes.
Fred was a traveling comedian, I learned, during the brief moment I let him talk on the subway before I put my mouth on his mouth. He was from Edmonton. He was thinking of driving all the way to L.A to sell his pilot, sleeping in his car for days. I wish now that I had listened, if only to get a clue about what lay ahead for me the next morning.
“You,” I said, my voice wavering as he stepped out of the shower, wrapping himself in not one, but two towels. “You didn’t want to have filthy, drunk sex with a stranger you…. you just needed a shower!”
Fred looked at me sadly, and ruffled my hair. He looked so different now, with his chin shaved and his forehead exfoliated, I wondered how I could I have tricked myself into thinking this clean-cut gentleman would want me for just my body.
“I’ve been on the road a long time,” he said, gruffly. “Sometimes, you’ve got to make do.”
I watched in awe as he put on last nights’ clothes, moisturizing yet again before he pulled on his socks.
Maybe I fell for a user, a drifter, a no-good scoundrel who’d trick a girl into mindless sex, just so he could take advantage of her freshly laundered towels. Fred, I could tell, was one of the best. He targeted me early, likely after a quick whiff of my soap-scented hair, and he played the game until he got what he wanted. I was collateral, the shower was the endgame, and somehow… I could accept that.
“Hey, I had a good time,” he said apologetically as he left. “Seriously, you have really good water pressure.” Then he closed the door, and left.