The restaurant has wooden floors and mirrors behind the bar. It’s full, but politely so. We sit at the bar and I ask why we never sit in a booth. Hector says this is easier. He orders something minty to drink and I ask for gin and vermouth. Why is there a baseball game on? I’d like to drop my face on the bar and let the blood slowly draw away from my nose, down to the other patrons, drip some and pool to a puddle below my stool. I grab the menu. I shake my head. Snails and gizzards and cracklings and what the fuck is a date and why is it wrapped in bacon and stuffed with bleu cheese? Do you have ranch dressing? Of course not. Every place Hector wants to go to is too good to have ranch dressing or salt n pepper and let’s talk about sex. Fuck me. From behind.
Our drinks come and his is manlier than mine. I try it and cough a little. What is that? Martini? Yeah. I’m hungry. Why do you like me? Because you’re fucking weird. I like you. I know. Hector asks me to go to Los Angeles with him and I stretch my lips across my face like a smile and say maybe. The bartender takes our food order and I get the only thing I recognize and he gets the steamed escargot. When it comes, Hector asks me to try it. I say no. Please? No. This continues and I get frustrated. I want to leave. I want to drop my face on the bar and break my teeth, force them into my gums and pucker my nose in on itself, piercing my brain. Hector says if I don’t eat one then he’ll never be mine. I laugh and say we’re now officially wasting each other’s time.
I catch myself in the mirror, where two panes come together, and I look crooked, deformed, demonic, and utterly suave. Black leather jacket. Grey button-up shirt. Black herringbone tie. Stubble. How could he not want me? He cuts a snail in half and says to try that much. I tell him splitting it apart doesn’t help. I think about leaving and I start thinking about what I’m gonna say, ‘cause I have to say something. Or would it be better to walk out without saying anything? Not even a glance at him. Leave, man. Get up.
The bald man in the cowboy suit next to me leans in and says something about the game. I say something back to prove I am a man and I know sports and stuff. Then Hector and the bald man talk with me in the middle feeling suddenly awkward, but watching this scene in the mirror. Hector likes the bald man’s ambition and his watch and how he speaks four languages. I notice his discolored teeth and beady little eyes. Hector says he’s moving to Los Angeles, the bald man asks when, Hector says March, the bald man says he should be out there then. I say we should get goin’. I finish my drink and don’t take another. Look at Hector, look at the bald man, the game, the condensation ring, the mirror, me. What the hell happened? Heavy sigh, noticeable. Hector leans to my ear, You gonna fuck me when we get home? You gonna leave your clothes on? If you want. Maybe. You wanna go? Yeah.
I pay and in the taxi, Hector asks if I want road-head and I say no and ask the taxi driver to turn the radio up. I’m hard but we’re almost home. Up the stairs, to the bedroom, push the blankets aside. I fuck Hector bent over and I pull and push into him, using his hips like handles. Hector moans and sighs and whimpers and tells me to lie on my back. Tells me not to move. He fucks hard, twists and grinding but changes his mind and bends over in front of me, ass spread. Fuck me ‘til you come. I tease then give it then take it then give it deeper, taking Hector to the furthest until I have to pull out and empty onto him, weakened as steam in cold night air. I like you. I know. I mean, I like you a lot. I like you too. But why, though?