In early 1998 I was living in Southgate, MI - just south of Detroit - with my boyfriend at the time. Things were completely out of control. He had been cheating on me, and I was in the process of getting up the nerve to kick him out. Lee moved into an apartment about a mile away from me, but she never let me know that she was doing it. One day she was just there, within walking distance instead of 30 miles away.

We went out dancing on the weekends, and played casino and talked about our jobs and respective love lives. She was getting ready to go to graduate school, and so we drove down to Cincinnati to check out one of the schools she was interested in. While we were there, we went out dancing. We were both blonde, young, and mostly available. There was a guy at the bar wearing a black polo shirt that said "Structure Underwear Model Contest Finalist" or something very similar. This beefy underwear dude with his shifty eyes started to dance with me. I begged off, telling him to go dance with my friend. Lee was there in a heartbeat with her pouty lips and her textured tights, dancing, laughing and flirting.

I wandered off to the edges of the bar, where tables were set up that nobody was sitting at. There were Jets to Brazil and Promise Ring fliers posted to the walls. I tore one of the Promise Ring fliers down. I was going to give it to my emo soon to be ex, some sort of a gesture to let him know I was still cool. I was distressed by him, and had no desire to hook up with anyone else. The lights started to come up in the bar, and us twenty somethings all crammed ourselves through the corridor out into the winter night. I caught up with Lee, who was hanging on the underwear guy - David.

In the streetlight, he was beefier, and I could honestly believe the underwear model schtick. He was a traditionally attractive guy, but he had a shifty face. He reminded me of a second string quarterback. Something about him was not on the level. Whatever it was, Lee didn't see it. The three of us walked back to the car, and Lee stood talking to David for what felt like hours. I was drunk, spinning, and bored. I wanted to be back in Michigan, arguing, fucking, crying with my boyfriend. After the eternity, Lee came back to the car from David's SUV. I was sitting in my parka, nearly asleep and feeling tilted from a couple too many beers.

"Can you drive back to the hotel?"

Drunk and irritated, I felt I didn't have a choice. Lee was going to go and fuck this guy, and leave me to fend for myself. I took her keys. She ran back to the SUV and climbed in with the beef and they sped off. I was left in her Escort. It was a stick. I did not know how to drive a stick, and Lee knew it. I stalled and ground the gears, weaving my way back to the hotel that Lee's mother had paid for us to stay in. I fell into bed without taking my coat off, smelling that dirty floor cigarette bar stink that had permeated my clothes.

The door to the hotel room rattled open around 9:00 am, and Lee sunshined her way into the room. Phenomenal - never better - so in tune with my needs - on all fours - like a fucking animal - her sexual singsong echoing in my head while I tried to wake up. It wasn't worth it to be pissed off. Feeling pathetic, I got up and cleaned up to get back to Detroit. On the way home, we listened to all the hits of the 80s. Lee's favorite band was Journey, and she took it as a good omen every time she heard one of their songs on the radio. Separate Ways blaring out of the shitty speakers: "I love Cincinnati."

Lee Stories

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