I was never sure why I fell in love with her. If you could ask her, she’d probably say it hadn’t ever been love, and if she said that then that’d be true enough for her, but love ain’t always a two-way street. I did love her, intensely, and it was as real as my nineteen-year-old heart could feel. It was a heart addled by drugs and drink and depression, but most hearts spend at least at little time bathed in that formula at some point.

While the why of the love was a mystery, the how never was. She was dark and lovely, and I’ve always had a weakness for that. Forever dressed in black leather jackets and tights and loose tank tops or t-shirts. Dirty blond hair bound up in a sloppy bun or an offset swishy ponytail. Heels, boots, or unbranded canvas sneakers. An ever-present scowl, and I’d never seen her smile until the first time I brought her to orgasm. But even then, something dark from the depths of her experience shadowed her stained lips.

The huge poster of Nietzsche over her bed should’ve been a dead giveaway, but I’d been high and just assumed it was all part of the trip. Thinking back on it now, she’d never taken drugs with me. That first fumbling night I’d offered her some of the joint that I’d brought to her place, thinking she’d have been cool with it. She was, but only so far as to let me burn it myself. She’d been more into the drink.

The sex was amazing, and she fucked like she wasn’t going to make it through the night. I learned a lot from the few encounters we had, and for that I’m grateful. I still regret the time we went to her company BBQ at some rich manager’s pad, and she’d wanted me to take her in the guy’s master bedroom, but I’d lacked the courage to do it. Years later I’d have no issues with sex in public, but back then I was still a wet-behind-the-ears youth wired tight on the paranoia that only years of narcotic abuse could instill. If I’d fulfilled her request that summer afternoon in a stranger’s house, would she have kept me?

She ended up getting rid of me when it seemed that whatever it was that we’d been doing together was getting serious. In those days I fell in love far too easily, and I’d felt that cursed emotion for her from the first glance. The romantic encounters only reinforced my conviction. I think that she’d been able to keep it distant and casual for a long time, and with her being more than a decade older than me I shouldn’t have been surprised to find out that was all she’d ever wanted.

It was the way that she ended it that still bothers me to this day. We’d been having dinner in an expensive pub near the harbor. I don’t remember what she ordered. It might have only been a beer or two. I had seafood pasta, and I can still see the little pale blue clam shells.

“I’m dying,” she’d said.


“’My liver’s fucked. I probably only have a year left. We can’t do this anymore.”

And we couldn’t, but it didn’t stop her from taking me home for one last night of brutal sex. Then it stopped. By then I’d quit working at the coffee shop where we met, and I never saw her again. I don’t remember her last name, and never got to know anyone in her tiny social circle, so I have no way of finding her now.

It’s a terrible thing to say, but I really hope she died. Because if she’d said what she did just to get rid of me? Well. That’d be just about the most fucked up thing that anyone’s ever done to me.

2014.12.05 – 2023.07.07

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