manless january


So I’m six days into my month-long commitment to steer clear of sexy men when Chief reaches out via Skype.

“A whole month?” he teases. “How you gonna make it?”

“I don’t know,” I tell him. “The chastity belt should help.”

Chief is in the military. Once lived on a submarine for four years. Four months? I can’t remember. They’re kind of the same thing, in that either one is longer than I could go without the reckless flirtation to which I’m apparently addicted.

You know the reckless flirtation I’m talking about.

The reckless flirtation that rips my front door off its hinges on its way out.

The reckless flirtation that drives me like a runaway train.

The reckless flirtation that I’m really hoping to evade, at least for a month.

Come spring, we all know I’m a goner.

But it’s only winter now; I really need to do this.

I was teasing about the chastity belt, of course, but I’m serious about closing my door and putting a big padlock on it.

The plan is for me to hide out in here for a while, alone.

Let the snow build up outside.

Let the men assume I’m not home, go somewhere else for my coveted love.

You know the coveted love I’m talking about.

The coveted love that, once given, sends me headlong down a flight of stairs.

Except in sexy-manless January.

Because in sexy-manless January, I’m staying in. For real.

Besides, it’s safe and cozy behind my locked door, without them.

It’s warm in my manless bed.

(Wouldn’t it be something if I were to find out that the heat had been coming from me, all along?)

“Hey, Delilah! I asked you a question,” Chief says, reminding me of his existence. “You okay?”

I look at the screen image of my new old friend.

He’s cute. One of those men that has gotten better with age.

I’m suddenly seized by an impulse to double-check that the front door is still locked.

 “I think it’s becoming a breach in policy to be talking to you,” I tell him.

He laughs. A big round hearty laugh that gives his eyes an eastern look.

I manage a smile, feel a longing to compete with his laughter.

But I’m just not there yet.

Which is why I’m locked in. Doors closed. Manless January.

I reach forward to switch off my computer.

“Do not lose that key, woman,” he tells me, smiling with his perfect teeth.

And the screen goes black.


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