Here’s What I Learned From My Last Wild Night Out

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This story is going to make my mum so worried.

He looked like a semi-pro soccer player, all cheekbones and glow in the way guys in their early 20s often are. He pulled me away from my friends to the bar, where he bought me a shot. Spun me around until I felt the sambuca sticky between our fingers. Aniseed and mint on his lips when we kissed. “Stand up straight,” he said afterwards, putting his hands on either side of my torso. “Why are you sticking your bum out all the time?”

I told him it’s how I naturally stand, that I have an anterior pelvic tilt which makes the curve in my back super deep. One eye open, one eye closed, and the phone held at arm’s length, I tried to find one of the many memes about it to show him, like, “Ask yourself is she really thick or is she suffering from lumbar lordosis,” or, “Is she a bad b or does she just have an anterior pelvic tilt?” 

“I believe you,” he replied, palming my phone down.

Our interactions wavered between this sort of mild disinterest and an extreme, almost overwhelming praise, like when minutes earlier he—incorrectly—told me I looked like Margot Robbie. I knew I was above this lazy game-playing, but it didn’t matter because this summer I made a pact with myself to be crazy, to walk on the wild side, to live life, wrap my legs all the way around it, let desire bloom in me as round as peaches, drink it all up, orange juice dribbling down my chin, cold water hitting my stomach as I wade into a river. So I said yes when he asked me to come and party with him and his friend in their hotel room, grabbing the wrist of my girl and pulling her with me out into the night.

There were no taxis, so the four of us climbed onto a rickshaw with me on the guy’s knee to make extra room. I looked out at the city from under a border of pink fluff, the high rises gloomy and gray except for the occasional yellow square puncturing through it like a Mondrian painting. Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” blasted through the speakers. Ubers whooshed past us to pick up girls with sore feet from clubs they didn’t want to be at anymore. It felt as if the city belonged to us. The ramen bars, the crumbling churches, the luxury apartments. I turned to look at my friend’s shiny eyes, wet with excitement, and I gripped onto her as we sped down a hill and laughed, and then laughed again, each time almost embarrassed by how guttural it was, how it cracked through my throat like lightning, like when you’re coming and those soft choreographed moans give way to a groan. But I didn’t take it back, just let more of it out, laughing, laughing, laughing like a girl in a film scene, the one who’s standing up in the open roof of a moving car, screaming the lyrics to their favorite song or running through the city to tell someone they love them. A line from Self Esteem’s “I Do This All the Time” came into my head: “Stop trying to have so many friends/ Don’t be intimidated by all the babies they have/ Don’t be embarrassed that all you’ve had is fun.”

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