The bartender is wet; my martini is dry. She’s dirty—I don’t mean the martini. Two olives but no olive juice. It’s gin, not vodka, garnished with lemon, not bleu cheese. It’s as clean and traditional as can be. It’s only dirty once it meets me.

It’s only dirty because the glass hasn’t been cleaned in months. What a shame. Nobody makes a good martini anymore, let alone a Vesper.

It’s only dirty because I’m watching the carcass of the lemon bury itself through two scratched sheets of black plastic that provide a blissful and blotchy view of life, courtesy of $12.

It’s only dirty because the olives vibrate with every stroke of my pen, like breasts heaving in slow motion—just as God and NBC, in their euphoric run of ’90s softcore lifeguard porn, intended.

It’s only dirty because my bartender’s uniform is nothing more than a loose apron, per my request, and because she momma-birded a shot into my mouth, also per my request.

It’s only dirty because Taco Bell’s new Cantina menu is spoiling all the oak trees in sight with a shitty neon billboard that should say $5 Cravings Box.

It’s only dirty because a man too old to get an erection is fucking the economy so hard he turned the $5 Cravings Box into an $11 Cravings Box plus tax.

It’s only dirty because my handwriting is illegible. Rather than beautiful strokes, I leave drunken scribbles on every page that has the displeasure of meeting me.

It’s only dirty because I’m wearing the same pair of dark blue jeans as yesterday, and yesterday’s yesterday, and yesterday’s yesterday’s yesterday, and…

It’s only dirty because my broken boots are leaving the debris of the day everywhere I go, like the dog shit hidden in every corner of my parents’ house. I fear for their new house. It’s over 2 acres. They’ll be finding year-old shit long after the dog is gone.

It’s only dirty because I keep getting sexts from numbers I haven’t saved. Which one lives in 804 again? Is that the dyslexic chick or the depressed one? The insomniac? I like her the most, for obvious reasons.

It’s only dirty because no matter how much I wash my hands, my clothes, my teeth, my tongue, my glass, and my mind, my heart is lined with filth. It’s the one wound alcohol can’t clean, despite admirable bouts of will. I haven’t asked for a martini since my favorite bartender, the one who served me my first legal and illegal drinks, was killed. It was a typical ‘Florida Man’ story. He was paranoid, coked out of his mind, wielding akimbo chef’s knives outside a Denny’s. I was in the middle of breaking up with an ex when I heard the news. I stayed with her two weeks longer than I should’ve. The whole situation left me shaken… not stirred. He would’ve laughed at that. 

Anyways… Let me give you a proper conclusion.

There is no love where there is no dirt. All I strive for is to contaminate the pure. There is only so much chastity we can endure until we’re face down, ass up, begging God to drag us through the mud. We struggle to look up because the pearly white gates are tattered with the tears of those who don’t realize that even if their dirty thoughts aren’t spoken, they are still heard by the heavens above. We’re all looking for someone to be dirty with, someone to stain us. But sometimes sex is not enough. Every night ends with sweat, but the real dirt comes from love.