Two Stops

You identify as hairless?

Signe Pierce, Optical Delusions. 2017, C-Type Print and Frame. 20 × 16". Courtesy of the artist and Annka Kultys Gallery.

November 6, 2017
The after-party for the Calvin Klein Underwear exhibition was held on one of the piers, I forget which one. I couldn’t even tell if we were in Brooklyn or Manhattan, because we’d been driven to the venue in a bus with tinted windows. The party’s centerpiece was a performance by Kesha, but she canceled last minute. Now that we didn’t have to watch her perform, we had an excuse to say we were fans.

There were free drinks at the bar, and waiters kept coming by with hors d’oeuvres. My date, B., was an intern I’d met a few months earlier at another sponsored party. Since then I’d learned that he was into threesomes, didn’t work in fashion or PR, and didn’t have Instagram. He was from Switzerland and new to America and refused to tell me his age. Whenever we were together it was hard to tell what would happen between us: nothing, something, or something crazy. I wondered if my friends thought I looked too old for him.

I knew B. liked to flirt at parties, but that night, every time he shook someone’s hand he put his arm around me and held me closer. He kissed me softly on the cheek, a more tender gesture than I was used to.

I watched as he flirted with gay men while making sure they knew he was joking — he would never! Especially not that night, when he was with me. This was offensive, the way B. would always tell men he’d make exceptions for each of them, except that he wouldn’t. Would he?

I talked to my old coworkers about their new jobs and about our old boss, an awful man who would never get called out for his misconduct. Some of us had seen him on dates with the male models he brought around to the office, but we didn’t know for sure that he’d slept with them.

We talked about other editors we knew who were cruel and sleazy, about fashion photographers who should

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