Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why do we fall?

He caught my attention at the bar in the Hilton. It wasn't his looks, but his presence. The full-covered sleeve running up his left arm and the ease and confidence he took control of his surroundings.

I walked up to my friend at the bar and hugged him, throwing my body over his huge frame, not realizing that he was there with others.

Introductions are made, three new faces lined up at the bar for me to remember, but the only one I'm interested in is him.

I notice him stealing glances at me, but I do not return them. I talk with my friend, talk with the new faces, and I leave, my shoe catching on a piece of tile as I walk off, undignified stumble, but I catch myself.

I go up to the hotel room, I change into my swimsuit, and head down to the pool area. I make friends with a Ukranian and we wander the hotel, checking out men and women, laughing as our types are so different.

We head to the pool and, once more, the man with the sleeve done in such beautiful work is there with my friend. He steps away to get a drink and I comment that he's attractive.

He's in a relationship, I'm told.

I miss a beat, nothing noticable. I'm used to news like this. It's disappointing, but there are many men in easy distance, and some might actually be desirable to me.

I make a loop, threading through the crowds, dodging drinks, waving at strangers who smile at me and try to call me over.

Nothing. Not a single one. There are plenty of attractive men, but none I want. None that have that presence I desire. Some come close, but... it doesn't quite line up.

I return to the group after being sent on a beer run, four cold cans in my hands, I saunter up, mentioning to a friend about my new tattoo.

This gets the man with the sleeve's attention. He wants to see my tattoos. The chaos star that decorates the inner curve of my left hipbone and the "visceris" running down my side.

I show him, and we start talking ink.

A few minutes later, we're interruped and I decide to make another loop.


The pool closes down, the patio follows suit, security herding us out like drunken cattle. I follow my friend, my hands on his shoulders, and suddenly Sleeve's hands are on mine, and a mini-conga line starts as more people hop on the evacuation train.

We go to the sixth floor to visit a room. Ten minutes in and I'm ready to go. I bid everyone goodbye, tell them I'm going to hit the lobby and jet, but suddenly I have three men following me and a group of us head downstairs.

Drinks are obtained after a good twenty minutes. Sleeve trying to work the bar system when it's so understaffed and overcrowded. But he does make it, brings back drinks, a water for me. We toast to nicknames.

Shortly after, security shuts down the bar.

We change hotels. The three of them have a hotel room across the way, so we walk over. Sleeve mentions his back is killing him, so I have him lie down and straddle his waist, rubbing the tension out of his back while the four of us talk and laugh.

He wants a cigarette, so the two of us go back downstairs and he smokes and rubs my neck.

I think nothing of it, at first.

I earlier, I had thought that with the three of them following me, with him insisting that I should go back to their room with them, that he was trying to set me up with one of the other two, live vicariously through them. Such was not quite the case.

Facing forward, I pretend not to notice the quiet sound of him inhaling through his nose, nearly touching my neck with his lips, brushing my hair aside with his hands. He slowly pulls me closer to him, and I do not encourage him.

His nose continues to travel bare inches from my neck, and I can tell how much control it is taking him not to bury his face in that curve.

I talk. I do anything not to acknowledge what he is doing, not to show that I know we would have great chemistry and it's such a freaking waste that he has a girlfriend because we could do some damage.

A whispered, "Can I kiss you?" and I stop, I turn my head so my lips are near his ear.

"Don't you have a girlfriend?"


"Open relationship?"

"No. We shouldn't be together."

"Easier to stay?"

"No. Harder."



I kiss the upper curve of his ear, and soon the stubble on his upper lip is rubbing my lips raw as we nip, stroke, and suck.

Five minutes in, we hear yelling. I assume it's security, not liking how we are sitting in front of their hotel, his hands straying over my chest.

But it's not.

It's one of his friends. One of his friends came out to make a cigarette run and saw the two of us going at it and yelled at us to stop and yanked him away, apologizing to me, saying it was nothing personal, but Sleeve was in big trouble and have a good night.

...that is the first time since I was sixteen that I have ever knowingly touched a man who belonged to someone else.

I slipped.

My control, my morals, the things that make women feel safe to leave their boyfriends around me, men that are my friends that I do not touch, thrown aside for some damn chemistry.

Guilt flooded me as I walked back to my car, as I drove back home, passing them on their cigarette run, sitting at a red light as Sleeve's friend shouted and gestured at him across the street.

I wounded another person tonight with my selfish actions, with my lack of consideration, with my rationalizing and looking for a reason that it would be okay to kiss him.

And I know it's just kissing. Kissing, to me, is so incredibly minor, it's like shaking someone's hand.

But it can hurt someone else.

I did that. She may never know, but I do. Self-absorption. I let my own desires control me in a way that I do not normally do.

I was supposed to email him later, to talk about writing for his website. He needs more article writers.

Now I'm not so sure.


  1. Your code of ethics intrigues me...but it makes perfect sense to me too.

  2. you need to raise your standards!!! slumming it for a man that is in a relationship speaks volumes about you.

  3. I've never really considered kissing someone as "slumming". Different definitions, I suppose.