The bathroom light, my wrinkles grow. My lips are dry. My spirit low. I drank too much. My blush’s amiss. I just can’t hide this saggy Miss
Emma would like to write a pop song about what happened tonight, something with a taste of bubble gum and sorrow, a grotesque anthem to missed opportunities. Easy verses fill her head as she gropes along the edge of the tub searching for her contact lens case. Change the light bulb in the bathroom; get a bikini wax; buy sausages, dishwashing liquid, condoms - the list is scribbled in red chalk on the kitchen’s wall. Shit, I forgot, the light bulb. And where’s that fucking case? Emma’s big toe smashes against a chest of drawers. Snap. The pain travels straight up, through her belly - smothered in a pair of tights that are too tight - and finishes its course right in her tonsils. She lets out a curse.
A few hours back, I was all fresh and dandy
Smiling and chewing on pieces of candy
I had a date, I was singing a song
But I just didn’t know it was doomed all along.
Just a few hours ago, the wax jar was sizzling in the double boiler as Emma, with a delectable feeling of nervousness in her stomach, tied her T-shirt to clear her pubic hair. Her antique radio was sputtering popular Russian songs and a sweet, acrid smell wafted from the pot. The heavy mist of vapor pervading the kitchen protected her bare behind from the neighbors’ eyes. For the last few weeks, she had been hovering around the columnist like a bee around a jar of honey. She was now closing in on him in a slow spiralshaped fly. She knew that tonight, he would be hers.
No need to break the ice. For there’s no ice in sight.
We get along so well. You talk of you all night.
The mortgage that you took and your far away trips.
I don’t listen to you. I just stare at your lips
Emma dips the spatula in the wax jar, stirs again and again, then spreads the wax on the right side of her pubis. It burns - her abdomen contracts, she clenches her jaws. She applies the plastic band on the wax, feels her heart beat picking up. She’s waiting for the song’s chorus. 8 bars until the chorus, four, she takes a deep breath and tears off the band. She shivers a bit. The pain works its way in all directions, spreads through her vagina, hits her plexus. She’s tense and that brings back old resentments. As she applies a new coat of wax, she thinks of her father, of the way he raised his brow in scorn when he was pulling the band. The nerve endings are dulled by the repeated process and the pain gets less intense. The pain, now tolerable, turns into arousal. Tonight, she is going to fuck the columnist. Her skin is burning. A tiny drop of blood appears just near her slit, the trace of a stubborn hair. Emma’s hurting and her desire is now pressing.
We chatted so much I know all about you
Your parents, your fears and the chances you blew
My eyelids are heavy, I’m no longer horny
Our chat fades away in a cloud of old brandy.
Soon the sun will rise. Emma didn’t find her contact lenses case. So she sticks her lenses on the wall, and, in one single motion, takes off her skirt, tights and panties and makes a bunch of it all. Weakly, she pushes it with her foot in a dusty corner of the room and, freed from the constraint of her clothes, sits down on a formica stool. She runs a finger on her hairless groin and lets her head rest on the table. The columnist will never know she was ready. He will never suspect the sacrifice, the wax bands in the kitchen’s bin, the Russian pop songs, the sexy panties, the sore skin, the urgency of her desire. He was talkative and well groomed. He spoke elegantly and there was a kind of restrained grace in the way he put his hand on Emma’s arm whenever he was about to make a confidence or a joke. «I like talking with you,» he had said, smiling.
Emma stands up, her legs heavy from a night of drinking. On the stool, her vagina has left a little milky stain the shape of an almond.
The night has set on Moscow’s peaks
We’re drunk and rosy in our cheeks
I see your smile, I am prepared
But you don’t kiss, you just look scared
Chorus: I am the girl you like to chat with