Driving Home, I Imagined the Man I'd Just Met, Alone in His Apartment, Washing By Hand the Glass from which I'd Drunk
Doug Paul Case

This was after I rolled the windows down, hoping rushing wind would rid my clothes of his cologne. This was after I slid into my car, having barely opened the door, as if I were afraid his neighbors would spot me. This was after we said awkward goodbyes at his door—me on the stoop; him, still naked, inside. This was after I got dressed. This was after he asked if I wanted to hop in the shower and I asked for a damp towel instead. This was after the hand job which could only be described as adequate. This was after he said, "It's just not going to happen." This was after, somehow, he'd deflated. This was after it appeared it would happen, as he kneeled over me, condom on, stone-faced. This was after I whispered, "Damn," because—and let's be honest—it was the biggest dick I'd ever seen. This was after we stripped, kissing beside the bed. This was after I put my water on his beside table, next to pocket change, lube, and a box of condoms. This was after I sipped. This was after he said, "I'm being such a bad host," before pouring me a glass of water. This was after he showed me his bedroom. This was after he asked if I wanted to talk first and I said, "I'm good." This was after he let me in. This was after I knocked on his door, having reassured myself on the walk from the car that this would be the release, the pressure I needed. This was after I got lost on the way. This was after I told him, "Maybe an hour," when he asked when I'd get there. This was after we emailed about what we were into. This was after I responded to his ad: Professor-Type Seeks Student. This was after I decided I needed to try something different. This was after I spent two weeks wondering. This was after you left.

Doug Paul Case recently earned his BFA in writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College, where he edited The Emerson Review. His short fiction has appeared in Annalemma, PANK, Word Riot and others. He is an MFA candidate in poetry at Indiana University.

Detail of art on main page courtesy of DJOXFUTURA.

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