have the credentials for the job, but Joe was the boss. In the interview she
knew he was already in love with her.
He was bald, overweight, red, smart. He never came on to her with
lust. Everything he did was motivated by love. BRB would try to explain
this to her husband later. BRB’s husband had never been obsessed with a
woman in the same way. He thought men like that were losers, weirdos.
He didn’t understand unrequited love. Her husband wanted her to see
Joe as the wolf that he was, someone who’d taken advantage of a girl
who’d lost her parents. “I wasn’t a girl,” BRB told him, thinking of all
the things she’d done with men, all the looks she’d given across bars.
How once she’d danced half-naked at Automatic Slim’s on the bar top,
wearing high heels, black thong panties, her navy suit pants piled in a
silky clump, absorbing a puddle of beer. “It doesn’t matter,” her husband
said. She loved that he saw her as a victim. It made her feel beautiful and
delicate. She didn’t tell him she’d sucked Joe’s dick like a porn star, that
she’d enjoyed feeling so violently desired. Because she knew Joe loved
her, sucking his dick like a porn star went beyond the casual stuff she
knew women did to be remembered. Being unbeatable in bed, on top of
all the other things she was to Joe, made her a small, young god.
It got ugly with Joe, of course. His obsession became unhealthy to
the point that he was willing to risk his job, his family. Predisposed to
drinking as he was, he became an unmitigated alcoholic. She caught him
outside her apartment on nights he was supposed to go home to the suburbs, waiting under the portico of her building for her to come home. She
broke it off with him, said she couldn’t do these things with a married
man, that she felt her father was watching. But really she only wanted
to fuck careless boys her age, good-looking WASPs from Connecticut,
Australians, Scots. She looked everywhere for Justins who wanted her
less than she wanted them. It was terrible because Joe started to pretend
he only loved her as a friend. Over drinks he would ask her how big another boy’s dick was. He would laugh about her thirst, would say things
like “One night with you and that boy is ruined.” The sad part was, BRB
didn’t think she was actually that good a lay. She knew girls who were.
The actual worst thing that Joe did was to teach her that she didn’t
need to take care of herself, that there would always be a poor fool
like him. She told her husband that, who did not seem to realize that,
good-looking though he might be, he was the new poor fool.
Then Joe tried to kill her. It didn’t work, obviously. He hadn’t really
meant to. She knew he couldn’t do it, that he loved her too much to live