If you had told me I would end the night in a toilet having sex with someone else’s boyfriend, I wouldn’t have believed you. But there I was, a few hours shy of when my alarm goes off to wake me up in the morning, with my ass propped on the cold porcelain of the sink. My arm was pink from where I burned it against the towel rack, and his stubble was scratching against my chin while I wondered if the fake eyelash that kept sticking to my eyelid had managed to hold in place. I turned away from him and looked not at the mirror in front of me where I’d be forced to acknowledge what I was doing, but down into the plug hole where there was a darkness I could pretend to dive into until it swallowed me up and tore me apart into nothing but shadows.
He wasn’t even my type. I know when friends ask me to show them his Instagram I’m going to end up doing that thing where I scroll for ages and hope they get bored and change the subject before I have to show that picture of him holding a staff of beer at a festival from 2017 because in all the recent ones he looks like he smells of B.O. But I kind of liked, or at least in that moment I liked, that he looked like no one I would ever go for, as though I were roleplaying with a man who underneath the costume was someone else. He was dressed kind of like a character from a Harmony Korine film, all baggy fits, with long hair and a trucker hat, hazel brown eyes that were spooky in their lightness. In real life he didn’t smell bad at all, like tobacco and sandalwood.
I would explain how it happened except I’m not sure I know. I used to hate it when people excused their actions by saying “it came out of nowhere” but this really felt like it did. If I tried to trace my path it would splinter out into strands so small they seem too insignificant to be considered on their own. I suppose the main thing was circumstance. We were watching two mutual friends of ours who’ve just started going out jumping up and down screaming that bit in Olivia Rodrigo’s “Brutal” where she goes: “And I’m not cool and I’m not smart / And I can’t even parallel park.” They’d just started dating and we were watching the way their hands clicked together like the two parts of a handbag clasp, falling back on the sofa laughing. I think we got caught on the wave of those two women’s feelings, a new love so strong it whipped us on the same tide, until our lips were moving closer, then pausing in the air, then moving together again, until they locked together and no one could say nothing happened without lying.