I should have known I was in trouble during our first staff meeting together. It was one of those special meetings off site. There was food, which meant there was bad news. There was drinks, which meant people would talk about their feelings and share their fears and feel free to continue to take far too seriously a bunch of stuff that isn't that big of a deal. Someone would use the word “oppressive” in reference to a policy about the copy machine. I would sit and think indifferently about everything.
It was her first, and she sat across from me. When the manager from the other site said something about fighting injustice through a five minute lengthening of lunch time, she wrote on the top of my agenda, “what the actual fuck?” I wrote on the top of hers, trying to write upside-down to amuse myself (and, of course, to amuse the cute new girl), “Yep.”
“Your P is backwards, asshole.”
So that’s when I fell in love. That’s when I should have known I was in trouble.
We walked across the street after the meeting, actually using a side-door so no one would see us and come with. We went for a drink that became three. We talked more in one night than I had talked with anyone at work in three years. I walked her to her car, she opened her door and hugged it from the inside, her shield against the awkward end of the night hug-or-not-hug moment.
“So, do you want to be work best friends?” I’m not always so clever or cute as I try to be.
“Fuck, gross. I don’t do work friends.”
“Real friends, or nothing.”
“Real friends it is. Fuck work.”
“Fuck work. Night.”
She was two red lights on the road before I thought about anything.
Our first night together was at her house. I showed up late, serving time at a socially-mandatory work happy hour she skipped. I stepped over half a pizza and an empty glass pipe on the way to a couch that was half pillows. She collapsed next to me and put her head on my shoulder and we watched the second half of the movie she was in the middle of. We got really into it, but I don’t remember really what it was.
We each have a rule about messing around with coworkers, and good reasons to follow that rule. So it was, perhaps, less than wise when I kissed her neck. She could blame it all on me and my kissing, and my fingers resting under her ear and neck. Sure, those things happened, but the squirming, I tell you, the squirming. All of my touching was focused points, a fingertip and a place and pressure, my lips there, and this freckle on her neck and the curve of her shoulder. All of her touching was everywhere, her whole back against my side, her neck and cheek and eyelids against my lips, her hips against my will power.
When she turned to face me, we didn’t kiss. We brushed lips against lips and left them there, we stretched the moment before the kiss into half of the last half of the movie. We kept tumbling over the cliff, and then somehow clawing our way back up.
And so it was, sincerely drunk with touch that I asked her if I could touch her. She said, “that depends,” and then kissed me in soft slow motion, moved her hips against my hand.
“Depends on what?”
“I don’t know.”
Sometimes just touching is enough, is more than enough, is more than anything else.
We waited a week. I smiled bashful towards her in the hallways at work. She smiled at me warm and friendly sometimes, and sometimes like she was circling, and I was prey with a broken leg, bleeding badly. It’s hard to say which I liked best.
A week later there was a concert, and she was going with some friends, but maybe those friends would back out, and would I come with, and yes I would, and the friends backed out, and it was payday, and we got there early for extra drinks.
The concert was packed, sold out by the time the opener finished. We rushed to get towards the front, packed in with flanneled, bearded people in skinny jeans. We got really into the show, but I don’t really remember what it was. Sometimes I left to go to the bathroom, and came back with more beer. Sometimes she left to get more beer and came back with whiskey.
She stood in front of me so she could see, and I could wrap my arm around her, then she would move her hips mostly generally with the music but pushing back, and her neck would taste like the whiskey of my last kiss, and my hand under her shirt on her stomach for two songs would be seen by no one in the crush of people, and my fingers sliding under the button of her jeans would make her lean her whole head back to kiss me between my beard and flannel shirt.
She pretended to get more into the show. I slide my fingers further down. She pretended to get really into the show. There were bodies against us everywhere in darkness, everyone looking up at the lights of the show. Only I, I'm sure, noticed the change in her breathing, the shorter breaths, the bitten lip. Only I felt her wet against my fingers. She came for our first time in complete privacy in a room of a thousand people. I held my hand against her for all of the song after until she leaned her head back again, “should we go?”
Before we were out of downtown, she had my pants open, had me in her hand. She turned the radio on, turned the radio up. I watched the road closely, chose the slow route home, drove slow.
She was slow too, slow lines up and down, pressure here, sliding thumb there. Slow and slow and slow.
She lifted one of my hands from the wheel, breath, placed it on the back of her neck, breath, put her head against my chest, breath, against my stomach, breath, breath, in my lap, put her lips on me. She kissed me like we kissed on her couch, slow soft, with each lip and tongue and not her whole mouth.
We drove blocks, drove miles, drove through lights, drove through night.
We drove past her house, past my house. Drove until the roads were curved and lined with trees, and still she was slow, kissing, touching.
We drove to the highway onramp, and as I pushed my foot down, as the engine worked over the radio, she took me in her mouth. The lights rolled through the car faster as we drove. I’m sure I knew then where I was going, but I can’t remember now.
I know that when we reached speed, I lifted my foot up, and her mouth was gone. I put my foot back and it returned. I went faster, and so did she, and when my foot pushed to the ground, her lips slid far enough for her to choke, but she kept them there, kept pushing until I let my foot up.
I drove too fast, tried to slow down and she matched our speed. I tried to handle slowing down without going insane, tried to speed up without going too fast.
I knew I was in trouble in our first staff meeting. I knew I was in the right kind of trouble as we hit the interchange, took the long circle around our city, kept the radio turned up loud.
She was texting me. This was a few weeks after the concert.
I was texting back. I was out with quiet friends at a quiet bar.
Bachelorette Party downtown. Brother’s future wife’s friends. Awful.
Should I come join?
Not unless you like watching dueling piano players sexually harass drunk idiots.
Just come get me.
You can leave?
I like we both use punctuation in our texts.
No, but come get me. I’ll make a dumb excuse.
So there I was on one of those corners in downtown that make the paper the next day because some shit went down. One of those corners where people act like anything but people, treat each other as nothing but threats and conquests. So there she was, waiting for me in a black dress that told me she had high hopes for making the best of a shitty night when she got dressed. She did not look pleased as she climbed in the car.
“Fuck this place.”
“Absolutely, fuck this place. How long do we have?”
“I told them I was meeting a friend from out of town for a drink.”
“So we’re getting a drink?”
So she grabbed my crotch over my jeans, and I put a hand on her thigh at the bottom of her dress. So she grabbed my wrist and slid my hand up. So we drove out of downtown again, this time towards the river. So we saw this parking spot that may have just been some dirt. So we saw it together, I drove in and parked. So it was dark, so past the darkness in front of us was the river and behind us was the front of a hotel and behind it was the city. So we locked the doors, we watched and waited, and so when nothing happened, she slid down across the front seat and I leaned down to kiss her.
We don’t always use punctuation while we’re talking.
She was undoing my pants, pressing her hand against the top of me, sliding it against her.
I was looking out of the window above her head. I was looking for cops or murderers. “Do we really want to do this here?”
“Why the fuck not?”
“Good point.” She had a good point.
A car is not enough room to do it well, or to do it comfortably, but is plenty of room to do it anyway. Room enough for her to reach down and touch herself while I pushed one arm against the car seat, one against the dashboard while her head pushed against the door once loud enough for me to hear, and while I stopped long enough to be worried I’d bruise the top of her head.
“Keep fucking going.”
“Harder than that.”
She had a good point.
She came, screaming through fogged windows into the dark of the night. She pushed me against the door behind me, sucked my orgasm from me, kept sucking, her hand between her legs, tasting herself on me, tasting me in her mouth.
When we were silent, so was everything. It felt like it could be early morning or the next afternoon. It felt like we could have slid into and down the river. It wasn’t quite half an hour since I picked her up outside of the shitty club bar.
She pulled down the mirror on the way back into downtown. Touched her hair twice, looked at the crumples of her dress. “I look like I just got fucked.”
“Yeah, you do.”
“I love it. Fuck those bitches.”
There was a moment. A deep breath.
“We’re going to get caught.”
“People get caught in movies. We’re going to have good fucking times with someone we like whenever we feel like it, and it’s going to feel amazing.”
She had a good point.
We kissed at the green light of a busy intersection before she hopped out to rejoin her group.
“See you soon.”
“Text me when you find them, so I know you’re safe.”She never did, never would, never would be. She’d call me in a week, asking if I wanted to go for a walk in the woods, or meet after work, or at work. It would feel amazing.