Her mornings were invariably vulgar: the stale smell of chardonnay, shadows of events tangled in her mind like post-coital bedsheets and the aftertaste of a stranger’s kiss. She knew that the colorful collection of discarded lovers she had amassed was neither socially acceptable nor healthy, even as indifference prevented her from taking any measures to curb her behavior. Turning her face from the dank pillow, at first she scarcely took notice of the man snoring beside her. He was just a body to her; the contours of a masculine frame draped abstractly, contorted limbs that likely would have given Picasso a hard-on: head concealed beneath the pillow, left arm bent at the elbow, hand lolling like a marionette’s. The early-morning sun circumvented the blinds and illuminated the stranger’s hand. She noticed that a curious web of alabaster scars marred his knuckles. I wonder if we talked about that last night.

She sat up and ran her fingers through her matted dark hair. Carefully, so as not to disturb Stranger Q, she peeked over the edge of the bed in search of her black French panties. Or her lacy turquoise thong – she couldn’t quite remember which pair she was wearing the night before. She sifted one-handed through sundry expired pleasures; several movie tickets, a McDonalds bag, and a couple of ripped condom wrappers, no sign of any panties. Goddamn it!

Stranger Q was stirring.

Hastily, she pulled on her washed out blue jeans, sans underwear.

“Morning, Evie. Wow. N-n-n-nice hair.” He rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

“Hey. Morning. Oh. Uh. Thanks.” She paused, her arm caught in the sleeve of her black satin blouse. She could feel her cheeks blazing. Morning sex hair, thanks for noticing. Wait. What’s with the stutter?

“Anyway, d-d-did you sleep OK?” Intense brown eyes glanced at her nervously from the bed, holding her in his sight for a few seconds before looking away.

Awesome. I picked up Porky Pig. Well, he isn’t short or portly.

Stranger Q was a large, broad-shouldered man. Waves of russet hair collected unevenly, concentrating towards the right side of a wide forehead. A lighter shade of russet hugged the curve of his chin and followed the jawline. A tattoo branded his left bicep; it read: Die without perishing and your life will endure. He was not unattractive.

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Rebecca Dimyan has a BA in English from Boston University and is currently pursuing an MFA in Fiction at Fairfield University. She lives in Danbury, CT where she continues to delve into complex emotions through her novel about the lives of several Lebanese Americans in 1950’s Connecticut. Rebecca is also the Fantasy Editor of Hollow City, a Science Fiction and Fantasy magazine.
After the painful end of her first serious relationship, Rebecca found herself in a prolonged period of emotional detachment that led to a carefully guarded approach to dating. Unlike her protagonist in ‘One Night Stranger’, Rebecca’s dating pattern was not fraught with promiscuity and one-night stands, but feelings of extreme caution coupled with a persistent desire for affection, led her to pursue relationships whilst keeping the other person at a distance. Through her character Evie, she explores the emotional distance born of hurt, the reluctance to let oneself be vulnerable, and the ultimate need to connect.
“Stranger Q” himself is an amalgamation of two men Rebecca knew during this period of her life. One stuttered while the other suffered from PTSD as a result of his time as a Marine in Afghanistan.

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One Response to “Excerpt of One Night Strangers by Rebecca Dimyan”

  1. rasna 30 September 2011 at 7:16 am #

    I like her story and ‘her’ story

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