Short Stories, Writing


What is the end game of a date? Please tell me, I am an urban legend, and have forgotten about sex. I keep getting invited in for coffee and when they open up cupboards devoid of caffeinated beverages and I ask why they lied, their expectant smiles turn upside down.

I see I might have inflicted permanent scars. Ruined all their future dates and stopped them from leaning in and kissing their future wife, and all the grandchildren cease to exist, popping from existence like bubbles. Pop pop pop. Maybe putting my wine glass closer to their wine glass was avoidance of a single strand of spaghetti stuck to the table, rather then an invitation for them to sleep with me.

Some of them do have coffee though; French Roast or instant, or if I am very lucky, a shiny machine. How I love to watch you microfoam but hate to see you leave.

We will drink it side by side on their sofa making pleasant conversation. Awkward flirtation. On their part, not mine. I enjoy the small talk. I love the small talk. Tell me about your Christmas plans? Who will you spend it with this year? Does your father’s diabetes affect his golf game, and will your brother be joining you for the family portrait? Is your sister still a vindictive bitch and does your mother let the dog in, or does it make the cutest little whiny sound and scratch at the door, and you harbour dark fantasies about pummelling its head in with a turkey bone.


You haven’t told anyone that before, and now you feel vulnerable. I am sorry. Let me cheer you up! How about we both get minimum wage jobs and spend cold evenings talking about how we would spend our lottery wins? How about we sail a boat around a Greek island together? How about I ignore your faults, and you ignore mine? How about we do it forever? How does that sound?

Then they put down their coffee cup and place their hand on my thigh. I slap it away and place the cup back into their hand, but I have to shape their fingers to receive it first. Sometimes I feel like putting their thumbs straight into the boiling hot brown liquid and shouting “thumbs down.” Sometimes I feel like taking their thumb and sucking on it until they shrink so far back into the sofa, it looks like they have disappeared.


I use to think I was making friends. But if you won’t be the lover then there isn’t much left to discuss now is there? They yawn, mutter it’s late and I agree it is late, but if you knew you had to sleep then why did you drink coffee?

I had a friend; at least I think she was a friend. We sat next to each other at the hairdressers, both under heaters for an hour waiting for our dyed follicles to accept their new colours.


She said she was having a tough year, and she couldn’t think about anything else but sex anymore, and who can’t think about anything but sex? She used to enjoy her permanent nymphomania, like a happy disease, but all she can see now is the negative. The very visceral smacking of flesh on flesh, sounds of suctions and folds of fat banging together. Slap slap slap. No soft lighting for her, candles and preludes with rich French roasts and threadbare rugs.


I told her I had a massage the other day and watched the man dance around me. I admired the bending and pointing of his toes through the hole in the chair, like a hole into another world.

I asked my friend if we could swap, because I never thought about sex. I told her about all the coffee.


I told her it was like a switch that had clicked off, and I had no interest in flicking it back on, or procreating, or seeking to procreate, and she said maybe I wasn’t meant to breed and natural selection had chosen to forsake me. Maybe there was something very wrong with me medically, and I shouldn’t pass it on. She asked if I had been tested for diseases or had my bone marrow inspected?


She hypothesized. She had been chosen to breed. That’s why she wanted to have sex constantly, even though she didn’t want to. Not really. It’s just her thoughts were drawn to it because she would make the healthiest babies.


“Look at my rosy cheeks, and calcium rich bones, and bright blue eyes. Look at my reflexes, and flexibility and symmetrical face. Never had a cold, never lost my eyesight, never gained or lost a pound more then my healthy weight.”


“Look at your glasses and braces, and short fingers. Look at the weight gain and how your arteries just love to soak up fat. Look at your speech impediments and asthma and hay fever and fear of the dark. Do you want to inflict that on a smaller being?”

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