Missed Connection

Missed Connection

Wednesday, 3 a.m., the Tenderloin, corner of Jones & Ellis St., outside Jonell’s Bar.

You: 20-something, male, about 6 feet tall, broad shoulders, well built, big fist, right-handed, strong silent type. You wore jeans that showed off your butt and a tight white t-shirt. Cute AF.

Me: Whiny, 50-something, hundred ninety pounds (really trying to lose a few), thinning brown hair, Jewish lawyer, wore a Calvin Klein suit, no tie. You can call me Daddy.

It happened fast and then you drove off. I didn’t even get your name. I’ve played our too-brief encounter over and over in my mind.

I was a little tipsy, possibly not on my best behavior. My girlfriend and I were talking. She said I was yelling. Maybe I was. It’s hard to remember.

You stopped your car, jumped out, left the engine running. My insides vibrated to the bass-heavy strains blasting from the radio. You asked my girlfriend if she was okay.

“No,” she said.

I think she was as surprised as I was by what happened next. You moved closer and reached out. I didn’t see it coming. I felt your touch on my left cheek.

One second, I was just standing there. The next, I was experiencing intense sensations. Then you were gone. Probably forever.

“You deserved that,” my girlfriend said. I don’t think she thought you were my type.

It was my first time. Could you tell? I’m sure it wasn’t your first time. I think you’re good at it. You knew how to use your hands, where to connect with me, how to make me feel that certain way.

You left me with a confusing mosh pit of emotions. I think about it often, especially when I chew food or sleep on that side.

Was it a dream or did it really happen? The only keepsake I have is a big bruise. That was awkward. I was supposed to be working late that night. Again. My secret’s safe, I hope, under a layer of concealer.

Hard to believe but nothing like that’s ever happened to me. Maybe once, with little Jimmy, but that doesn’t count. We were in the third grade, and it happened on the playground during recess. You opened a new world for me. This is corny, I know, but that night, you made me a man.

You probably don’t even read Craigslist, but if you do, please contact me. I’d like to meet, explore these sensual feelings. I don’t know how I could thank you. Just in case, I’ve been working out with the punching bag at Gold’s Gym.


About the Author

DAVID NEWDORF is a journalist turned lawyer turned fiction writer living in Oakland CA. His fiction explores themes of intergenerational trauma and dysfunctional familial or intimate relationships. He studied writing at the University of California, Berkeley, Columbia School of Journalism, UCLA Extension Writer's Program, and the Lighthouse Writers Workshop. His stories have been featured (or are forthcoming) in Constellations: A Journal of Poetry and Fiction (Vol. 12), Lit Camp/Lit Night reading series (San Francisco), Running Wild Anthology of Short Stories (Vol. 7), and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. He is writing his first novel. @David_Newdorf on Twitter @davidnewdorf on IG.


Photo by Quinn Buffing on Unsplash