It’s a Wednesday night and I have the day off tomorrow. A girlfriend of mine comes to stay the night from a nearby town. She’s a teacher, and so she is on winter holidays, meaning tonight we can afford to risk hangovers. After some martini catch up we head to one of my favourite dive bars. It’s about 10-1030 when we arrive, and the tiny bar is pretty full. We start a tab, grab a few drinks, a bucket of peanuts, and squish into booth seats between a couple making out, and a large group of people.
We are in conversation when we are interrupted by an engineer who describes himself as, ‘ten beers drunk,’ and he asks to sit with us. His friend isn’t long behind and tries to direct him elsewhere, but eventually they join us for some uncomfortable conversation. They’re nice, but one has a girlfriend, and we’re not interested. Eventually, they go. Later, after politely turning down a drunk chef, he describes us as, ‘his last resort, anyway.’ Sweet. We get more drinks, and move seats to an empty table across the room. We get comfy in the booths and talk about out what’s new, what’s old, and what maybe will be one day. We’re finishing up our drinks and getting ready to go when in comes a Greek god.
From behind he is Channing Tatum. He is so gorgeous. He’s wearing a sweater, a toque, perfect fitting jeans, and hipster boots. We both notice him, and declare him too hot to engage with. He ping pongs around for a while, and spends a lot of time standing near our table, but close to the bar. Out of no where he turns around and asks, “do you mind if I sit with you girls?” We do not mind.
Pretend Channing Tatum is lovely. He used to be a professional golfer when he lived in Victoria, but has now moved to Ottawa where he works for the government doing something secret-ish with some intelligence something, I don’t know. I’m drunk enough to say, “I don’t believe you,” several times and he tells me I am, “the worst” several times back. I figure he’s too attractive to be interested in me, so I don’t have anything to lose. He’s 32. Married once for four years, no kids. Gorgeous. Did I mention he is beautiful? He makes conversation with us equally, and after a half an hour or so he invites his other two friends over. They’re both cute, and they seem nice, but Channing is a charismatic gun show. He pulls focus like a hot cult leader. There is a lot of friendly banter until all the sudden the bar lights are on. At the end of the night there is the exchanging of phone numbers with the promise to play Catan the next day. My friend and I jump into a cab, and (he’ll later tell me) he is surprised when we leave. My friend tells me at a point in the conversation he looked over at her and mouthed, “I like her.”
We’re in the cab home when he texts me to reiterate that I am, “the worst.” I text back, “miss me already?” He replies, “side note you are super incredibly cute and I wish you were here with me right now.” Because it’s getting near 230, and we’re ‘saucy’ drunk, (as he describes it) when he turns the conversation sexual we get down to brass tacks quickly. My friend who is staying on my futon gives her blessing to have to listen to other people have sex, and I find myself in the bath rushing to shave my legs. Then, what seems like five minutes later, he’s buzzing in. My heart is pounding as he walks from the front door to our suite on the second floor. He opens the door and says, “I have been waiting to do this since the second I saw you,” and kisses me.
He is a walking muscle. He’s made of granite. He’s so strong. He picks me up and pulls me onto his lap facing him. From then on we are tangled together until 1030, and I’m not sure if we even sleep. When we try to sleep, he spoons me, and it wakes us both back up, and we find each other again. He is a generous and kind partner. He asks me constantly, “Is this okay?,” “What do you like?,” “Can I…,” and, “How can it be better for you?” Even in our down minutes, between hours enjoying being squished up, he is passionate. He treats my body like it’s an honour to be in it’s presence. He calls me beautiful repeatedly. He runs his fingers through my hair, and holds my head. He kisses and rubs my back. He talks about women with the up most respect. When I express my gratitude he says, “isn’t this what your boyfriends do for you?” And I feel strange saying no. Channing tells me I deserve to be with a man who kisses the back of neck until I fall asleep. Do I? For a brief second I think about the drift racer who kissed my neck just over a week ago.
We both know this will likely be our only night together. Graciously he tells me if he lived here he’d love to take me out properly. I don’t know if anything he says is true, because I don’t know him. I do know that he is the only man who has said, ‘make love,’ that hasn’t made me gag. When he says it there is a sincerity my ear hasn’t caught before. Channing has shown me, at 27, what it feels like to be desired, appreciated, and satisfied, if only for a brief moment. Was it supposed to take this long? Can that kind of sincerity come so quickly and be so temporary? I won’t ever make Channing dinner on his birthday, but I know I don’t want be making dinner anymore for men on their birthdays, who don’t make me feel like I can sit in bed naked in daylight.
After 7 hours of enjoying him I am depleted, exhausted, and satisfied. For the first time in years I feel seen. I walk him to the door and he puts on his jacket and boots. He presses his entire clothed body against my naked one and he kisses me goodbye. I shower and go back to bed with my hair still pulled up on top of my head. I think about the drift racer from Christmas time, and resist texting him. I wonder who he woke up with today. I wonder if he kissed the back of her neck.