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Diana Dominguez: Getting Personal

Art by Cynthia Fawcett © 2023

Getting Personal

Diana Dominguez


          SHE made him wait, ten minutes the first time, seven minutes this time. To see if he’d leave or stay. To see if he’d be pissed off or annoyed. For the reaction.

          HE sat in his car texting.

          THEY met online in one of those ‘meat market’ chat rooms. While everyone else was talking trash and trying to out-slut each other, she observed. He made the first move. His user id: SilentRunning.

          HE’S forty to her thirty. He’s not married.

SHE doesn’t know if that meant he’s divorced, a widow or playing around.

HE fidgets when he drives, tugging on his shoulder seat belt, messing with the rear view and electric side mirrors. No conversation or music. Welcomed silence.    

          THEY go to hotels. The first time to the swanky Hilton in Santa Barbara. She figured he was trying to impress her.  This time to Carpentaria at one of those funky bungalows off the 101. Both times he paid cash.

SHE waited in his car, a gray Ford Taurus sedan. Immaculate, no gum wrappers or cigarette butts in the ashtray, no dust or fingerprints.

HE opened the door to the room––musty, outdated.

          SHE made a beeline to the bathroom. She peed, inserted her diaphragm, and popped a Valium. When she opened the door, he was in bed, naked under the sheets outfitted in a bland beige condom. Hairy. Thick and short.

          SHE got undressed.

HE stared, his face flushed.

SHE put her sweater, slacks, white bra and pink panties, knee-hi suntan nylons in neat piles on the sofa––saggy gold plaid with stains. His clothes were arranged on a chair. His keys, cell phone, and wallet on a white handkerchief spread out on the seat.

          HE doesn’t know foreplay; most men don’t. No kissing, touching or talking. On the third try, he was in. Eyes shut, grimacing, his nose hairs whistled.

          HER mind wandered. Did she feed her cat Othello? Email the landlord about the water beneath the water heater? She compared the rooms. Plush burgundy carpet in SB. Tired orange shag in Carp. Both had King-sized beds. Fancy drapes that matched the bedspread in SB. Dirty mini blinds, sweaty windows in this one. She could hear the dripping faucet in the lime-colored bathroom. Someone next door was watching TV: news, sports, commercials, a movie with gunshots and yelling.

SHE wondered if they could hear them. The springs sang; the headboard thumped the wall.

          HE came.

SHE didn’t.

          HE went to the bathroom to dispose of his condom and got dressed.

          SHE cleaned up with Kleenex, put her clothes back on, and made the bed.

          THEY ate afterwards. This time, Pepperoni and Sausage pizza at Giovanni’s on Carp’s main drag. Last time, breakfast at Sambo’s on Cabrillo in SB.

          HE talked about his job, sales manager.

          SHE doesn’t remember for whom.

HE was in charge. Goes to work when he wants. 

SHE figured she’s one of his sales calls.

HE took her back to her apartment.  No hug or kiss. He told her ‘have a nice day.’

SHE took a shower, fed Othello, emailed her landlord about water beneath the water heater, and then went to work, the three to midnight shift at an all-night diner. When she came home, she showered, brushed her teeth, flossed, then logged into the chat room.

THEY chatted and made another date. Next Tuesday, 9:00 a.m., Malibu.


          Diana Dominguez @ddwriter@gmail.com. lives in Ventura, CA. Born and raised in Bliss, not the real name, but it sounds better than the original name. She likes saying, “I was born in Bliss.” She’s weird that way. She’s written one unpublished mystery novel and is working on the second one. She was a debt collector in another life.

Cynthia Fawcett has been writing for fun or money since she was able to hold a pen. A Jersey Girl at heart, she got her journalism degree at Marquette University in Milwaukee and now writes mostly technical articles about hydraulics and an occasional short story or poem on any other subject.

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