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It’s 2, maybe 3 o’clock in the morning. We met at a sports bar a few hours ago. Generally speaking, I don’t like to frequent sports bars because the clientele at these kind of places — the screaming, the high fiving, the toxic masculinity — it’s all very disgusting to me. But she seems nice enough and I’m feeling bad about myself so I ask her to come home. Stephanie, Sarah, Sydney, maybe? I can’t remember her name but I know it starts with an S. Honestly, I don’t really care to learn it.
I’m watching her smoke a joint in my bed. The visual of this is cool and all – a half-naked woman lying in bed with you is always going to be, objectively speaking, one of the coolest things in the world. She looks good, the light from my bedside table hitting her face just so, smoke plumes billowing out of her mouth, rising up to the ceiling of my room and dissipating. Everyone looks cooler with smoke coming out of their mouth, it’s a fact.
But all I can think about as I sit there watching her smoke is how there isn’t an ashtray in my apartment and there’s nothing close enough nearby in my bedroom for her to ash on.
I’m thinking about how if she takes one more drag off of that thing she’s going to get smelly ash all over my freshly washed linens. They’re not Egyptian cotton or anything, but I just bought them and I don’t feel like taking them off to put them in the wash this late at night and digging through the very back of my closet to get the spare set.
I don’t want to seem like one of those uptight stiffs who cares about something as material as bed sheets so I don’t say anything.
She eventually spills ash exactly where I thought she would, and I can’t believe I’m saying it but the words come out anyways one after another — “Oh, don’t worry about it. I don’t even like these sheets.” But I do like those sheets. I ask her if she wants to stay over but she says she wants to sleep in her own bed tonight. And why wouldn’t she? She just sullied my perfectly clean bedsheets with disgusting ash. Even I don’t want to sleep in my bed tonight.
20 or 30 minutes later when she’s getting dressed and walking out of my front door I’m thinking that this is probably the last I’ll be seeing of Shelly or Sophia or Samantha. Not because I don’t like her. Not because I didn’t have fun. But because I don’t think I can associate myself with someone who has so little disregard for other people’s sheets. She didn’t even think about getting up to ash her puny little joint on a plate in the kitchen sink or anything. She just let it happen.
You think you know someone after a few hours of talking to them but you don’t. People suck. And now I’m back in my apartment, stripping my bed, throwing the dirty sheets in the wash and shaking my head, unable to comprehend how anyone could be this inconsiderate. .