Like any average drunken girl in the Bermuda Triangle that is New York City, Susan had a long history of falling down in the late hours of the night. She knew it was ill-advised to surpass the six-drink mark, and yet, she almost always without fail did.
Sometimes when she woke up in the morning, it was as though she could feel her liver turning over in its inevitable grave. Or were those her kidneys insisting that she finally get her lazy ass out of bed to relieve her bladder? It was probably a combination. Whatever the case, she knew that her perpetual lack of sobriety was a ticking time bomb–with particular regard to her constant reversion to looking back at certain contacts in her phone that she knew better than to reach out to in her humiliating state of what she called “Fuck Monster.” For those unfamiliar, transforming into Fuck Monster occurs around the third or fourth drink, when you’re starting to feel like the insertion of a dick will be just the injection you need to make all your problems and self-doubts go away. And so yes, the primary sentiment echoing through her brain was: must fuck, must fuck. Peaches was right about fucking the pain away. But because her current location wasn’t offering up much in the way of prospects, she succumbed to her phone, still containing Ben’s number even though she knew she should have deleted it for this very reason.
They hadn’t spoken in months. In fact, he had been one of many in a seemingly endless string of dalliances that had opted simply to disappear from her life. Susan could sense that it was something about her desperation to be loved that drove these people away. To be sure, aloofness and self-sufficiency are the two qualities a man reveres most of all. Susan did not possess these.
Still, much to her surprise, he actually answered her call and the two arranged to meet at a bar near his apartment, something she assumed to be a formality before she could at last feel the heroin-like infusion that being in Fuck Monster mode called for. As she practically sprung out of her seat to get into a car that would take her to him, she teetered on her overly high platform wedges and fell to the ground. The bartender merely shook his head, all too familiar with her drunken behavior by now (that was the problem with having a regular bar). She picked herself up with relative ease and scurried out of the door without stopping to gauge how many people had just seen her exemplification of why one shouldn’t stay in New York for too long.
She had barely gotten outside when, again, she tripped on herself and fell on the other knee. She thought immediately of that Maurizio Cattelan image from Toilet Paper of the bruised knees of a female in a schoolgirl uniform. Except she wasn’t no goddamn schoolgirl. She was much older, and should have been, accordingly, much wiser. Alas, the drink kept her from this essential metamorphosis.
Susan made her grand entrance into the bar near Ben’s apartment by lurching toward his table in her, by now, nearly broken shoes. After giving her some usual falsified yarn about why he hadn’t spoken to her in so long, she realized that he was not, as the douchebags say, “DTF.” Nonetheless, she had come this far and her knees were already bleeding, so she put herself into his custody for the night.
He was kind enough to dress her wounds, putting a Band-Aid on each one as though he were her doctor or nurturing maternal figure. She liked him for that. It almost made up for the patheticness of her disrobing and him not touching her.
The next morning, she briefly forgot where she was before turning over to see him. She felt her aching knees. The right one was now missing the Band-Aid. She shrugged.
Knowing that he was pretending to still be asleep, Susan played along with the charade by quietly putting her clothes back on and tiptoeing out of the room.
Weeks later, he texted her and asked, “Have your wounds healed yet?” She never answered, but took comfort in the satisfaction that her Band-Aid was still hidden somewhere amid the recesses of his sheets.