At night she dreams of fucking other men. She picks them up at bars, or at the bookstore, in one dream while buying popsicles at Trader Joe’s. Always, they are immediately attracted to her wise wit and charming smile. They come over without much provocation. These men find her irresistible.
And with each thrust, as they tumble under her floral bed-sheets and exchange bite marks and giggles, she thinks of him, of the asshole who is likely at his place, solemnly sitting in his underwear eating ice-cream and watching late night television instead of calling her, or responding to her adoring emails, or thinking of her at all.
Or perhaps he is out with his brother, picking up other women.
As these dream men love her body she fitfully awakens with the knowledge that still, still she loves him. She never reaches climax. Instead, she wakes up frustrated and so very angry. She has visions of calling him and telling him off, and as her cheeks become wet and she covers her face with her sweaty palm she realizes that that particular confrontation will remain a dream.
Really, she does not want to fuck these fantasy men. She is not horny; she is furious. She wants to hurt him, to force him to care, and since sex with her is the one facet of herself to which he is consistently committed, she knows that the only way to affect him whatsoever would be for her to sleep with someone else. And even then, the likeliness of his heartache would be dubious.
So every night before bed she goes to bars, to bookstores, to clubs. Trader Joes, after all, is closed. She smiles at real men, men wearing ties, men wearing fedoras, men who might be lovely, fascinating individuals like her dream self. Sometimes, she even has a conversation with one or two of them. On the hard nights, as she finishes her second glass of red wine, one brave soul will ask for her number. When this happens, she closes her eyes for a solid second before opening them and gently, sadly shaking her head. She will go home alone, she will go to bed alone. She will dream alone and, as always, she will wake up alone.