The Worst First Date in the History of the World

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There is something confronting about the disembodied voice of a stranger on the telephone, particularly when it’s someone you may fall in love with.

I had meant to contact Bejazzled during the week, but everything had gotten away from me. When I called her Saturday morning, we arranged to meet in Brighton for coffee the next day, a seaside town half-way between us.

A few minutes after, she sent me a text.

Just a thought, my friends and I are going out tonight. Would you like to come for a few drinks?” 

To which I replied,

“I would, but have committed to dinner with a mate tonight. If it suits, I might txt when we finish. Might b late, though.”

“Sounds good.”

The phone buzzed where it sat on the desk beside the Macbook. A text from Jasmine.

“We’re going out for a drink in Frankston. You should definitely come.”

Frankston is forty minutes away from my house. Fuck it, I thought; I’m not old enough to be sitting at home alone on a Saturday night.

“Where r u?” 

“The Deck. It’s a new bar just opened on the hill, overlooking the water.”

I googled the place; it was situated on Oliver’s Hill, overlooking the bay. Frankston was a notorious suburb. I would be cautious about walking the streets of Frankston during the day.

“See u in 40 mins.”

I got changed, punched the address into the GPS and rolled out of the driveway. I wound down both windows of the coupe and hit the accelerator to beat the traffic light as the cold, dry night air filled the cabin.

I’m supposed to take the Monaro for a long drive once a week, so going to meet this girl was killing two birds with the one stone. The mechanic tells me it’s a racing motor and as a result, it benefits from long distances at high speed.

The most common problem with these cars is they have been invariably bought as a Sunday car and, as a result, didn’t get run in properly. The remarkable thing about a big V8 is that the faster it goes, the faster it wants to go until the whole front of the car is one roaring block of steel.

Five minutes from destination, I received a text message.

“How far r u?”

 “5 min”

“I’m not at the bar now – I’m at a house. 8 Samantha Court”      

An attractive woman in her mid-twenties alone in a strange house, deep in the wilds of suburban Frankston? I imagined arriving at the house and being dragged into the bathtub by four big, bearded, sweaty men, held down and then tortured by having each of my toenails pulled out with pliers, like in the film Snowtown.

I tried calling, but there was no answer. I pulled over and thought about it.

I punched ‘8 Samantha Court’ into the GPS and drove down some obscure, dark suburban streets until I found it. I parked on the opposite side of the street to the house, got out of the car and stood in the dark, listening to the silence.

I texted my neighbour, Matt.

“If I disappear, I was last seen at 8 Samantha Court Frankston”

Then I called and she answered.

“Hello? Are you here?”

“I’m outside in the street but it’s dark and I can’t see the house numbers. You’ll have to come outside.”

A door opened and she stepped out onto the verandah, a silhouette under the light. Satisfied she existed, I walked to the door.

“So…” she slurred, “…How’s your night?”

She was blind drunk. So drunk, her eyes were closed.

“It was okay,” I said. I followed her inside. She walked into the lounge room, but I remained in the vestibule. All the rooms on the right-hand side of the house were dark. To the left, the lounge room light was on. She had gone through into the bedroom and was leaning over the bed.

‘Jesus Christ’, I thought and turned around to see if anyone had appeared behind me. She had her iPhone in her hand when she came back into the lounge room and sat on the couch.

The room was clean, but the place was poor. The couch was old and faded, and the furniture was mismatched. I sat down beside her on the couch. There was a framed photograph on the wall of some guy doing a burn-out in his one-tonne ute.

A large, lead-blue cloud of smoke rose from the back wheels. The driver leaned out the window, towards the camera, sticking out his tongue and leering like a demon. Underneath was the inscription, ‘Trent’s Tonner.’

“Who’s that?” I asked.

“That’s Trent. It’s his house.”

“Who lives here?”

“My friend, Katie.”

“You don’t live here?”

“No.”

“So why are we here?”

She patted the couch beside her. I sat down. Her phone rang.

“Hi, Katie. I’m here, at your house,” said Jasmin. “I’m with the guy off RSVP.” I couldn’t hear what was said, but the call disconnected. Katie had hung up.

“So…” she asked, “How’s your night?”

The door burst open. A cyclone of screaming and yelling.

“What the fuck happened to you?” demanded the man who skittered to a halt in the middle of the lounge room.

“Katie put me in a taxi and sent me home ‘cause I was too drunk. What happened to you?”

“CUNTS!!! I turned on the fire hose and started spraying the people on the dance floor and the bouncers chucked me out. FUCKEN CUNTS!!! Where’s my fucken money?” he demanded, reaching behind the television and producing a twisted clutch of bills. “Hang on – I’ve gotta go pay the fucken taxi.”

“Who is that?” I asked.

“That’s Jacob – he’s Katie’s brother.” Jacob soon reappeared.

“Kicking me out and it’s not even midnight,” said Jacob, going the refrigerator. “First night they’re open and they’re already barring me. How they expect to stay open, I’ve got no fucken idea.”

Jacob took a stubby of Heineken and tore the lid off with his teeth. Didn’t twist the top off – actually tore it off, like he was peeling the skin off an orange.

“Jacob,” said Jasmin, “You’ve got to stop doing things like that with your teeth!” She shuddered as she shielded her eyes. Jacob stood in the middle of the lounge, swaying backwards and forwards in a breeze no one could feel but him.

“You’re that bloke who dresses up as a woman,” he said, pointing.

“I… am,” I replied. What else was I going to say?

“Do you do that… professionally?”

“I went to a drag party once,” I replied, “I had my make-up done by a guy who was a professional Kylie Minogue impersonator. He did a good job.” He had told me I looked like Jessica Simpson. I had taken it as a compliment.

Once again, the door burst open. A woman in her forties, blonde, wearing torn black jeans and a pink tank top, prowled into the lounge. A tall, pretty young girl, probably eighteen, stood in the doorway and looked on into the room.

The blonde woman stared each of us in the face and then released a sigh of disgust. She raised a hand to me, as you would to a dog before walking past it.

“This is nothing against you,” she said.

“Jasmin,” she began, placing her hands on her hips, “This is my family home, where I raise my two beautiful children. What on earth do you think you’re doing inviting a strange man, who none of us know, into my home?”

Jasmin’s chin immediately descended to her chest and her cheeks coloured with shame.

“Well, Katie, I…”

“We don’t know this guy; none of us know him. Now he’s been here, he’s had a good look around and he knows where everything is. What happens if in two months time he comes back and cleans the place out?”

Jacob stood behind the woman, making thumbs-up signs with his empty hand, as if to say that everything would be fine once this woman had said her piece.

“I’m sorry, Katie, I… I didn’t think.” Jasmin had gone red in the face. I saw Katie’s expression change from restrained anger to sympathy; expressions you see in the face of a mother.

“And you know what else?” she asked. Jasmin looked up.

Katie unleashed the loudest fart I had ever heard come out of man or beast. It sounded as if God has reached down, taken hold of the lounge room carpet and ripped it in two, right down the centre of the room. Jacob rolled around the lounge room floor, spilling his beer on the television stand.

“Oh, fuck me,” he said. “Fuck! I rolled over on the X-Box! Cunt!”

And then, from the doorway, “Jacob! You’ve got to stop saying cunt!”

“Hi,” I said to the girl in the doorway.

“Hi,” she said. “I’m Eliza.”

Once everyone had quieted down, Katie sat on the coffee table and looked at me.

“We reckon you’ve got a baby arm,” she said, intently.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“There’s no way you can be that big and have a voice that deep and not have a cock the size of a baby’s arm.” I looked at Eliza, who was the only other sober person in the room. She was laughing, so I laughed, too.

Hell, it was better than sitting at home alone on a Saturday night. Jacob fired up the X-Box and everyone took turns. I talked to Jasmin for a bit; she was sobering up.

“Right you lot,” said Katie, “I want to go to bed and watch Patch Adams and eat cheesy noodles. You lot can fuck off.”

“I was thinking I might just sleep here on the couch,” said Jasmin.

“There’s no way you’re staying here and exchanging fluids with Mister Baby Arm on my couch,” said Katie. “Make him drive you home.”

Jasmin lived around the corner and was sober enough to provide accurate directions. I followed her up the porch to the front door. She scratched around at the lock with her key.

“The walls are paper thin. You’ve got to be quiet.” This was obviously an invitation, so I followed her inside. She walked through the lounge room and down the hall. We entered the bedroom.

“It’s a pigsty,” she said. “Sorry.” A night-light was on and a small cone of light stretched up the wall toward the architrave. A large screen-print of a Thai Buddha hung over the bed. The carpet showed in patches through the scattered clothing. Jasmin kicked off her shoes. The grubby toes of her white socks were the brightest thing in the room.

“Just snuggle, okay?”

She lay down and I took off my shoes, jeans and t-shirt. She snapped off the light. I got into bed and put my arms around her. I remembered things like this happening as a teenager, and how weird I used to think it was. Now, I just took it for granted. For some reason, I was always sober.

Jasmin pushed her back against my chest and I smelled her hair. I unzipped her jacket and discovered she was naked. I held her breasts and she rolled towards me. We kissed. I climbed between her legs and she spread her hair across the pillow.

She put her hands on my chest. Her kisses felt as if she was savouring my lips. I felt her smiling in the darkness, holding me between her legs, against her pelvis. She held my body like a delicate, delicious weight.

“I want to be inside you.”

“Okay.”

She rolled on a condom and held me. The intimate grip of this woman I’d met only hours ago sent a thrill along my back. I pushed gently and felt her body yielding. I looked into her eyes and felt the grip of her body as her eyes opened and her pupils expanded.

She drew a sharp breath and held it as I sank all the way into her until my pubic bone was against hers.

I moved slowly and tried not to think of either Yseult or Lisa Ann.

“I’m going to come,” I said. “Look into my eyes.”

As I came, I watched her. I witnessed the darkness of her spinning irises in the little light thrown by the lamp. At that range, all I could see was colour. But something happened. I saw it the same way you can see movement on the surface of the ocean at night, regardless of the fact that the water is one uniform tonality.

As everybody knows, when you see movement on the water, what you’re actually seeing is the forces of the weather above it. The surface of the water is the intaglio of the wind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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