Friday night. In a downtown pub filled with stockbrokers and day-traders. You picked Burkey out of the crowd, said his shortened stature was a turn on. Slim, petite, you were small enough to easily win our $20 bet that you could have sex with him a bathtub.
Burkey became a regular Friday-night, last-call hook-up. And a willing bathtub partner.
You told me about his habits. His preference for going down on you while chewing gum, his sloppy kisses, his inconsistent love making. I told you that I did not want to know, so you stopped.
The night after he jaywalked into a taxi-cab, and exited a born-again Christian, you poured yourself a bottle of Cabernet and climbed into the bathtub.
You slept off your hangover in the cool cast iron, comforted by the enamel against your skin. Midweek, you dragged in a blanket, tucked a pillow beneath your head. Several days later, you wheeled in a television atop a microwave stand.
I imagined weeks of uneaten take-out food piled in the sink, port wine stains blooming across your pyjama top, urine drying on your pyjama bottoms. Between text messages begging me not to come, I imagined the belly of the claw-foot tub bulging from the weight of all you collected to keep you company, cracking the tile, and crushing cockroaches that fed off bowls half-filled with surgery milk and soggy Cheerios.
You continued to ask, but I had no answers.
I cleaned your apartment, pulled you from the tub and lay you on your bed. After you had fallen asleep, I knelt beside the tub and scrubbed it clean. Then I climbed inside and slept.
Rejected by: Sassafras Magazine, Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing, Cleaver Magazine, and Pithead Chapel.