A strange man in my boyfriend’s pub approached and chose to name me Satan.
Pitcher gripped, he leaned on our booth’s edge for stability sense,
radiating the kind of confidence that ignites forests with rage-inspired violence.
He practically whipped a ruler out between our plates to show us he could.
“Who do you ladies know here?” he beamed.
And unbecoming words scratched at my throat,
tempted to trickle out amidst the limited air space between his face and my fist,
he made eyes at the best friend of “Satan.”
“I don’t care what she thinks of me, only you,” he added as if he’d impress.
I smiled with glaring irises that left no secrets
and with his Bud Light psychology degree,
he verbally diagnosed me with multiple personalities.
“You’ve got this soft cute angel-like exterior, but…”
We didn’t bother listening for his name, but questioned his choice for mine.
And his response warranted the bad taste his presence gave the air.
“…but behind closed doors I’m sure it’s some 50 shades of gray ****…”
Our jaws forgot their places as disgusted awe entered our eyes.
“You like it rough and ***** with whips and toys and…”
Satan’s best friend could only tolerate this misogynistic man for so long,
she answered his initial question with warranted glare,
“Her boyfriend owns the place.”
His head cocked with such quick motion,
I feared the devilish smile that painted his face red.
“Alex.” I retorted.
“Oh man! This is going to be fun,” he cackled rusty nails up his throat,
unrequitedly cozying himself up next to me.
His arm wrapped my shoulder like a belt around my neck, as I struggled to hug the wall.
Shouting his interpretation of Alex’s name toward the kitchen,
a confused face peered from around the ovens and made its way to our booth.
Words left the uncensored man’s mouth and Alex immediately followed suit back to his work,
I couldn’t blame him.
I wanted to slip through the cracks of the body-wall-booth box I’d been trapped in.
I felt trapped in his quicksand sea of word *****
the word “******” fell from his mouth like glass shards to the womb, it’s hard to stomach him.
I wanted to hold the hand of the young boy with Down syndrome in the booth behind me
and tell him he’s worth so much more than the searing air this man fire-breathes into his ears.
I wanted to tell him I’d defend his value in a fist fight to end the word without second thought,
That he could defend himself and I didn’t doubt that.
I wanted to tell him, the man is only lucky he’s a patron who spends so much he’s nearly always cut off,
but that I find greater value in people than money, and he’s worth all the oceans over a single grain of sand,
that he shouldn’t let him make him feel like anything less,
and I wouldn’t either.