Deep in the middle of the sweltering concrete jungle of South Central Los Angeles lies a place of pleasure, and intrigue. It’s a place where underpaid, average looking, and piddling college students work hard and play harder, the kind of place where desperate people have a lot of sex with each other. This IS 28th and Hoov.
As Jason awoke, sweating with annoyance, he clumsily pushed Jennifer off of him. He didn’t mind her embrace but he was hot from the morning light coming in the window. And if he was honest with himself, which it seemed he would be this morning, he was a little embarrassed and panicky because his mouth was dry with the taste of brandless alcohol mixed with generic soda. He turned to push the button on the top of his phone to check the time. “6:43,” he thought as he noticed the time on his phone. His thoughts then drifted to the fact that he didn’t charge his phone and how he always does that while he’s asleep. “damnit,” he thought.
As Jason pounded the mattress with his fist, a piston fueled by his angst about having about 20 minutes of phone use left, Jennifer decided she couldn’t plausibly get away with pretending to sleep anymore and turned to smile at Jason. She too kept her mouth closed, humiliated by the monster her breath had become. Jason, being honest with himself again, liked her smile and saw it as a sign that she didn’t want him to be angry about any of the irresponsible choices they had made last night, not charging his phone being the least of them. Jason’s piston of an arm, now fueled by affection (not the kind you usually have for people you like or sleep with, more the kind you have for a kitten or a really good sandwich that it’s a shame to finish cause that means you cant eat it anymore.), reached over to touch Jennifer’s lower back. He instead hit her in the forearm with his fingertips, and they now lied there dealing with the awkward touch that came from fingertips that smelled of cigarettes and bad decisions. They laughed a little, neither really liking what they saw in front of them as much as they had the night before, and shared a passionless kiss where they each struggled to keep their dirty morning breath to themselves.
Jennifer, never one to let humiliation linger, got up to brush her teeth. She wrapped the sheets on the bed around herself as she got up, leaving Jason exposed to the morning breezes. As he laid there seemingly helpless, his shoulders sagging into his soft body, Jennifer turned back noticed Jason’s unkempt body and couldn’t help but keep looking at the jello sculpted mess that was Jason. He watched her, seeing her inability to take her eyes off of him, and took this as a sign that she wanted more of what she had last night. “Like what you see” he said?” as confidently as he could muster in his vulnerable state. Jennifer, not liking what she saw, just looked at him and smiled. Jason, taking her smile for more than it was again, got up and enthusiastically grabbed her and pulled her back to bed, the way he had seen Ashton Kutcher do it so many times before. The make out session to follow this energetic move was intense and a reminder of why Jennifer got up to brush her teeth in the first place.
With the mood ruined, the embarrassed duo went their separate ways. As Jason exited Jennifer’s apartment complex he looked on at the horizon, seeing the steeple of the Wellness of Living center in the distance. After a deep breath Jason turned to face the day, the embarrassment of the morning lifting as he thought, “still counts.”