David Pierce gave up waiting early; his phone wasn’t going to ring and he knew it. He had the feeling of suddenly waking, a kind of creeping dread seized him, it was dim in his apartment and he was shaking. David couldn’t remember what he’d been doing, he found himself sitting on the couch in front of a blank television screen. He sighed and switched on the TV.
There was a feeling like melting out of his clothes, dripping onto the floor, evaporating. It was Friday night and early, you could hear the people racing in every direction, what where they doing? What was fun? He was lost in his apartment, heart and soul vacant, omitted in the television’s blue light. David sighed again.
It was summer and hot all the time, he was sweating badly, his window was open to combat the heat and moths buzzed around his television. It was a beautiful night but he didn’t notice, there was some talk show on. The sun was setting out his window, the sky violent with color, clouds lit up red, pink and deep purple.
David thought about how much time flies, it was sunny just a little while ago. Life seemed like a dream. He was young just a few years ago, happy during college. The traffic outside was dense, heavy, people laughed far off. David couldn’t take the noise. At times like this he turned up the Television as loud as it would go, his neighbors complained all the time but there was no helping it. Only the lonely could understand it gets hard, sitting alone night after night, waiting for the phone to ring.
Things weren’t that bad of course, they never were. David did at least work and was good at his job, well liked in that capacity. He made good money and enjoyed having to get up in the morning. He even had a few pals, ‘the guys’. Every once in a while they would all play poker or hit the bar. It was a lot of fun, but David just sort of tagged along, not saying much.
Darkness washed over his mind, he had to get out of the house, had to get into the world again, mix with people. Despite the job, despite the guys, he spent most of his time alone, alone in the office. Angelica, his own secretary, was too busy for him. They both knew she did most of the real work, he left her alone. But she had his interest, a tight bodied brunette that got around the office, but never found her way into David’s bed.
Shaking, he headed toward the bathroom. Women were a mystery, unattainable. An idea struck him. There were bars everywhere; maybe if he went out something would happen. Maybe if he got out on the streets, around people, he could calm down.
David’s apartment was well kept; he enjoyed seeing the order of everything in his bathroom, the cleanliness. He couldn’t help but clean all the time. Sometime he hated his processions; he had status but no one to show off for.
His heart pounded, he stripped of his clothes trying not to look at himself. David was unsure, the water hit him and he turned it on high, merely getting ready to be around people filled him with anxiety.
After the shower David put on some of his work clothes, a loose pin striped suit, dark blue button up, slicked his hair back. It wasn’t the style but he thought he looked alright. David smiled in the mirror and tried to remember the man he used to be, young and confident. He headed out the door.
* * *
Nolan was nineteen; his face was lean, stretched thin, eyes working to hard. He loved her body, touching her, embracing her was the only thing on his mind. Danya. He heard her name over and over again. Pictured her whispering it to him; her lips excited him, blood red. He had gifts for her this time, the things she asked for and others. Expensive champagne, chocolates, letters, Nolan was pacing.
Her apartment was in the meat packing district, the red light district. There where people everywhere, a girl in high heels was walking by him. She was holding dozens of roses.
“How much?” he called to her.
“For the flowers?”
“Yes, yes the roses, I need them.” He was trying not to raise his voice. “Roses are her favorite.”
“Waiting for a girl I see?” she purred at him.
“I’m not looking for a date.” He was near tears.
“Of course not,” she selected a bundle of roses “You are waiting for your love.” She handed him the flowers and shook her head. “Five dollars sir. A modest fee.”
Nolan reached into his wallet; it was packed with cash, his life savings. He took out a twenty and handed it to the girl. She snatched it from him and it disappeared. Nolan forgot about her, he was waiting for someone else, someone special. He went to the door and rang the buzzer again.
“My friend?” the girl was calling to him.
“What is it?” he was frustrated.
“My friend, you are a kind man. You should leave this place.
That girl, she is not for you.” She placed her hands on his face, staring into his eyes. “Walk away my friend.”
Nolan was confused, he watched her go. Before he had time to think the buzzer was sounding, he pushed through the door. She was close.
“Nolan?” Her voice was lovely, lyrical, lilting. She was waiting on the stairs, sitting seductively. She wore black pumps, a short denim skirt, and a very attractive flannel shirt. Sleeves rolled up, two buttons undone.
“I didn’t mean to keep you waiting.” He offered his hand to help her up. Danya was six foot three inches. Her legs were tight, tanned, strong looking. Nolan’s mouth went dry.
“It’s fine.” She looked around; he was holding the roses like a dope, grinning at her. His hair was starting to turn salt and pepper.
“Are those for me Nolan?”
“Yes, I, there was this girl-”
“They’re beautiful.” She cut him off. Nolan started to riffle through his bags, showing her the champagne.
“Do you want to go up?” his grin was sly.
“We aren’t going out tonight?” she was all business.
“I, I thought we could just order out.”
“Alright, well, come on.” Nolan watched her climb the stairs. Her backside was small and tight, Nolan would follow her anywhere.
* * *
David caught a cab just as the sun sank bellow the horizon, it was ten oh clock. Before walking out the door he took a little nip of whisky, he needed to loosen himself up. It took some searching but he found the half empty pint, his older brother stashed in his closest years ago. He felt a little silly though; he was on the way to a bar.
“Do you know where the screaming head is?” David asked the cab driver.
“Downtown? By the waterfront?”
“That’s the one.”
“Alright, I’ll get you there in fifteen.”
The cab rolled down the street, the screaming head was the bar he and the guys would drink at. It was a pretty cool place, cooler then David was accustomed to. They played good music and had great bar food. He tried to think like his friends, he was just going for a drink, a good time.
“Eh, buddy, you hear what I said?” the cab driver was tapping the window that separated them.
“um, No, I was, thinking.”
“You lookin’ for some love buddy?”
“I’m just going out for a drink.”
“But why you want to go to a bar boy? Cause you want some love?”
“I, I suppose so.”
“So you want to go?” The cab driver was nodding his head. “You want good time right?”
Before David could say anything they turned violently around, heading to the opposite side of town. What exactly were they talking about? Paying for a woman? Could he take that leap? He watched the landscape change. Watched the bars and Nike outlets change into warehouses and pawn shops.
“I know a girl; she’ll take care of everything. Don’t worry; she’s real clean, takes good care of herself. You just call me and I’ll take you to that bar, or wherever you want to go.” He handed him a card through the slot.
“This girl, is she, ah, nice?” David realized it was a bad idea, but he needed something. He couldn’t just sit alone, night after night. He knew for a fact that some of the guys got girls this way.
“She’s real nice, real sweet, just like you buddy.”
“What’s her name?”
David tried to picture her. The cab driver was talking on a battered cell phone.
“Ruthie! I got one for you. Be real nice to this one, he’s a friend.” He paused for a moment, nodding. “Ok, we’ll be there soon.”
They drove for a few more aimless minutes until they pulled up to a woman standing on a curb. She was holding a single rose to her lips a cigarette smoldering between her fingers. She was small, barely five foot, blonde hair cut closes to her skull. She wore a black leather jacket and a complicated leather skirt; he did not see her eyes.
“Is this her?”
“Meet Ruth.” David stepped out of the cab and right away she had her arms around him, on her tip toes, reaching for his ear.
“My, my name is David, I, uh, don’t usually do this type of thing.” David noticed the rose discarded on the side walk.
“Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time.” Her voice was thick like syrup. His hands found her, David’s mind was reeling.
* * *
Nolan’s lips quivered, he was having trouble keeping his eyes open. Danya was sad to see him go, she was sitting naked on her bed, eating the chocolates. Nolan looked like a fish, he was so thin his ears stuck out, his mouth kept opening and closing, he was drowning, his life was seeping away. She lifted him easily and carried his loose dying body to the bathroom.
It really was a shame, she had so much fun with Nolan, almost felt fondness toward him. Nolan was so young, eager to please, but she used him up so quickly. Danya started crying, she turned on the water and it started to surround her poor Nolan. There where things to be done, but she really was feeling horrible. Nolan didn’t deserve what happened to him, not like some of the others did.
Danya dressed again and put on make up; Nolan hissed and popped in the bath, gone forever, washed down the drain. Her life was a mystery; she knew her heart was packed with sand. She had no memory of anything but this apartment, her own eyes staring at her in the mirror. The men and women blurred together.
Sometimes there are no explanations in life, sometimes the world just crumbles, churns and spits up a creature with a secret, but Danya was a beautiful woman, she smiled. Poured a glass of wine, but didn’t feel like drinking it. The glass looked like it was filled with blood. She needed to breathe fresh air.
* * *
David was very uncomfortable; he was trying not to stammer. Ruth was thin and took things slowly, her smile was comforting, and her eyes were so big, large and dark. Ruth was telling him all about what she did. He started sweating.
“I’m still new to all of this.”
“Its okay baby, we can do whatever you want. Look you want to go get a drink? Let’s go to my apartment and have a drink, let’s just go and relax.” She pulled him toward the door, produced a key from nowhere and they stepped inside.
“What do you drink?” she headed towards a flight of stairs.
“Whiskey,” he could still taste it on his breath. “If you’ve got any.”
“I got some beer.” They climbed the stairs.
David had nothing to say, they had yet to talk about any amount of money. He just followed this strange woman up the stairs, he felt indifferent toward her, unsure of what would unfold.
“This is my place.” She turned to lean against the door, looking up at him. “Still want that drink?” Before he could answer Ruth got a look of urgency on her face. Quickly she tried to unlock the door and slip inside. David didn’t move, he was mesmerized, there was a woman walking toward them.
“Ruthie, are you trying to run away from me?” Her voice was filled with venom.
David didn’t know what to think, Ruth said nothing, her eyes were down cased. Ruth’s arm slipped from his. The other woman was easily over six foot, her hair was dark and tangled. She smiled and caught his eyes.
“Danya, I didn’t see you.”
“Ruth?” Danya’s eyes were wide, her smile was small. She waited for
Ruth’s response, laughing silently.
“Ah, yes Danya?”
“Who is your friend?” her eyes rolled to David. They were near black, deep endless brown.
“David, my name is David.”
He found himself wondering about this woman, this tall dark creature. How did she know Ruth? Was she also a prostitute? Someone so beautiful? He felt drawn to her, found himself edging closer to her.
“David, huh?” she seemed to devour him with her eyes. Sizing him up. “Are you and Ruthie close friends? Or can everyone play with you.”
“Danya, you can’t.” Ruth was shaking, she looked into David’s eyes, pleading with him to run, run away from both of them. Danya was lurking next to him, dripping sensuality. Ruth’s heart was pounding; she didn’t want to place this man in her control. She couldn’t, not again.
“David don’t you want that drink?” Ruth asked a final plea.
“Are you guys going out?” Danya interrupted looking right at David.
“We were just going inside.” Ruth interrupted.
“Well that’s no fun.” Danya stuck her lower lip out, frowning. “What do you think David? I’m bored; want to get a drink with me? I’m sure Ruthie wont mind; she’s such a push over.”
David could only nod his head, agreeing with what ever she was saying.
“Danya, not this one.” Ruth voice quivered, she was surprised by her words, Danya was a ravening wolf, her eyes caught fire. She took a step toward Ruth and the smaller woman recoiled as if from a physical blow.
“David do you really want to spend the night with this whore?”
David was watching her lips move, they were so red, everything about her was compelling. He gazed at her, imaging a marble statue come to life, wanting him.
“I’m sorry Ruth.” He wasn’t sorry though, there was no comparing the two. Before he could say anymore Danya had her arm around his waist. He felt like he was floating, a man seized balloon. Never for an instant wondering why such a beautiful woman would want him. He didn’t hear Ruth call out after them.
“She’s not what you think.”
The abruptness of the situation never occurred to him; again he had the feeling of melting out of his clothes. Danya’s eyes twinkled.
“Sorry to be so forceful David.” She seemed genuinely apologetic. “I don’t usually do this type of thing, but you just seem so sweet, and Ruth, well Ruth is more a dumpster then a woman.”
“You were trying to save me?” David’s mind felt hazy, he was warm all over.
“I suppose I was, don’t look so upset.” For a moment she looked worried, as if she was second guessing herself, then she smiled and tilted her head back laughing silently. She stopped him in front of the door, gazing into his eyes “David, I’m lonesome. Please don’t be put off, I, I just want someone to spend a few hours with. I get so lonely, sitting up there alone on a Friday night.”
“I know a great pub.” David offered.
“I’d love to see your place.” She slipped out the door and David followed blindly.
* * *
They tumbled into the cab and Danya’s manner changed completely. David barely had a chance to mumble his address before her lips found his. She pawed at him, pushed him down onto the seat and kissed him fiercely, tugged at his clothes, nearly yanked the hair from his scalp.
“Do you want me?” her voice was high, pained.
“I want you.” David answered without a second thought. He felt so small in her arms; she was nearly five inches taller then him, and big all over. She was beautiful in a classical way. As if Aphrodite stepped off a canvas and into his arms. Her hips were set high, she had the longest legs he’s ever seen.
Too soon the cab was pulling to a stop, he paid the cabbie and watched Danya pour out of the car, she seemed more like a jungle cat then a woman. The streets where empty now, but David didn’t notice, a warm wind was blowing, soothing his mind.
Danya was pacing back and forth on the side walk. Her skin looked pale under the street lights, her eyes luminous.
“Don’t you want to show me where you live David?” her voice was low, soft, and suggestive. David felt sanity wash over him, he looked at this woman on his door step and wasn’t what to do. Before he could speak Danya was wrapping her arms around him.
“Don’t feel unsure, David. I’m no whore. I’m something different.” As they rode the elevator up David felt the warm wind blow in his skull.