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Friday, Or, You Just Wanted To Sleep

His sheets were orange, the same color as your middle school soccer team. You remember when he climbed on top of you. Sort of.

April 13, 2020

Kelsey Swintek
Jem Yoshioka

This essay is the first in our new series “Quick And Dirty” —a kind of flash memoir.

our boss sucks and your job sucks and your stapler sucks because it ran out of staples so you keep using your boss’ stapler every day to avoid replacing the staples in yours. Friday.

You tell yourself that you’re just going to go home and sleep but really you get some drinks with friends after work and say ‘fuck it’ and you end up at Niagara. Or some other Lower East Side shithole where you wait for the coming of Christ until the bartender finally serves you. You hardly notice or care because you’re pretty drunk already.

It’s getting late-ish. You’re wearing that skirt that you love because it’s soft to touch and hugs your hips in just the right way. It’s a good hair day. It’s shiny and your part isn’t being weird. You chew on your straw and look up and some guy is staring. You don’t know him but without your glasses on you think he’s hot. He catches your smile like a fly ball.

He moves towards you, gliding through a swarm of girls in $78 Urban Outfitters dresses with plunging v-necks and hovering guys in oversized button-down shirts.


Killer line, right? You don’t remember what you talk about. You shout into one another’s ears until you were dancing or something like dancing. Body parts against other body parts. Bowie comes on. Everyone is shouting. THERE’S A STAAAAAARMAN. WAITING IN THE SKIES. HE’S TOLD US NOT TO BLOW IT.

You’re making out, or something like making out. Your lips are smooshing together and it’s wet and you’re tucked in the blanket of sweaty singles on the dance floor.

You’re spinning.

Let’s get out of here.

You lose your friends. He tugs your hand and your arm extends as he starts to walk towards the door. You follow because you’re tired of shouting in ears.

The pavement vibrates with the bass of the music. Your toes crunch in your heeled boots. The bouncer looks at you. You think about your empty stapler. He waves a cab.

Wait. You’re spinning. I don’t want to have sex. You’re just not in the mood. You’re drunk and tired and want a slice of pizza.

He says that’s fine. He says he’ll make a killer breakfast but he wants to make sure you get home safe and why aren’t you wearing a coat? You must be freezing.

He pays for the cab. You knew he would.

You’re in his apartment. You wonder what his job is that his apartment is so nice and also isn’t it weird that he has a dog? She is tiny with sharp nails.

You drink tap water.

iPhone says it’s 3:39am. You just want to sleep.

When you wake up, you’re bathed in sunlight. You check your phone. 8:17am.

You find your skirt. Your bra and your top. Your tights are laddered. You pry your underwear from the torn fabric, which are now hardened in the crotch. It grosses you out so you leave them on the floor with your torn tights. You carry your boots in your hand, avoiding the wooden heels rapping on the uncarpeted hardwood.

As to not make a sound as you exit, undisrupted.

You know you fucked him. You know that you didn’t want to. You remember it, you hadn’t fully blacked out. It was fine. But he wouldn’t stop kissing you. You just wanted to sleep. You felt his hard-on pressing into your ass, him rotating his pelvis ever so slightly, as if you wouldn’t notice. Guys can be such idiots. He wouldn’t stop kissing you. You just wanted to sleep. His arm wrapped around you affectionately and his fingers grazed your clit. He felt the warmth, the wetness. You just wanted to sleep.

You march up 2nd Avenue. Sixty blocks in shattering daylight without tights or underwear. It’s March and you’re lucky that it’s a good March day and not a wintery March day. You tell yourself that it didn’t happen if you don’t tell anyone it happened. It doesn’t count. Are you even still counting?

You make excuses. A new excuse every couple of blocks. You tell yourself,

He was hot.

You wouldn’t have been able to afford a cab home last night.

You missed the feeling of attention.

His sheets were orange, the same color as your middle school soccer team. He didn’t have a comforter, even though it was winter. His walls were bare and all of his shoes were lined neatly along the floor beside the door frame.

You remember when he climbed on top of you. His tuft of armpit hair hovered near your face, though it didn’t smell. You turned over before he put his dick inside you. You didn’t want to look at him. You didn’t want to kiss him. You just wanted to sleep.

His grunts were like a metronome, poking at your silence. You didn’t respond. There was no ‘fuck me harder’ or ‘oh baby’ or ‘you like that?’ or ‘yes’ / ‘yes’ / ‘yes.’ You rubbed your clit furiously. His grunting crescendoed. You rubbed your clit desperately. You remembered your empty stapler. He stopped, so you did too.

Did you finish? Guys can be such idiots.

You run out of excuses when you get home. You walk up the 63 stairs to your apartment and you make a cup of coffee and boil an egg. You check your phone. Your friend texted you. Where’d you end up last night?

You crawl into your sun-drenched bed, splay yourself atop your mattress beneath a wall of postcards and photographs. You smile at the pigeons on your fire escape, and you wonder if they return each day or if a new flock appears. You wouldn’t be able to tell. You open your laptop and start an episode of West Wing.

You write a post-it and stick it on the wall behind you: Buy Tights.

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