Manhattan Masochists in Spankin’ Hamptons

“Like what?”

Zack rustled through a paper sack. “Provisions,” he said, holding up a bottle of vodka and a plastic container of tonic water.

Janey laughed nervously.

Zack went to the kitchen and returned with two cocktails. “Chin-chin," he said, holding up his glass.

“Cheers,” Janey said. “To a great summer.”

Zack came up behind her. He put his am around her waist and pressed her to him. “I’ve never heard of anyone so obsessed with summer,” he said. “I spent my summer working in a factory. What’s your excuse?”

“I don’t need an excuse," Janey said pulling away.

He shook his finger at her. “You have to answer my questions. That’s one of the rules. I get bored very easily. Right now I’m interested. Do you take coke?”

“Coca-Cola?”

“Cocaine,” Zack said with mock patience. “You’re not very bright, are you? When I first met you, I didn’t think you were, but then I thought perhaps I’d made a mistake.” He sat down on the couch in the front of a coffee table, looked up at her and smiled. “But then, one doesn’t really need intelligence in these situations. Just a sense of adventure.”

“I don’t do cocaine,” Janey said coldly.

“What a shame,” Zack said. “Figured you for a player.” He tapped some cocaine out on the coffee table, rolled up a bill, and snorted it up. He tipped his head back, inhaling deeply, the bill still sticking out of his nostril. He caught her eye. “Stop playing the good little American girl, will you?” he said.

“How do you know I’m not?”

“Oh, come off it,” Zack said. He stood up and walked to her. He touched her hair. “I didn’t invite you here to be my girlfriend,’ he said.

“Then why did you invite me?”

“I didn’t. You invited yourself. Remember?”

“Fuck off,” Janey said softly.

“Come here,” he said. “Sit down. My dear, you’re as transparent as that shirt you’re wearing. Everyone knows what your game is. You’re available. For the summer. Providing the man is rich enough. At least I want to know why.”

“I just want to have a good summer," Janey said, getting angry. “Is there anything wrong with that?”

“But you don’t do anything,” Zack said. He snorted some more cocaine.

“I don’t do anything because I don’t want to. I don’t have to.”

“You don’t feel much of anything, do you?”

“No,” she said. She shrugged. “Guys don’t stick around. So why not beat men at their own game? Use them. I’m a feminist, Zack,” she said, which somehow made her feel better.

“Oh, the modern woman speaks,” Zack said. “How old are you?”

“Twenty-eight.”

“You look older,” he said, and laughed. “You use men, but you yourself are totally useless. You think your views are revolutionary, but they’re not. They’re just immature.”

“Yours aren’t?”

“As a matter of fact, they’re not,” Zack said. I’m what you Yanks call a self-made man. Everything I have, I got myself.” He lit a cigarette. “But along the way, I lost my emotions, my ability to feel. From having to fuck people over all the time, to get what you want.’ He smiled. Those teeth. “You and I are really quite alike.

“I have my reasons,” Janey said.

“No doubt you do. But they’re probably very mundane,” he said. Janey reached across the couch and slapped him. He grabbed her wrist. “You’re getting the idea,” he said.