Hetero

She poured the last several sips of wine down her throat and stared at the ceiling. The gentleman seemed nice enough in his well-fitting suit, but he didn’t seem to like her. His smile was plastic and conciliatory.

Desiree hadn’t been out in a while, certainly not on what one would call a date. She was out of practice. When conversation lulled, she couldn’t move on to the next topic, and she didn’t know what to do with her eyes. The restaurant had these lime green chandeliers that made the lighting seem tropical, and she knew them well now. They were too bright.

“Sorry to waste your time,” he said. She assured him that she was fine, but he went on. “No, you see, I told Joan I was hetero, but she never listens. You know Joan. I’m just saying, you seem nice and all, but it’s not going anywhere.”

Desiree nodded a few times, though she didn’t understand. “Are you…?” she asked, but she wasn’t sure what the last word of her question should be. A woman? Trans? She left the ellipsis in place, and accented it with a roll of her hand.

“I mean look at us. We’re the same race. Same economic status. Basically. University-educated. Both wear glasses. Democrats. Do you watch Game of Thrones? No? That’s a start then, but it’s not enough. I’m hetero, and I can’t do anything about that. I need my opposite. You’re not even left-handed.”

He waved for the waiter to bring the bill, and suggested that they should split it down the middle. She agreed, and he shook his head.

“We really are on the same wavelength.”

He said it with such disdain that she felt it, too, the loathing that made her want only anything other than herself.

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