map she tells you her sister just died

by Patricia Dale Lidis

Published in Issue No. 225 ~ February, 2016


She pours you a glass of red wine and tells you her sister just died. You’re surprised, shocked, you ask her how? Hit by a car, she says as she puts on some music. Just like that. Walking to a job interview, wearing her favorite strappy shoes coming out of her little apartment. They were my shoes, she says, but she was more petite. This apartment, she points at the brick walls around us, is bigger than anything she could ever afford. She looks down at her glass of wine and back up again, smiling from across the table. She tells you this is her favorite bottle of wine. It’s $10.75 and there’s a rooster on the bottle. Tastes more like juice than anything else. She says she doesn’t like any wine, but drinks it to look like a lady. She’d prefer to have a bottle of German wheat beer. But it’s heavy on her thighs and it reminds every man of what her mouth would look like on them. That’s why every time she drinks beer at the bar, the bar with all red walls and live Indian music, she makes sure not to wrap her lips around the bottle. It gives too much away, she tells you. She’ll try to conceal her tongue completely, until it looks like she’s water-falling it into her mouth and she has to give up the whole thing completely. Then she orders a glass of wine. She sips it like a kitten, letting her tongue help with the little drops that she might miss. Her mother always said that beer was for men, and wine for ladies. Bikes were for men as well, and roller blades for the ladies. You can’t be riding around town straddling something like a whore, you should be gliding across the air like an angel. Not that it made any difference anymore, her mother is dead. But it’s not that sad she reassures you, she had diabetes for most of her life and she had it coming.

She gets up to top you off and sits next to you, bringing her legs to her chest, letting you see between for a second, before sliding her skirt down. She’s not wearing anything underneath that little skirt of hers. She says you’re sweet, you’re a good person, she can tell. She kisses your lips and it feels good. She pauses and says that she hopes she’s not being too forward. She says her sister just died and she needs passion. She holds your arms with strength and that passion she was talking about and kisses you harder. You feel your teeth pressed to the inside of your lips. She is mothering, showing you where to put your hands. She’s nurturing, consoling you with every flick of her tongue. Her tongue whips into yours quickly, knowing where to stroke, and letting you reciprocate when you have the chance. The music stops and so does she.

She gets up to pick another song, and sits down again across from you. She asks if you have any siblings, and says that you’re not missing out on anything. A dog would do. She says she used to have a Neapolitan Mastiff growing up. Huge. Once, she was playing in the backyard in the summer and her neighbor came over to play with her. He must have approached her too fast because the dog came charging. The dog took a chunk out of his leg. Paul had to get stitches, she laughed, can you believe it? A dog was as good at protecting her as a sibling was. And more forgiving. If you have a backyard, she says, there’s no reason for you not to have a dog. You could have a small one, she says.

She gets up to switch the song, says that it’s too upbeat for good conversation, and sits back down next to you with the rooster bottle. She pours you some more, stopping a bit over the appropriate amount, and hands you the bottle to pour her some as well. It’s bad manners, she says, for a lady to pour her own drink. Another thing her mama taught her. She licks her lips after a sip, and says she’s embarrassed but asks you to check if her teeth are getting purple. She smiles and tells you that you’re sweet, and take care of her so well. She pushes her chest against yours and bites your lip. You taste metal. She puts her hand against your chest and pushes away as you kiss her back. She pulls you in again. She keeps doing this back and forth until she straddles your lap and lets you put your hands on her hips. You feel them move side to side to the beat of the music. She grinds her entire body into yours. She pets your head softly, as though telling you its okay to feel her this way. She slows down and just sits on you.

She asks you what your first sexual experience was, and laughs as if you told a joke, throwing her head back. She says she doesn’t know when hers was exactly, but there was a time when a bunch of kids were on the playground. They all took turns going down this huge, blue twisty slide. They were talking about how weird it was to dry-hump. They said they saw it in movies and it looked really funny. And about three of them just… humped each other on this blue slide still wearing all their clothes. She says she started getting really hot. Her face, arms, she was actually sweating, and couldn’t understand why. The kids were all laughing and having a good time. They all acted as if it wasn’t a big deal and she felt like she just saw something my dad would spank her for. They were just… humping each other on this slide, she says. She says she hasn’t thought about that in a long time. She says her face is getting hot again, and asks if you want another glass. She says she might buy a puppy at the shelter tomorrow as she opens another bottle.