I didn’t know yet if I liked girls, but I liked you. With your intense blue eyes, wild dark curls, you would have been beautiful to me as a boy or a girl. I wasn’t sure if we were friends, friends of friends certainly. I knew you were toying with me at the club, dancing up to me, towering over me in your tight low-hung blue jeans, big boots, and a black bra, trying to make your girlfriend, who you were always in a fight with, jealous, but those unexpected kisses you planted on me with your full wet mouth zipped and zagged like electricity inside of me. You frightened me. You and your gorgeous girlfriend, she was impossibly more beautiful than you, reminded me of the kind of girls that wanted to beat me up in high school. You both seemed cruel and more so as a team. You made me your fool and I enjoyed every second of it.
Every night I showed up at the club, I’d dance, pretending to have fun but I’d be looking for you. I’d scan the room for your intense blue gaze, for that flicker of your eyes shining hungrily at me from across the space. I hoped your stunning girlfriend was there and that she had pissed you off again, that you would be angry and vengeful. In those rare moments when you and I actually talked, I should have advised you to dump her, but I liked you less when you were nice. You stared at me and kissed me less when you were happy.
I was married, but kissing you didn’t feel like cheating because you were a girl. At least that’s what I told myself when you pressed your soft lips against mine over and over again in the dim haze of the dance floor. My husband didn’t like going out and thankfully he never joined us at the club where I danced wild and sweaty with you and other girls. You were tall and athletic, bold and so self-assured. I couldn’t hear what you said to me with the music pounding so loudly in my ears but I liked the way you pressed yourself up close, slid your strong thigh between mine, and stared deep into my eyes. I wanted to break the rules with you, to explore every inch of your velvety skin under those bright strobing lights.
Emily Painton, a painter and writer, grew up in Norman, Oklahoma but now lives in New Orleans. She earned an MA in Art History from Tulane and an MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin. She loves to travel and one day hopes to be able to spend every hurricane season in Berlin. Her work has appeared in Third Wednesday, Route 7, and X-R-A-Y Literary, and is forthcoming in Ellipsis Zine and Deep South Magazine. Image: Woman with Blue Eyes, Amedeo Modigliani (1918)