“Your place or mine?”

“I’m on vacation. How ‘bout my hotel room?”

“Mmm, even better,” comes a sultry, soft tone. “One more for the road, Old Lady,” she says through a fiendish lip-biting grin.

“Oh definitely. Just one thing: Don’t call me old, Little Girl.” Said with an equally fiendish smirk.

From black to a mandala of color. That color becomes red and the red is in the shape of boxy numbers. The fire ants in your head allow you to see it is after nine o’clock. It is the latest you’ve slept in years. Although could sleeping until just after nine be considered late? It was an active night. If meeting the new day with a Texas-sized hangover is the price of a good lay, then it was worth the cost of admission.

All the pounding in your head from the pounding last night has you longing for a post-coital smoke, or at least a vape. Tradition, goddamn it!A sign on the nightstand stops you dead in your tracks before the first puff. “Thank you for not smoking or vaping in this room.”

Fucking California! God forbid you want the choice to dirty your lungs after sex. It’s not as if there were more important matters for the Republic of California, such as half the damn state burning and flooding at the same time. Or hell, closing the immense economic divide between the poverty-stricken and the wealthy. Instead of saving the microbes, how about saving the lower middle class? No, stopping secondhand smoke from cigarettes and vaporized tobacco and marijuana are the most pressing matters of the day.

Screw it.You move to the window, open it a crack and lean on the air conditioner. You add to the rest of the manmade pollution. If the hotel staff complains, you’ll just blame it on housekeeping. At least one of them is a vape-head.

Taking a deep puff, you can’t help but notice the forest being cut down on the other side of the bed. This sleeping girl is the furthest thing from the Sleeping Beauties of your youth. You remember a time when a partner sleeping over was out of the question. A vanity of finding out they sounded like a chainsaw. That doesn’t happen much anymore. Instead you have this nasally child in your bed.

At least you hope she’s not a child.

Her lack of body hair didn’t bother you last night, but now you can’t think of anything else. When you first started going down, you remembered all the forests you had to navigate over the years. As the early 1990s gave way to the late 1990s, it seemed the pubic hairline receded.

Even you got in on the act.

Waxing went from an occasional thing you did to your legs and underarms to everywhere, even south of the border. The first time you heard of a Brazilian, you naïvely thought it was a tropical drink. The look on your girlfriend’s face—as if you were from bumfuck nowhere—still resonates in your mind’s eye.

After your first Brazilian, you had wished it was a tropical drink. It never burnt down there that much before. It was like the worst urinary track and yeast infections combined. No matter how you moved around or whatever you wore, it felt as though someone poured gasoline on your crotch and lit a match.

Eventually the irritation went away, as all first waxings do. You would have repeats treatments throughout your twenties and into your thirties. You dialed them back for practical reasons. You didn’t see the point of excessive landscaping outside of special occasions and vacations. If I’m not getting laid, why bother?

This is your vacation. You and Sleeping Beauty do have that in common.

Looking at Sleeping Beauty, you’re not sure what else to call her. You’re too hungover to remember her name. Not so hungover, though, to admire her. You can’t help being in awe of her long dark hair, her light coffee skin, oval face and diamond-shaped eyes. Thinking back to your previous partners, it occurs to you they all shared those features. Some were taller than you. Some were shorter. Many were bustier, putting your bosom to shame. A few were completely flat. Your chest was doing double duty on those dates.Or would it be considered quadruple duty?Still, you have a type and didn’t realize it.

That type seems to be women younger than you. Sleeping Beauty has to be the first you can recollect being nearly half your age. Will she be the last? It’s hard to imagine a relationship forming from last night’s events. There are no illusions this will be your final one-nighter.

Sleeping Beauty’s age isn’t far from your mind. She’s young enough to be your daughter. Assuming you had followed suit with the rest of your small-town graduating class and gotten knocked up at prom. Of course, you didn’t have a high school boyfriend. The boy you went to prom with doesn’t count. Those sitcom-like shenanigans of that night so he could be with his boyfriend and you with your girlfriend were just as much a product of the times as the Macarena, Lisa Loeb in baby-doll dresses, and Dariaon MTV. Unless the two of you spawned through osmosis, it was safe to say your girlfriend didn’t get pregnant either.

There is no denying the advantages of being young in this generation. Sleeping Beauty’s coming out probably wasn’t as traumatic as yours. You can’t imagine her parents disowning her. Her father yelling and screaming, “I don’t have a daughter anymore, I have a dyke.” Her mother saying she was too pretty to be gay.

No, you imagine her mother trying to set her up with a nice girl in her office or at church. Her father doing backflips from not having to pay for a wedding. At least until gay marriage was legalized.

You are jealous of Sleeping Beauty. The most traumatic thing she has experienced is missing out on the latest iPhone, or a day-one patch on a videogame, or encountering a Starbucks out of pesto paninis. At least you hope so.

One last puff from your vaporized Mary Jane. Sleeping Beauty’s snoring has stopped. She flips over onto her stomach. Those big bright eyes burning into you.

“Hey Old Lady. Did you have fun? I know I did,” she says with that fiendishly-innocent grin. “Got any more of that juice to share?”

You’re going to get her back for that “old” remark. But damn if she isn’t cute.