Screwmates(7)

By: Kayti McGee


“Jiminy Christmas!” Marc exclaimed. “Stop yelling in my ear. I’m not choking. I’m burning.” He waited until I relaxed and sat back to explain further. “I just… well, I don’t really like bourbon.”

Wait, what? Not bourbon? He was going to be a history professor. What else would he—oh. Oh, of course. Scotch. I’m an idiot!

Although I bought this for me, I reminded myself, not him. It was beside the point that I didn’t like bourbon either. I could not be blamed for my panic decisions.

Certainly not because he’d been in the back of my mind. Pssht.

“I could put some Coke in it,” I said conciliatorily. Please note that I could not have pronounced ‘conciliatorily’ at that point because I’d finished my drink. And I was feeling it.

He didn’t answer, but merely thrust his glass at me.

I had spent many an evening picturing him above me thrusting something else, so I took what I got, and also took the opportunity to put some soda in my own glass as well when I refilled it yet again.

“Why are you here, anyway?” he asked when I returned. I assumed he was not so demented that he forgot I lived here. He’d written a thesis, after all. He was an intelligent man.

“Pipe burst at work.” I sipped some more bourbon.

“No orgies tonight?”

“Guh?” I responded. Bourbon was not a fun thing to choke on, it turned out. I now understood Marc’s earlier distress.

“Artists. You are an artist,” he enunciated so clearly that I knew he was drunk already. Lightweight. It was also beside the point that I was too. Professors had to schmooze, you had to hold your liquor for that. It was known. He continued.

“I know a thing or two about artists. You spend your time boinking college students and bartenders and same-sex acquaintances.”

It was difficult to know what to think about that. On one hand, I was flattered to think he thought basically every person I met wanted to do it with me. On the other, I was super insulted that he thought my standards were so low as to boink anyone who was in college or in a bar or who was a chick.

“No…orgies,” I said as casually as I was capable of. “Not tonight, anyway.”

“Disappointing,” Marc said more unintelligibly as he gulped another finger of bourbon. I’d brought the bottle back with me from the kitchen and stuck it on the coffee table.

“Are you an orgy aficionado?” I asked extremely politely. It’s the only way to ask that question.

“If by aficionado you mean frequent fantasizer? Then yes.” Well, well, well. Marc was kinky. This was a surprise. I was both frightened and turned on at once.

“Magnifique,” I said. “You would understand that if you spoke Françoise.”

“Francais?”

“Obviously.” That was what I meant, I thought.

“I’m working on it. I’m spending August in France before school starts.” He cackled, actually cackled to himself. “I’m taking a bangcation.”

“Is that… what I think it is?” Is this what the literati get up to? Could a man who used the term bangcation still be considered part of the literati?

“Look,” he said. I waited. And waited some more. Poured another round of bourbon.

“I thought there was going to be a follow-up to that,” I finally remarked.

“No, I mean just look around. Look at me.” I did. “Not my crotch.” Oh. “This is where I live.” I sort of knew that part already. “And this is the most exciting Friday night I’ve had in recent memory. My whole life is just… beige.”

“I’m sure there’s…Well maybe…” I had nothing. I really didn’t know the guy.

“The beigiest beige that ever beiged,” he opined, slopping some brown drink on the (yes, beige) couch. It created a dark beige mark. I began to see his point. “Unlike you. You’re all bright-colored nn shiiiit.”

“What, this?” I pulled on a lock of my recently dyed hair. The bottom few inches were a shade of purple that The Joker would be pleased with. “It’s just Manic Panic. It washes out after a couple weeks.”