Sunday, May 29, 2016
“ ‘Gur-tuuuh’…. What is Faust?”
“Faust is a doctor who sells his soul to the Devil. Or, well, to the devil’s agent, Mephistopheles. In return, Faust gets all the worldly power and knowledge a man could hope for.”
She lit a cigarette; stared at me openly.
“It’s a bet,” I finished. “A bet between the Devil and God, just to see what would happen.”
Smoke oozed from her mouth. “What happened?”
“Faust goes to Hell.
“He tries to repent, but he goes to Hell.”
I shouldn’t be fucking this girl.
I shouldn’t be alone with her, naked in a hotel room.
I shouldn’t be here at all.
“Could I make a phone call? I forgot I need to call a friend.”
“Sure,” I said, pulling my shirt on.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Friday, May 27, 2016
But, after I had crawled from the wreckage, when I stepped off the car rim, I sprained my ankle.
But I’m getting ahead of myself….
* * *
The day before, at the hotel.
Brothel scenes like you can’t imagine.
The walls dripped sweat.
When she came, she’d cry “Kill me, kill me, fuck me, kill me!”.
A Latin girl from
South America, you know. Catholic schoolgirl stuff.
Sex and death.
It was all wrong.
Later, she took the book from my bag. “What is this? I have heard of this.”
“What? Oh, that’s—“
“ ‘Faust’. Goethe… it’s German, no?”
“Yes, it’s German, and it’s ‘Gur-tuh’.”
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
And there she was in the lobby at , when I came down to greet her….
* * *
So, here’s how stupid I am: taking a curving turn at 87mph, that’s 155km. The sign read “Warning, 40km. Slow. Curve.”
Driving twelve hours straight, taking a curve at 87 per….
The car careened into the solid rock of the overpass; flew across the road, and slammed off of a huge, concrete pillar. Then it tumbled over the snarled guardrail and into the frozen mud.
All the junk in the car --tapes, my sweater, old coffee cups half-full of coffee from the night before, me-- all of it, slammed back and forth. First one way, then the other. Sky, mud, sky….
All four tires burst; shit was everywhere.
The wipers were still going, and somehow, so was I. Unscathed.
Monday, May 23, 2016
I got up; stood in front of the window while she exhaled smoke on my back. Standing out there in the freezing cold, looking up at her building… her friend shivered in the darkness.
“I wish he’d just go away,” she sighed, lighting another cigarette.
We split at dawn.
I had her number scrawled on the torn corner of a phonebook page, folded and tucked in the front pocket of my favorite jeans.
It stayed there all day.
It stayed there when we stopped to buy a goldfish at the pharmacy.
It stayed there when we ate Indian food at that place on
Bay Street. A real spread; chicken masala, aloo matar,
lamb korma, naan, raita and chai.
I felt that little scrap of paper in my pocket.
It was still there when I took my friends to the train station that night.
Later, finally, I pulled it from my pocket; called her from a booth in the hotel lobby.
My toes felt frozen in my boots; the wool of my socks itched. I hummed softly while the phone rang on the other end….
Sunday, May 22, 2016
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
The smell of smoke and shampoo.
Amber oil in her hair.
Every last thing my mother ever told me; every caution, every trained nuance… gone.
But we couldn’t do it. Just a few quick strokes and I had to stop.
I couldn’t do it.
She was patient. She reassured me. She bent over to kiss me, but stopped when she felt the tears.
“You are crying?
But that’s always the problem, isn’t it? How to get all that stuff in your head out from behind those teeth and lips. How to get it out of your dry mouth and into the warm air of a sweaty room.
No. It would be too much to explain, even to you, now. I didn’t even try. I just let those few tears get swept up by her mouth.
She lit a cigarette then.
Monday, May 16, 2016
I heard her go into the bathroom next, and from the next room, I heard my friends… moans through the walls.
I leaned back.
The little statuette on the wall beside the door.
The curtains blowing softly in a chilly breeze.
The red glow of the night-light, casting crooked shadows on the floor.
The bathroom sink… on… off… on… off….
She came back naked, except for her socks.
I could see between the silhouettes of her thighs.
Now, sometimes something happens when a beautiful girl presents herself to you. Naked, floating in the fragrant shower of her aromas.
You lose yourself.
You are lost, and you are fucked, and you are captured….
You are hers.
You belong to her.
You are played out, even if you don’t know it yet.
The moans from the next room grew louder.
Lamplight from the hall.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
“Only three leaves?” he asked petulantly.
“You are not that lucky,” she replied, capping the pen.
Later, when the bar closed, she took us all back to her place. She fried plantains, and gave us more tequila, and put a fire in the little wood stove. The tequila was chilled over ice, strained, and served with a lump of sugar and the juice of a half lime, each in a little tumbler, without ice. We watched Spanish soap operas on a tiny TV in her bedroom.
Her friend got up and went to the kitchen. He stayed there; I could hear him pacing, his tennis shoes squeaking on the linoleum floors.
On that collapsible couch, she leaned on me, pressing her breasts into my arm. Her breath was sweet, and it cradled my face in its warmth.
The pacing stopped. He called out her name a couple of times, tersely.
“I’m going to get rid of him,” she spat angrily, rising.
The front door slammed; she came back, and gave my friends the spare bedroom. Then she went back out to the kitchen; cleaned the mess, turned off the lights, blew out the candles and cracked open the windows.
Just a little, to let in the cool, morning air.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
He snorted, and shook his head. Small dead things fell out of his dirty hair, and littered the table between his greasy hands. He was just intimidated. And why shouldn’t he be? His crooked yellow teeth, fucked-up haircut, stupid Rush T-shirt. He oughta’ be intimidated, the way she was staring at me.
I rose confidently, and walked over to their table. Looking down at him, I took a risk -- to knock him down some more. “I think you want to fuck her… that’s what you’re saying, you know.”
“Hey man, it’s cool. I don’t want it to be that way. Come on, sit down.”
I slid into a chair beside her. I looked at her; this was the girl in my dedications. She asked me my name. She couldn’t understand my English, so I wrote my name on her palm. I asked her friend for a pen; he reluctantly handed me a fat, black Sharpie.
She told me her name, but I missed it. So she said it again; so proud. A film school student, rich kid from
Venezuela. She smiled, and wrote it on my arm, all
twelve syllables worth. He asked her to
write it on his arm too, but instead she drew a three-leaf clover on the back
of his hand.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Her legs were open.
Her legs were spread wide, and I could see the white of her thigh through a carefully-torn hole in her jeans. The guy sitting next to her? All he saw was me, staring at her, and wondering….
Well, there it was…. Four shots of tequila and an icy stare.
“What are you looking at?” my friend asked me.
“That girl’s spread. Could that be a mistake? The way she’s sitting?”
He leaned over, and took a long look; his gaze lost in the shadow that nestled between her slender, welcoming legs. “I doubt it,” he announced with a hopeless sigh.
Her friend spoke to me then. It’s weird when a stranger in a crowded bar addresses you from an adjacent table. “We see you man,” he leered. It was clear he wasn’t her boyfriend. “Why don’t you come over instead of just staring at her? She’s not gonna’ fuck you, don’t worry.”
“What makes you think I want to fuck her?”