When I met Reggie at an Upper East Side sports bar I was looking for a big, bulky man’s man to throw my back out. Tired of sissies and artists, I longed for a simple bro who wouldn’t sneer through his monocle at my book collection or give me bedtime pop quizzes about indie film directors. This guy needn’t search for soul-fulfilling inspiration beyond a warm stool seat at McFadden’s, and the only existential malcontent he suffered was when the Jets lost, which they did on this particular Sunday. Horribly.
I noticed Reggie immediately — it was the end of the game and he was red-faced and garbling obscenities at the screen. He looked a little like a dirty Ewan McGregor — if Mr. McGregor would let Bud Light dribble down a hot wing-stained mouth, that is.
I sidled next to him and nailed down a date for the following evening. In his hood, he said, “something low-key.” The prospect made me feel dizzy and nervous.
Reggie was something new for me. My last boyfriend fashioned himself as the modern-day Andy Warhol, only slightly more heterosexual.
Reggie was something new for me. My last boyfriend fashioned himself as the modern-day Andy Warhol, only slightly more heterosexual. I never felt my shoes, neighborhood or appetizer preference was stylish enough. The guy before him dumped me when he decided to embark on a three-month abstinent “Artist Date” to India.
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But that was all in my past. My present would be full of fantasy football leagues, “Family Guy” reruns and (hopefully) lots (and lots) of sex.
That following Tuesday, Reggie opened the door looking cleaned up in a crisp cardigan and black slacks. His apartment was immaculately scrubbed and furnished entirely from Ikea. His bookcase was barren and SportsCenter blinked from behind.
This was going to be great.
Our date included steak at a pub down the block from his apartment and pool at a dive bar. He wanted Jaeger shots and later that night grabbed my ass and gave me a sloppy Golden Retriever-like kiss. It was cute and boorish. We began seeing each other once a week, but Reggie got skittish every time I tried to inch my jeans off. I’d outfit myself in the sexiest underthings only to be ushered out of his bed and shooed home with complaints of a “massive headache” or “big meetings tomorrow.”
Alcohol has a way of making pants fall off and stay off, so I vowed to get him very drunk on our next date.
So on a balmy Saturday night I suggested we pack ourselves into some loud Meatpacking District club-thing and down vodka drinks and tequila shots. Reggie obliged and danced poorly to Daft Punk and we embarrassed ourselves in a photo booth until I dragged him to a cab, pawing and biting his earlobes.
“Take your panties off,” he whispered, tracing his fingers down my thigh.
I slipped my purple lace thong off and started kissing his neck.
“Give them to me,” he said. “Please.”
Reggie placed the underwear in his pocket and dazed out the window cooly. He was suddenly distant and eerily serious.
Once at his apartment I led him to the bedroom and positioned myself on the bed, hiking my skirt up. While making intense eye contact, Reggie took my underwear out of his pocket and thumbed the lace.
“I really love this color,” he said, unbuckling his pants. “May I try them on?”
I watched his muscular legs step out of his pants and into my underwear. Stone-faced, he pulled up the panties and examined himself in the full-length mirror. His torso was toned and shaved, he adjusted the elastic sides up, then down, craning his neck to get a good look at his backside. His eyes lit up.
“They’re a little small. But I like them,” he grinned. “Do you like me in these?”
He joined me on the bed and I caught a glimpse of his furry stomach grazing the lilac-colored triangle between his legs. I tried to pull them off, but he stopped me.
“No. I want to keep them on,” he said and flipped over to his stomach. “Do you have any lip gloss or lipstick?”
Before I could answer he clenched and arched his backside.
“Write something nasty and naughty,” he barked as he moved into an all-fours position. “On my ass. It will turn me on.”
Fueled by cheap tequila, I grabbed a red lipstick tube from my purse. Careful not to muddy the purple string tucked in his crevice, I began to scrawl.
“Melissa’s bitch!!!” I wrote in childlike letters. “Melissa’s nasty sex slave!!!!!!”
Disappointed and annoyed, he demanded I be more creative and think a little more outside the box for this assignment.
“Aren’t you, like, a copy person or something?” he said, reclaiming the essence of the bumbling simpleton who had beguiled me only a few weeks earlier.
I fashioned his ass and back as a makeshift bathroom wall, brainstormed some expletives about our body parts and what we could do with them, throwing in some four-letter curse words. Abashed, he leapt up to examine the scribbles.
“I like that you like my quirks.” His eyes twinkled, a smile stretched across his face. “I’m normally too shy to show women this.”
With that he hopped into the shower and I stood fully clothed with an open tube of red lipstick in my hand.
He emerged from the bathroom in a robe and curtly informed me that his mother was visiting and he had to be at Grand Central the next morning at 8:30 a.m. sharp for a goodbye breakfast.
“I need to crash,” he said, barely looking at me as he folded some clothes on his dresser. “Tonight was a lot of fun.”
On the subway home that evening I watched Manhattan turn to Brooklyn and marveled at the swaying trees in the late summer breeze as I strolled to my the door of my apartment.
It wasn’t until the following week that I finally heard from him and we exchanged a string of pleasantries. Neither one of us made plans to see each other again, and the final swan song to our union, if you will, culminated with five words:
“Yes, you can keep them.”