a woman with a history of disaster goes clubbing at 33 years old

And kicks off the night with a bathroom mirror selfie and her tongue stuck out, mouth open, centered in the middle of a group of younger women, her sister’s best friends, one of whom, before the end of the evening, she will kiss with the same open mouth. It is her sister’s bachelorette party (nevermind that ten months into the marriage, her sister’s husband starts a rampant, blatant affair with his co-worker, or that he once tells her, upon meeting her friend, a mother of two, “I would like to know what her asshole tastes like,” or that he tells her sister, one evening, in a roomful of friends and family, “I knew I loved you for real because I still wanted to have sex with you, and you have small titties;” all of that circles this bizarre evening, its bizarre consequence like sparking satellites signaling distress); so off they all go to the casinos, dressed to the nines.

She is looking for someone to do something with, to ensure the evening resembles some kind of success, some sex, some love, a kiss good night, someone to prick her phone with little pings of delight, some honest-to-goodness fucking flirtation, the real stuff, the give and take, someone who realizes, understands, that lust and love are actually something one makes, that desire is generative. That love can be real. She sits at a high-hat cocktail table sipping her drink. She notes a former lover on the brink of entering the club, his entourage of males in tow—bachelors to her bachelorettes. She remembers their sole encounter, how he kissed her in the dark corner of a dark bar, how he spun her wedding band and smiled faintly at her, invited her back to his house. She stares at her fire-red tights, looks up to see a beautiful man looking back, younger than her, in expensive clothes, vintage-style Chuck Taylors. He introduces himself—Frank. They talk. They exchange numbers. His friends are going to another club, but he wants to talk more. What does she do? Wow, a professor. He is dragged off into the fog of the evening. Her sister’s friends gather around in a gaggle, report—they know him. From high school. He plays professional basketball in Europe. The sweetest guy. A doll. She actually can’t believe her luck. Her phone pings: Nice to meet you, professor. I hope I see you again soon.

And here is the doll’s swift turn—two days and ten casual “Tell me more about yourself” texts later, she is entering the shower when her phone signals, unbeknownst to her, distress—a picture of Frank undressed, sans expensive clothes,  de-shod of his vintage Chucks. Frank. From doll to schmuck in one swift move. Naked, cock out, half hard, hips thrust forward at the mirror like some second rate 80s rock star humping the mic. She panics. She laughs. She stares in dismay. She turns professorial. Please don’t do that again. To anyone. Unless they ask.

You wanna tell me what to do some more, Professor? He replies. You wanna get a little wild?

I’m sorry,
she writes back. I don’t think this is going to work, I think I have to cancel our date tonight.

he replies. Don’t feel sorry for me! You should feel relieved for your pussy, he responds, and disappears for good, as the water runs into the drain and she stares at the fogging mirror reflecting back her naked self, puzzled face: self-portrait of disaster, phone in hand.


Emily Van Duyne spends all of her spare time smashing the patriarchy and singing to her cats. She teaches writing and women's studies at Stockton University, and is at work on a memoir about loving a psychopath called Loving A Psychopath, which you can read here: noneofthatblog.wordpress.com