The Boss’s Boyfriend
I thought, One night. Big deal. In and out.
You’ll regret it, I said to myself, but then shuffled that thought to the very back of my brain. It’ll never last between them, I thought. She’ll chase him off, she’ll frighten him, she’ll lose him in a week.
I took the train west to Evanston, to the stop where the mothers get off and wives, where the wrinkled brown man in the newspaper stand winked at me when I climbed down the stairs. Crossing the street, I held my gloves over my ears and my hair jerked in the wind. I walked two blocks to Stephen’s house, reciting the address—Ten Two Twenty, Ten Two Twenty—until I found his large brick townhouse with a gravel driveway of pointed, gray stones.
That first night I said just once, and the next I said just once more. I’ll go back to the ones I’ve known, I said, the ones I loved before. Shaved heads and ropey arms, boys as skinny as girls.
I forgot that’s how it always starts. That you know it’s a lost cause, but still you wait. Even with a man, I thought with a man it would be different. But this place is just the same. You get in and bide your time and tell yourself, He’s falling. He’s falling and just doesn’t know how to say it.