Missed Connection

Missed Connection

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

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

Me: Whiny, 50-something male, 5′ 10″, 175 pounds (really want to lose a few), pale complexion, thinning brown hair, Jewish lawyer, wearing a blue Calvin Klein suit, no tie. You can call me Daddy.

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

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

You stopped your car, jumped out, and left the car door open. 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. She never suspected you were my type. You moved closer and reached out. I felt your touch on my left cheek.

As I said, I have zero experience with this type of thing, but I think you must be good at it. I didn’t see it coming. One second, I was just standing there. The next, I was experiencing intense sensations. Then you were gone. Probably forever. You left me with a confusing mosh pit of emotions. I’ll never be the same.

“You deserved that,” my girlfriend said after.

It was my first time. Could you tell?

I’m sure it wasn’t your first time. You knew how to use your hands, where to connect with my body, how to make me feel that certain way. I think about it often, especially when I chew food or sleep on my left side.

Was it a dream or did it really happen? The only keepsake you left me is a three-inch bruise. That is awkward. I was supposed to have been working late. Again. My secret’s safe, I hope, under a layer of concealer.

Hard to believe that at my age, nothing quite like this has ever happened to me before. Maybe once, with little Jimmy, but that doesn’t count. We were in the third grade, and it happened in a hidden corner of the playground during recess. You opened a new world for me. This is corny, I know, but you made me a man that night.

You probably don’t even read Craigslist, but if you do, please contact me. I would like to meet again to explore all these strange, sensual feelings. I don’t know how I could thank you. But 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. His stories explore 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 short stories appear in small press journals, including Constellations: A Journal of Poetry and Fiction (Vol. 12) and Running Wild Anthology of Short Stories (Vol. 7). This is his first appearance in BULL. He is writing his first novel.


Photo "Fight!" by Aislinn Ritchie from Flickr