Entertainment Copy Editor Emilio Giron writes a series of Cuffing Season Chronicles from two fictional, though alarmingly accurate perspectives. Alone and fatefully seeking love in each other, the love life of these two characters are chronicled during the winter months. This short and fictional story is a follow-up to “The End of Cuffing Season.”
I wasn’t looking for anything or anyone—I was just trying to do me. You know? I was trying to be studious, or something like that. Hard-working. Nothing else mattered until ol’ girl walked by, looking like she was smuggling pillows underneath a tight skirt. I mean, it was enough to provoke a statue.That’s distraction! That’s a paralyzing thing.
We met at a mixer held at Restrepo’s apartment on Halloween. Everything we talked about was unimportant and forgettable. I’d like to think all we remembered was how we made each other feel… Anyway, it was about that time: the weather was changing, the darkness and cold in me spread like the creeping advent of autumn, and I was losing light with each passing day. My skin went from a sun-kissed olive cream to something lighter, pale really, a bitten complexion; and a pair of vampiric fangs were the only things I failed to develop.
I could tell you how Restrepo hooked me up, but it’d be factually untrue; and possibly, technically, true. Restrepo told me So-and-so was feeling me, and though she was a dusty catch, she was still a catch; but as I fished, if you follow me, things didn’t pan out as expected. My third-eye peeped the auras of a worthier prospect, and as the sound of So-and-so’s voice became inaudible, I focused my attention on the other visage, who’s glow pierced the huddle of dancing shadows.
She was direct, a brisk, cold direct, warming up only when she wasn’t repeatedly asking me if I was at the party with anyone else. She told me her name is Soraya and how she heard things about me, and how she let slip to the far reaches of my circle of friends that she had her eye on me for some time. I didn’t believe her, but I was impressed—she was pulling me in. Later, we went to her place. She drove us in her brand-new Mercedes-Benz, that I was goddamn sure wasn’t hers. The windows were tinted and the seats reclined to sexual levels. We were creeping. Her place was far, but she drove quickly, craning her neck around every street corner before turning. Something bothered me. I knew this was easy.
“That’s a great deal,” Restrepo admitted. A huge one. There wasn’t much to this thing. We hollowed out a groove. “Lazro? Cuffing season’s started early for you.”
Soraya brought him to her room once, and knew she wasn’t going to do that again. That decision was made by the time he sat in her car. Firstly, she thought, this thing wasn’t supposed to flourish. She doesn’t think it’s serious, and as far as she knows, he doesn’t either. Also, as far as he knows, she’s single. Secondly, the point was to get off the climax she had reached not too long ago, a culmination of bubbling factors that bounced against the walls of her heart—such as, and among other things, a live-in cheater boyfriend dirtbag abroad, a despot who owned the bed she had recently besmirched with one, Lazro. There was a third thing, she thought. Whatever the point was, at this point, it has become pointedly unimportant.
Seated at the far end of a low-lit coffee shop on a poetry night with her not boyfriend, our fated couple toss each other through a labyrinth of questions in an effort to build upon the sands of their relationship, and instead, tumble upon the reality of their cosmetic scheme. They don’t know a damned thing about each other. Silence between poetic sets, they cramped between the corner they sat against and the married couple seated before them, whose merriment sold Lazro and Soraya every bit of substance.
Third thing, she thought.
“What do you think this is? What do you think we are?!”
Lazro was enchanted. To him, they were the morning after, the sleep in between things, and the party at night. They were the science of McConaughey’s Interstellar, remaining ageless as time went on. Soraya kept him warm. Lazro kept her busy. She gave him life in Elysium, and for her, he was a safe bet—a good man to have around while the worst of men was yet to come.
“Come here,” he says. Soraya doesn’t respond. He wonders at her silence, then turns in his bed to look through the window. It was light out, and the snow was melting. “Damn, looks like another snow day.”
If he told her to leave and go home, she would have never returned.
I’m sure the game was rigged. I’m sure I was doing what my father, and his fathers before him, was doing. I’m sure I was doing something that I thought was right for me. It felt good, to win. To forget everything else, and not be alone. To say whatever and feel good. I was her passing fancy, a fuck given when fucks were plenty. Now, she was a memory. A burning flash like a droplet of water to hot oil. I knew something was up, that she was partly with me, and that there wasn’t a thing I could do to pull her in wholly. I feel like I wasted time. Who was she, really?