When I was in tenth grade, Laura Hoffmann moved to Palmerston. Her parents had relocated back to Freiburg after living in Brussels for years. On her first day, her dad dropped her off and everyone couldn’t stop staring at her from the moment she stepped foot outside the vehicle. Her hair was neatly lifted up in a nice bun, and she was wearing tight plaid pants and a black boat shoulder top. The guys were instantaneously obsessed with her. Some would try to sit next to her in class while others started hitting the gym more often than they used to, spending afternoons doing push-ups and sit-ups instead of doing their homework. She’s the kind of girl you’d fall hard and fast for before you can even get the chance to process your feelings. But although she was fierce, you could tell she was soft and innocent from the inside. She didn’t have the ego other girls had which, to her dismay, made her an easy prey. They called her “FrischFleisch” (“Fresh Meat”), and I remember coming home that night and looking the two-word up because I had no idea what it meant and was too embarrassed to ask. That’s how I immediately knew Laura Hoffmann wouldn’t survive the year without being tossed around like a rag doll. Funny part is: I never thought the same thing would happen to me fifteen years later.
Being new to Chicago, that’s exactly who I am. I’m the new guy in town. The newcomer everyone wants a piece of. And I’m easily making myself reachable and available by staying logged in on my online hookup app. It’s like I’m purposely asking for trouble. But it’s the thrill that I find seductive. Being around hundreds of desirable men fills me with excitement, and I want it all. Getting hit on by dozens and dozens of gorgeous and physically fit men gives me a lot of confidence, something I lacked in my younger years, even when I used to live in Iowa where good looking people were rare. However, part of me is still looking for a connection. After Matt, I want to believe I still stand a chance. But being on a hookup site isn’t going to jumpstart any kind of romantic connection with anyone. It’s purely sexual, and so getting high expectations is something I know I should avoid at all cost. Guys on there are rarely sincere about their intentions, and if you’re young and beautiful, they would go miles to impress you. They’d sweet talk you all night so they can get you in bed with them. But I’m okay with that. I need sex. Plenty of it, actually. I want to be able to live again and enjoy myself without tying myself up to anyone.