Breathing into myself, my breath tasted like stale smoke, semen, and undetermined alcoholic substances. I rubbed my tongue across my teeth; goldfish to an anemone. All I wanted was a toothbrush and a chai latte. Maybe some eye drops. I wondered if I had any important e-mails.
Rolling over gently in the bed of an almost stranger, trying to find my clothes without making too much noise, the alarm on my iPhone went off. It was 8 AM apparently. It was 8 AM and my alarm was going off, the almost stranger was waking up, I had almost recovered all of my clothes, and all I wanted to do was finish off the morning sleeping alone in my own bed.
Before I could shut off my alarm the almost stranger turned to me and pulled me back into the mass of sheets and evaporated sweat. He rolled over to plank on top of my body. Laying stiff, I thought that I could somehow make him think that I had fallen back asleep or that I had been sleepwalking and was never actually awake.
The almost stranger kissed me on my lips. I tried not to visibly cringe as to keep up the illusion that I was asleep. The almost stranger kept mashing his lips against my unresponsive mouth, prodding them with his tongue. He took his vaguely familiar hands to the tops of my shoulders, moved them down against my arms, and pushed his fingers in between mine like he was about to hold my hand. Instead of holding my hand he pulled my fingers toward his vaguely familiar crotch and expected me to do something. For a moment I thought that if I just pretended that I was asleep for a little bit longer this would eventually have to stop happening to me.
I wanted to be someone else. “I have no idea what I am doing with my life any more,” I thought, under the weight of a stranger. Uncertainty and flux are often mistaken for progress. Panicking, as I realized the true length of minutes and the failure of my “just play dead” strategy, I flung my mascara-crusted eyes open and started to move my hands around the general area of the almost stranger’s crotch. Somewhere in my brain it registered as rude for me to just get up and leave. The almost stranger, still planking on top of me, buried his head between my neck and my shoulder blade.
“Do you want to have shower sex?” he asked.
“Can I just check my e-mail first?”
keep reading How to Sleep in a Stranger’s Bed, a new story by Gabby Gabby