I awoke to the pungent smell of sweat, come, and Febreze. It reminded me of freshly chopped sweet onions, and it burned my weary eyes all the same. In the distance, I could hear the reverberated decay of stubby, clumsy fingers sliding heavily against nickel-wound strings. I glanced the room, but it wasn’t until I saw the posters on the wall that I fully remembered what happened the night before: Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, Animal House, all the classic male masturbation fantasies. And I’d fallen for the same old shit again.
I grabbed an oversized Boston University hoodie from his pile of clothes nearby, and after I was (mostly) certain it was cleaned, I pulled it on over my head. I was never one for cuddling with strangers that I had just met at the bar, but I wasn’t comfortable leaving the room in nothing but last night’s wrinkled clothes. I squeezed into my jeans and left to find the bathroom.
“I’m sorry; did I wake you up?” he asked, before I’d even step completely of the bedroom doorway. He was sitting on a worn out grey-brown couch, strumming an acoustic guitar.
“Oh, no. No, not at all,” I said, not entirely confident in my ability to lie this early in the morning.
“That’s good. I was just working on a song I’ve been writing. But I figured I should let you sleep.” Then, a carefully calculated pause, as if the idea had just suddenly come. “Hey — would you want to hear it?”
I had the feeling that even if I said “no,” he would have played it anyway, but I didn’t want to be rude.
“And when you said that things were different,” he sang, “I thought that we could stay the same / but even on the darkest mornings / you know the stars still light up your name…”
I immediately wished that I had been rude. But still he kept singing:
“But baby, it’s a brand new world / I hope you’ll make it for me / Baby, won’t you give it a whirl? / Just let your heart go free / and stay with me…”
I suddenly regretted hooking up with about 85% of the guys I met in college. Still, here I was at 27, and somehow in my inebriation, I had fallen for the same old crap. Sure — in my sobriety, if you can call the morning that, I could see it for what it was. But apparently I regressed 7 years last night.
“Hey, I should actually get going…” I interrupted, as politely as I could. “I’ve got this, umm —”
“Oh, well — can you at least stay for breakfast? It’s just about done. Do you like bacon?”
Suddenly, the morning after didn’t seem so bad.