The boy wore a Swatch and an oxford from Abercrombie. His jeans
were thin and light and his cologne was the same as her father’s, Grey
Flannel. A drugstore brand. As a child she thought it was debonair and
loved the pouch it came in. He was beautiful, the boy, white, clean-faced
Eurotrash. When he opened his mouth to speak, his accent was Australian, so naturally BRB worried he had HIV, because of his good-fuck
voice and how much he looked like he didn’t.
“Yes, I’m here alone,” she answered him. “Are you looking for some-
one to rape?”
“Christ,” the boy said. “I didn’t ask if you wuz ere alone. I said, How
“Oh,” BRB said. She liked it when boys made her feel stupid.
He bought them a round of buttery nipples. She could tell it wasn’t
sexual but something he actually enjoyed the taste of and ordered often.
He paid in cash, which broke her heart. They were around the same age,
midtwenties, but BRB felt everyone had to work for their money more
than she did.
What united them was that they weren’t empty. The boy, Justin, was
an ambulance driver somewhere near Bondi Beach. There was a bar in
Manhattan that BRB sometimes went to called Bondi Beach because she
always hoped to find an Australian guy to fall in love with. Instead she
would eat their signature burger with an egg yolk bleeding across a patty
of blue-brown beef and read a book.
Justin said “ambo drivah.” BRB imagined his silly white uniform;
then she erased that image and put him in a Carhartt coverall, grease-stained. She wished he were a poacher.
After they’d bumped and ground for several minutes while making
out, he leaned in close and told BRB he had a little sister who had just
She felt perfect that night, which meant that her
breasts inside the sundress were exploding against the
material and, further down, her waist was retreating
against the same, pulled inward, as if by her soul.