The sound of Adhan goads me into wakefulness. But once my slits are open and I see the naked figure lying next to me undisturbed, I sense the cheerfulness of pious Beirut hiding behind the colorless drapes. I’m almost grateful I’m here, you know? The aroma of sex and sweat is now even more distinguishable—it’s virtually suffocating. The bedroom, dim and gray, silently listens to the morning chants. It cleanses itself from the ineffable deeds that occurred within its four walls; it begs for forgiveness on behalf of those who are unapologetic.

It happened randomly. I remember not wanting to be here at all. But here I am. I received an invitation—a booty call—and I duly obliged. I made sure to tell my mother that I’m not sleeping home tonight. Of course, I’m sleeping over at my friend’s place. And yes, she knows him and has his number. Just in case, of course.

I made sure I told my friend about the plan that was never going to happen. “Have fun!” he texted back. And so I did.

The stranger shifts to the other side. I contemplate his naked back, from head to toe. His hair, damp and oily from all the sweat he produced, is shapeless. I wouldn’t mind running my hands through them. His arms are thrown underneath the pillow, cradling his head between them. He’s not as hairy as I thought he would be. His entire back and his tight buttocks are hairless and smooth. I envy him for that. Why do I have to go through the pain of shaving and he doesn’t?  I pushed the thought away since it’s helpless. My gaze then falls on his legs, and oh, what a sight… Hairy, bulky, strong, and coiled around mine. I know I’m too small for him, and I actually like it. I rest the back of my feet on one of his; and occasionally, just occasionally, he moves his toes, tickling me. He does it on purpose, I know. I know because he moans every time I press my cold feet against his.

I love this stranger. I’m not in love with him, no. But I love his existence. My mind wanders off and makes up unfathomable scenarios—scenarios that will certainly never happen. What if we were boyfriends? What if this develops into something? Will I still want to be with him if I get to know him intimately? Will I get bored and fuck it up like my last relationships? Will the breakup be nasty?  I’m just being silly, aren’t I? I hate myself for thinking that way.

So this is what it feels like, being queer in Beirut. I look to my right and stare at the book lying on the nightstand. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I have a sudden urge to grab the book and tiptoe my way to the living room where I can read in peace. But of course, I’m not going to do that. I don’t want to disturb the peaceful figure rhythmically breathing next to me, fast asleep.

I know I exhausted him, despite my telling him that I wasn’t up for anything too wild. I ended up losing myself in his neck, savoring every last inch of skin my mouth can get to. I licked him up, licked him good. I felt like a cat at some point. I gave him a bath with my saliva, relishing the salty sweat that made his skin shine. I seized both his hands and held them securely over his head before I nibbled on his collarbone. I didn’t want to give him any love-bites, so I traced his skin with my tongue all the way up to his ears. His earlobes were squishy and soft. I bit them with all my might and tenderness. Our manhoods were rubbing against each other as I sank my teeth into his left nipple and sucked mercilessly. I should stop here, I think.

Let’s just say, he came three times that night.

He’s awake now, awake and looking at me with a devilish smirk. I kiss his cheek and get out of bed gingerly. It feels nice to release myself from the sticky bed sheets. After all, I’m not the one who’s going to change them. I gather my clothes from the floor and wear them listlessly. I look back at him. He’s fast asleep again. How lucky… I envy him for the second time. I sling my backpack over my left shoulder and silently leave the house.

I know he’s not going to text me or say anything about what happened, about how amazing it felt. But I don’t think I mind it… or even care that much. I had fun and it’s over now. I hope the next person will be as good, though.

I guess this is why I find myself unable to commit myself to anyone. Do I really want to let go of this bittersweet feeling, a feeling that makes me anxious and ecstatic at the same time?

I’m the lady in red, the other one, the debauched mistress. And goddamn it, there’s plenty of fish in the sea. And I’m the fisherman. After all, this is Beirut. This is where all the good-looking, eligible men come for a good time, for half hours of pleasures. What happens in Beirut stays in Beirut.

As I make my way home, I decide to start a blog. I mean, why not? What’s to lose? This should not go unnoticed.

And God, do I need a shower.



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