Romeo Spunk Muscle

Rosina Maria Osborne wasn’t born to be a cheat but her mother was, had five full blown affairs just while Rosa was a kid alone. Was a gorgeous Italian woman with huge black hair and gigantic red lips. Rosa’s mother was built for it, an excellent liar, looked you straight in the eye when she did it. But Rosa took after her father and got stepped on. A lot. Not by Trey, yet, but by a string of guys that had paraded through before him. Crushed her something fierce. She saw herself as intimidating, except the kids who she imagined were scared, the ones that clustered below the bubblegum rides and lounged in packs by the main stage waiting for the headliners, were oblivious to her existence. Romeo Spunk Muscle however, was not and all he had to do was smile.

Rosa met Romeo Spunk Muscle pretty much right as they’d pitched their respective tents. A Spanish dude, camping with the Amigos Españoles five tents over and smelling like fresh meadow, even three days in. As pretty and dense as a daisy. As ripped and defined-to-the-max as a Hollister model. Yum. Rosa smelled of weed and ash and M25 pollution from the drive. A faint aura engulfed her like a cat had pissed in her hair. Decorated with scribbles from some troubled kids etch-a-sketch. Perforated with holes.

Romeo Spunk Muscle probably wasn’t expecting the whole encounter to last longer than thirty minutes tops. Smile. Hello. Fuck. Thank you. Fist bump the AmigosEspañoles. Boom. But Rosa wasn’t that easy. She was married to start with. And she wasn’t any cheat. At first she’d played the innocent. Flirted like hell, of course, made the Amigos Españoles itch with embarrassment.

“¡Fóllatela, por Dios!” they pleaded with their boy.

“Ya pasará,” he replied and licked his lips.

Whenever Trey floated a little through Rosa’s vision it started The Guilt. Rosa had married Trey when boredom had become a physical pain inside her skull. When he popped the question it was more the deal of forming an alliance. Building a stronger barrier against the shitstorm that was moving up and around their ankles as their twenties passed. “Do you want to get inside my bunker?” Trey was asking her. “Two against this is better than one.”

They had barricaded themselves inside their high street studio, painted the walls and waited for something to happen. For their lives to take on meaning. They had watched their dreams disintegrated and the world get narrow. Severed bits of their being eroded like pieces in an acid vat. Faded into nothing. Getting married didn’t make a damn difference to them being them. Didn’t make their lives in their town any more enthralling. Trey scratched his ass with even more frustration. Said, through a confused voice box that placed him somewhere between miscellaneous America and a robot, “Nobody has their eyes open Rosa! Nobody ever does anything real!” Flipping the dog-eared pages of books he’d read, blowing little dented sighs inside extra frothy milk. Continued rants on the townie scum around them. Forced to share his air.

Romeo Spunk Muscle had a saying too, “¡Podrás dormir cuando hayas muerto!” Rosa had no idea what it meant but she liked it. Liked the way he winks when he says it, immediately shooting like a rocket to whatever requires his attention next. She likes the way he is always smiling, sun shining directly from his abs into her eyes. Like a goldfish, he has no concept of anything other than the “el ahora mismo”. It was his biggest appeal. Well, second biggest, she found out later. He was happy, something foreign that made Trey seem sadder, stuck still, and didn’t help The Guilt.

“¡Podrás dormir cuando hayas muerto!” Rosa took to yelling whenever she saw him those first few times. He’d smile. His Amigos would cringe. Claire rolled her eyes. Claire was a good friend, especially through all the shit she had with men. Always there dangling a joint and a six pack of chilled ones. Later on in these evenings she offered a lubricated, less stiff arm. Claire didn’t understand the appeal of Romeo Spunk Muscle. But she didn’t understand the appeal of Trey either, or of men in general. Neither could be called the manliest of dudes. Claire simply buttoned down her tongue, asking only once, “You’re still married mate, right?” After watching the peacock display, the feathers, the drooling, the smell in the air. “I didn’t like dream up that hideous day, did I?”

“Yeah, yeah, still married, technically,” Rosa shrugged. She took off her wedding ring. Placed it inside the face wipes wrapped up in some tissue as Claire pretended not to notice.

It was the coloured wall that did it, Rosa trailing the Amigos Españoles hard, as if some invisible thread connected them. Must have been about three AM on the second day, all of them buzzed and looking for some action. Stages and tents shutting down but they didn’t want to stop.

“¡Podrás dormir cuando hayas muerto!” Rosa said, when no one had spoken for a full minute, stuck in a trance, staring at the hundreds of flashing, moving, rippling lights, entertaining the kids collected against it with their beers and gurns.

“¡Por favor, fóllatela para que se calle,” exclaimed one of the Amigos.

Romeo Spunk Muscle put one arm around Rosa’s waist and pulled. She saw his face lit only by one thousand little bulbs. Seeing double. Our girl was drunk, absolutely blotto, but not from booze. The coloured reflection looked like love. But she was so smashed by it she couldn’t see. It drowned out her guilt.

After that Rosa let her phone run down almost instantly, cutting herself off, cutting herself free. The festival was her fairground and she’d heard the call, “Go Play.” It was in his eyes and she lost her head.

There were a few times then when she went back to his camp, deserted, all the Amigos Españoles gone. She’d pick her way through empty cans to get inside his tent and smell the meadow. It was crazy how she missed him. At a three-day festival. Completely nuts, made no sense. Boy might have been trying to get rid of her now but he wasn’t very bright. A couple of times she found him. He’d been with other girls of course. But she was blind. Stepped away from reality, away from her fate. Allowed herself to be lost.