It would start with something sarcastic, a free drink here and there. You'd see the way they looked at you, desperate for your lips while you stared down at your straw, stirring circles in your drink. You'd make them wait. You'd make them wait a little longer. Until you were ready. Or drunk. Or both. Curiosity was enough in those moments of shallow connection and all it took was one question—"Do you want to get out of here?"
You were a romantic yet all you would get were empty words. Generic compliments were kept in the back of your mind but you knew it had all been said before, only to someone else. So, all you'd do is smile. And you were okay with that, because you'd done this all before, and it had become an accidental routine. You'd never want any of it to go past the next morning, so those car rides home, on your own, were spent sleeping, without an ounce of regret.
It was never anything special but it was fun and it was enough for what you wanted in those months, impatient in the waiting game.
—Perth, WA, 27 June 2017