I met him around a pool table. I was already drunk and pretty high, but he was hot regardless; it was obvious from the way all the girls in the room were looking at him. Just as longingly as I probably was, and I guessed that at least one of them was sober enough to have clearer judgment on that point than me. We spent the night boozing and talking and sitting outside the club smoking cigarettes, and at some awful hour, we found ourselves on the dance floor, alone.
“Where did everyone go?” I yelled over the music.
“I guess they left,” he replied, leaning down into my ear so that I could feel his hot breath on my neck.
“Well, I guess I should probably head home then.”
He smiled and leaned into me again. “Can I kiss you?”
I was momentarily flabbergasted, and as I nodded my head in agreement, he pulled me closer to him by the hips and put his tongue in my mouth. We made out like that for a bit, with the strobe lights slapping against our bodies and the deep bass of the too-loud music muffling everything so that we strangers, exchanging saliva, pressing together, became isolated from the sweaty bodies writhing around us. Everything was muffled; I was under water.
He led me out the door and into the street by the hand and we talked intoxicating nonsense all the way back to his house, where we sat on his balcony looking out over Manhattan and chain smoking. Eventually, I found him between my legs, which I wrapped around him as he told me lovely things about my eyes and how I glowed. I knew if I really scrutinized it, I’d find it to be incredibly unreal, but in the moment, it all felt very real, and very wonderful.
We went to bed and continued in a reverie in which everything really felt like it meant something. Then we did it. It wasn’t the best and it wasn’t the worst, it just sort of was. Just two strange bodies grunting against each other, each looking for its own relief, and if each were to be honest, probably completely disinterested in the other person’s.
When he was done, he fell asleep, but I was restless. As he snored, I crawled and stumbled about the room looking for my discarded clothing in the dark. He barely stirred as I shut the door very quietly behind me and hurried out into the still-dark morning, hailed a cab, and retreated to the comfort of my own bed, alone.
We hadn’t exchanged numbers, so I never saw him again. It was the first time I’d ever had a real one night stand, where I met a guy and went to bed with him in the same night, never to know him again.
I’d had one-time sex before with friends, but that’s not the same. Friends are people who laugh with you in the morning; who, weeks later over drinks, listen to your complaints about work; and with whom, even without the evolution of a romantic relationship, all the tender moments of fucking that one time still mean something, even if it’s not something life changing or profound. There’s affection.
Having a one night stand didn’t make me feel cheap or nasty; in fact, it had none of the negative connotations that are generally associated with random, fleeting sex. And why should it have? I wanted to do it and I was in control of my body and my actions. It just all felt sort of pointless.
My one one night stand just seemed like a big fat waste of time. It was like masturbating, but with someone else’s penis instead of my rabbit, except not as good because I didn’t get come and had to fork out for cab fare at the end of it. Essentially, it was like spending time with a ghost; exhilarating for a second, but, afterward, leaving me wondering if any of it actually even existed; the only hint anything happened was an overwhelming exhaustion the next day, and the thought that all that time I could have just been at home with my arms wrapped around myself, getting a good night’s sleep.