I met him at Mr. Binky’s Adult Superstore. I worked there at the time. He wasn’t bad-looking and I knew he wasn’t that gay or that perverted, because of the things he bought. We didn’t say much to each other while I rang him up; men were always shy with me in that store. I wrote my phone number on his receipt and handed it to him and smiled. I was shameless back then.
He called me the next day and we agreed to meet. I was dog-sitting for my boss. My boss was a horrible man: fat, immoral, translucent. But he had a nice house with a hot tub and everything.
“Come by. He’s got a hot tub.”
I spent the next couple hours grooming myself and getting drunk. I was sick all the time back then.
He came to the door with a bottle of wine and some flowers that looked pretty nice. Marigolds I think it was? I’m pretty sure.
We hung out on the deck and drank the wine and made conversation. He offered me a cigarette but I said no. Back then I thought it was ugly when women smoked. Haha. He told me about how he used to be a musician, a serious musician, in a band and everything. But he had to quit the band after he contracted hand, foot and mouth disease.
“What kinda disease is that?” I asked.
He started explaining that it was a rash you got all over your hands, feet and mouth and that usually little kids got it so it was pretty unusual that he got it.
“Yuck,” I said.
“It’s a virus,” he explained, before inhaling. He seemed embarrassed then, like he regretted mentioning it. I know I would have regretted mentioning something like that on a first date. His embarrassment was charming.
There was a lull in the conversation, which was going pretty good before he brought up that disease. Silence was something I couldn’t stand back then.
“How about we get in the hot tub?” I proposed. It used to be so easy. I never even tried.
He agreed and went to his car to get his swim trunks. I went and put on my bikini.
He was gone for a while and I remember walking over to the window to see if he’d driven off but he was just digging through his trunk and it looked like he had a lot of shit in there.
Eventually he came back and we went into the backyard. I hadn’t used the hot tub yet because there had been a lot of lightning storms that summer. I pulled the tarp off, unsure of how hot tubs worked.
“There’s dead frogs in there. Seriously, there’s a bunch of dead frogs in it. Look.” He couldn’t believe it.
I squinted and saw that there were dead frogs in the hot tub. A lot of them.
“How the hell did they get in there?” I said.
“I don’t know. But there’s no way I’m getting in there.”
He was in a state of disbelief about those damn frogs.
“No way,” he said again.
“You’re so boring,” I think I said.
I pushed the dead frogs out of the way and climbed in, laughing. The water was cold.
“Shit! It’s cold.” I told him.
I climbed out, still laughing. I dried off and then we put on a record. I decided we should have sex.
We had sex and we had a good time. His hesitation was charming. He approached everything with a fidget. I could tell he was the kind of man who needed a lot to drink before he’d dance.
I saw him a few more times.
But then I called him up one day, at my real house on my real phone.
“Hey.” I said.
“Hi,” he said.
“Remember that disease I mentioned?”
“You know, the reason I had to quit my band and everything?”
“Yes, I remember.”
“Well, it came back so I won’t be able to see you for a little while.”
I found out it was really unlikely for someone to get that disease more than once, especially since he was an adult. I’m no dummy, even back then. And besides, like most diseases, if you did get it again the symptoms wouldn’t be all that serious. Liar.