The Artist — Part 1

The moment when you realize his room isn't the happy and romantic magical place where he stole a kiss from you.

This morning I woke up in his room. Slightly hung over. The taste of whiskey still in my mouth. His body wrapped into mine. My memories of the previous night muddled. Why did this morning feel so different from our first night spent together 6 days prior?

We met a week ago by chance. A mutual friend. Drinks, bars, dancing and a connection with a stranger I haven't felt in a long time. He's 7 years older than me. A man you could say. Blonde curly lochs, Caucasian, blue eyes.. I think, and a very thin figure. We danced till last call at The Knockout. I drunkly flirted. I don't understand why I felt so strongly connected with this person. Like something was drawing me to him. Our chemistry on the dance floor was fluid like.. Which is surprising since I had so much to drink and was wearing heels.

And after last call I ran off, got in an Uber.. No numbers were exchanged.

For two days I thought about him. I have a boyfriend. I'm losing the connection with him though. We've been doing long distance for a year.

Our mutual friend invites me to her boyfriends house where the artist is. She tells me he's asking if I'm going to come. I become nervous as I approach the front door. After arriving I make no eye contact with him and follow my friend around like a puppy. I get nervous and awkward when I know someone is expecting me. Her boyfriend makes me a margarita and my nerves start to calm. I say something that offends him because he doesn't understand my humor. It's understandable since we barely know each other. In many ways we're still complete strangers. I do my best at what I think to be a suitable apology, meaning I ask him if he thinks I was being rude and that I didn't mean to be. I'm awful at apologizing and I never do. We make up.

The artist asks me to step outside with him to catch some fresh air while he smokes. We chat. I notice that it's easy for me to make fierce eye contact with him while in his company. He rolls his own cigarettes. Tobacco only. I hate smokers. But the smell of tobacco becomes comforting. He doesn't smell like a "smoker".

We go out. To the same place we first danced. He likes to say boogie. I think it's strange at first but now I think it's charming. We dance with our friends to 70s music. It's incredible. Our friends leave. We dance. I miss my last train. He asks me to stay the night. I decline but agree to go to his home where I will call an uber to get to my car in Oakland.

We walk. He's smoking another one of his rolled cigarettes and asks me if I want to hold hands. I decline but then agree. It feels comfortable. His personality is light and happy. He likes to talk.. A lot. A Chatty Cathy you could say. But I just want to listen to all of it. We banter and flirt on the 10 minute walk to his apartment. A familiar walk for me. He lives a block away from my first San Francisco apartment.

We walk up the stairs. His home feels like a creative space. His room is curated perfectly. He shows me some of his art. I'm starving and he only has pistachios. We talk about the first night we met. I admit I was very drunk and may or may not remember most of our moments together. We talk for what seemed like hours.

However, I enjoyed this. Everything he had to say was interesting and captivating. Even if I didn't agree with his opinions I was still fascinated. He doesn't do social media–we talked about that. He does art–we talked about that. He thinks people are no longer sincere or genuine–I agree and we talked about that. I have a boyfriend–we didn't talk about that. We talked about endless things. Going inside and out so he can smoke his tobacco.

We go back inside and I sit in his desk chair where I'd been sitting the entire time while he sat in his bed. I surprise him by that for some reason. He asks me to stand back up. I do. He stands in front of me and we smooch.

Softly and sweetly.. For awhile. He keeps making eye contact with me. I feel comfortable and safe and happy. I wrap my arms around him. We kiss a bit harder. There's biting. We move to the bed. Still kissing sweetly. Not the intoxicated kissing that usually ensues between two people. He looks into my eyes. Examines my body slowly. We become physical. I'm thinking of nothing else. I'm totally present. This is rare for me these days. Being present. I feel no guilt.

I tell him I need to leave. He asks me to stay. I say no–That I can't. I need to leave. He keeps asking me to stay. "It feels nicer to sleep next to someone," he says. I stay. We get undressed and I get under the sheets and covers. I choose to sleep next to the wall. I tell him I'm not having sex with him. We make out. We touch. I go down on him. We hold each other. His skin is smooth. He holds me all night. All night. All night. I move.. He moves. Our bodies entwined, tangled, warm.

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