a woman of course knows what is happening, what negotiations between the speechless lower parts are advanced under cover of elevated manners.

we end up at the good luck bar, again. i have a hard time looking up new and cool places to go to in los angeles. i rather it just be the same, new place i’d been before. we had been at the tiki bar earlier and smelled like cigars and were light headed and sick from the smoke. we kept asking for glasses of water. when m. went to the bathroom, the bartender, tall, blond, muscular, handsome in a washed up actor kind of way–exactly, came over and said without prompt, “you’re a real bitch, you know that?” and then refilled my glass. i smiled and then cocked my head. he offered me his hand and introduced himself–again, so exactly, “my name is chris, but my father wanted to name me cain.”

on friday night i’d gone out with a man; jewish, 12 years my senior, successful, nice off the bat. we met at the mezzanine bar of the ace hotel. he fell within one standard deviation of his pictures. dressed in jeans, dress shirt, jacket, and watch, understated but specific. we drank, then we walked, then we went to another bar. we did this 3x. during the walks, i talked about a number of things: jenny, books, paris, silver, racial disparity and of course, jumbos clown room.

by the time we got to a restaurant on some corner to sober up, he had emphatically kissed me many times. with tongue, exploratory but he kept his hands on my face and neck, a weight just heavy enough to say: i am right here.

on saturday night: because i am not a self-hating korean, i meet a korean dude who is actually more attractive than his pictures, more built, and taller than i expected. we have an early sushi dinner. he even brings me a present, a notebook. he is sweet, articulate, and an idealist. he tells me his favorite movie is my sassy girl and asks within 5 minutes, if i will see him again. when the night ends, he gives me a hug. he is vaguely familiar.

on monday afternoon: i meet “tall white guy who works in finance.” he is actually really fucking tall, even with me in my heels. he has big brown eyes and bitten down nails. he’s witty, fast, gentlemanly and when somehow i get my boots stuck in my bar stool and almost fall over, he saves my life. for some reason, i’m not totally embarrassed. he was a pilot in the army and there is this serious decorum that grounds him even though he is straddling the fine line of sex jokes during most of the date. i am genuinely laughing. when we part it is still bright as fuck outside and he goes in for a kiss when i was simply going to peck his cheek. i let him, then he does it again and again and i slap him away and laugh.

for whatever reason, these days, i am thinking of a man i never even touched, save a handshake. someone i met while working in new york. he was a hot shot, a real one (that i still google from time to time) and i would only see him when he came in to take meetings. he wasn’t handsome, but he was tall and you could tell, he knew every inch of himself. that kind of vibe. one day, i was wearing a billowy skirt and was on the ground, looking for a lost earring. everyone was out of the office but him, and i looked up and he was staring at me from afar, through the glass panes of his office. he beckoned me and i walked over and he began to explain the choice of his paintings on the wall to me. because i was young and unsure, and already involved in another affair, i didn’t know what it meant when he handed me his card when no one was looking. to think, i was ever that naive.

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