He’s networking. Handshakes, head shakes, my legs shake. I watch his serious face; he’ll smile at me next. I love that shirt he’s wearing. Reminds me of when we met. Reminds me of what is yet to come. I pressed it for him. He isn’t into PDA; but he is into private displays of affection when the curtains are drawn. Or the blinds pulled. Or the lights are out. He’s private like that. I like the stormy sea stomach I get these days. He likes when we share those ‘do I know you?’ smiles across spaces that are full of people who are acquaintances of us both; and he likes quiet spaces where we can hear each other talk – where we tell about growing up differently: like, he had a dog who was killed in an accident with the toaster; I couldn’t top that. My goldfish lived for twenty years, upgrading from tank to tank to tank. He got that scar from trying to fly when he was five. I bet he was such a cute little boychild. I fell head first down that hill where the tourists all go now. I picked the stones from my knees for an hour. I’ve no scars to show. He’s never had the chicken pox. I always get tonsillitis, still. I don’t know if he’s ever had tonsillitis – he’s always sucking mints – does this stop sore throats? He likes to bring me to restaurants in the next town, good reviews, no interruptions. He likes to have some privacy. He likes dark places where no one can see us, when the curtains are drawn. Bars where we can chat, being strangers to each other in company. He likes going to the movies, and the theatre, and to empty car parks, and going home. Home. Hmmmmmmmmm. He likes being beside a fire with a decent whiskey. Earthy. He likes to bring me a bottle duty free. It’s so tempting to drink alone. But I don’t. That’s one long slippery slope and we all know where that goes. He likes that I Clean Up before he arrives, just call me Lucy. He loves Lucy. He likes that I know that I will sell what I sold: His WLTM. Funny; Kind; Sexy; Good Listener. I will be Perfect; perfumed, non-complaining, made up with that bed-head he likes, that Librarian-let-loose-look that screams… Screams! Available never tired witty Spontaneously… *insert sigh
…in stockings, thigh high boots, heel wearing – not him. Me. Always me. He stays clean shaven, after-shave sweet, showered, fresh collared. The lies gave me tonsillitis; saying nothing hurts like hell and closes up my throat so hard, like that time he held my neck tight and I came like never before…I…I… ** insert moan because sweet Jesus this will be the undoing of me. I have never done that with anyone, ev-er. I don’t know if I ever will do it again… I dunno if I wanted it, what I want. What I would ever want. It felt good though to have the pain outside instead of in. I’ll moan for him to do it again. He likes to make me beg. This is why he likes me. She doesn’t do this, does she? I’ve met her and she’s too lovely. She likes me too. I have tonsillitis again. I should have them removed.
Amy Gaffney came to writing and university later than she would have liked to. She is from Kildare and is a recent graduate of UCD’s Creative Writing MA where she was co-editor in chief of the HCE Review. Her poetry has been publishedin Poetry Ireland Review. Amy’s current research topic explores how the human condition has been affected by the force of the internet. She is also interested in exploring the notion of the Irish Mammy and what qualifies a woman to be considered such an entity