When his arm slithers around my shoulders and his dark eyes dim to a comely stare, I’m stifled. His sports jacket gleams against the night below specks of grey dots over his prickly beard, and the silver across his wrist and neck remind me of prison shackles. Beautiful, expensive, wide-link shackles that sparkle like sand against a Summer sun. I consider asking him the time, and accidentally choke when I consider how his wife thinks he has none.
“You like my watch?” He says, and I nod with sincere insincerity. “It’s Some-Namebrand-I-Could-Care-Less-About, had it shipped from I’m-Only-Saying-This-To-Try-And-Impress-You.”
I nod again, but deep down I’m shaking No-No-No. In my head I’m running the play-by-play of tonight’s unclimactic climax: his kisses with too much teeth, his hands with poor handling, and his thrust with no thrust. Then I’ll lay there, crumpled and writhing like a newspaper in the rain, with my soul shuddering but my lips smiling as I stare at his vee’d and confident jaw cupping those jutting lips and nose that always give the distinct impression of his entire face pointing at you. He’ll hold me, like a prize, and I’ll wear him like a blue ribbon; smiling politely and swearing to myself I’ll do better next year.
But fourth place is still better than fifth, and anywhere is better than last or home alone.