She shivered against the January cold as she took the last drag off of her cigarette and tossed it into the street.. Thin coats and miniskirts were not meant for prairie winters but it pays to advertise. She walked faster to keep warm, her stiletto heels tapped out a staccato rhythm analogous to her life.
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His breath emerged as a plume of water vapour and cigarette smoke. He winced as a shard of ice wind impaled him through his Brooks Brother's great coat. "Shit", he thought, "if non-smokers are so fond of fresh fucking air, why aren't they out here enjoying it?". He crushed out his cigarette and started back inside to the warmth of his office.
She knew the room well, 31a of the Welcome Inn. She knew the bed well too, had looked up from it too many times to count. The man on top of her was grunting, sweat dripped from the black jungle on his chest onto her alabaster belly. She counted ceiling tiles while her breathing matched his out of habit. One last grunt, one last thrust and the shudder. She watched as he rolled off the bed, stripped off the Trojan and began getting dressed. Her eyes went to the four 20's on the dresser.
He smiled as the computer whisked the file he had spent the day working on up to his boss' office. There had been a $2 million snag in the Furgess account this morning but through hard work, ingenuity and judicious lying he had unsnagged it. "I don't remember Covering snot-nosed college kids asses being in my job description.". Could that promotion be far away now? "It's not my fault that my daddy isn't golf buddies with the CEO. Why should I have to keep saving these junior executive punks from their own fucking mistakes? Almost six o'clock - I can still make happy-hour."
She shut the door to her $500 a month compartment and walked past the remnants of long forgotten meals to the couch. She took a plain wooden box from the coffee table and freed her works from it. She closed the box and looked for a moment at the inscription, "Salvation". She tied off. First the water, then the powder. Hold the blackenned spoon over the candle until the powder dissolves. Drop a small piece of cotton into the water and fill the syringe through it. Find a vein, draw some blood - just to be sure - and plunge. She untied with her teeth, slumped back into the couch and whispered, "Success".
He opened the door to the Paradise Bar and Grill and waited a moment for his eyes to adjust to the dim interior. "Two scotch and water, rocks, please, Pete" he said. He didn't know the bartender's real name, Pete was an affectionate abbreviation of St. Peter. The first Fiddich barely touched his lips, the second took only a little longer. Numbers 3,4,5 followed. By the end of number 6 he was beginning to forget. Pete wondered if it might be time to call a cab.
"Hi Sandy...He said what?...But I gave him all I had earlier...How much?...Christ I'm only human, what does he think I am?...I haven't been!... Oh shit here he comes, you'd better split Sandy.... Thanks." "Hi, Baby.". Two minutes later she found herself in a back alley with Baby. Five minutes later she found herself in a coffee-shop bathroom applying cosmetics to tear stains and bruises. Christ.
Pete had cut him off. thankfully he had remembered the emergency flask in his desk drawer. "I guess I should phone the bitch and let her know I'm still breathing. That ought to ruin her day. 'Hi honey.... No I'm still at the office.... The Furgess account... Just a couple with dinner... No, I'll be a while, they fucked it up pretty good... What?... No!... She doesn't have a name... Because there is no fucking her... Okay you got me. While I thought I was working I was actually out screwing some anonymous slut in the back seat of the Benz...No don't wait up I'll still be a while...Yeah, I love you too. Bye'". He took a truly heroic pull from the flask. Christ.
The black Mercedes pulled up alongside her at the curb. As she approached the car the passenger window came down and he said, "How much?"
"$40 for oral, $80 for sex."
"Get in. I'll go for $80 and I don't want to hear another fucking word from you". His breath stank of scotch and contempt.
Yeah, big loss, I so wanted to talk to you. Just my luck, another fucking suit that wants to take out his frustration at the boss and the wife on me. Wonderful. She slid back in the seat and made love to the remnants of junk in her veins.
He found a dingy downtown motel that advertised hourly rates, The Drop Inn, they called it. Why do shitty little dives always try to have classy or clever names?. They went in and he paid the desk clerk $15 for the key to room 21. The room was painted a reassuring shade of bile green, the window had dirt on it dating back to the Kennedy assassination and the bed was suspect at best. "Get naked and get on your hands and knees.".
She hated him. Most of the men who rented her got nothing but sex and pity from her but he had earned hatred. First, off with the belly shirt then down with the mini-skirt. Down on all fours, no ceremony, no show, just business. He entered her with determined force. Tune him out, look at the wall, don't think about it. No tiles to count. Z..y...x..w...
With one last violent push he finished. "Get dressed cunt.", he said, doing up his pants, "You know the only difference between fucking you and beating off is that my wrist isn't tired.". He finished dressing and left the room while straightening his tie. $80 sat on the decaying televesion.
Back on the street, the night had come on cold. She pulled what passed for a coat tight around her and began the walk home. "I don't need this shit. It's not like this is all I can do. I'll never work for NASA but I'm not a retard or anything. I could go to school and become a hairdresser or secretary. Why not?"
He was on the road after some trouble finding the ignition. "Fucking people just don't get it", he muttered as he pulled carelessly into traffic and almost hit a blue Civic, "Asshole, watch where you're fucking going! That's whats wrong with this country no one looks at where they are anymore. Just drift from day to day and never notice the shit they cause. Blind, stupid fucking animals". He drifted casually into the other lane and leaned on his horn to correct the idiot coming toward him, "There's never a cop around when you need one. Fuck it."
The neighbours are fighting again, and the walls do nothing except hide the faces. She may as well have been in the same room - slum radio, at least they aren't breaking shit tonight. Her matress provided her some small cushion against the floor as she lay down. The quilt her Gran had knit her long ago provided more comfort than warmth. She closed her eyes and drifted off to the sounds of marital bliss.
He pulled into the driveway and prayed his wife was safely asleep in the arms of prince Valium. He entered the house and went to the bedroom, pleased to have been spared his beloved's traditional, warmly derisive, "Hi Dear". No risk of that tonight. He slid into bed beside her and clicked off the light while she dreamed of a land where lovers are competent and "husband" is a crash joke. He pulled the satin sheet up to his chin and let his head sink into the plush pillow.
The whore slept fitfully that night.
But would I be a good Messiah with my low self-esteem? / If I don't believe in myself would that be blasphemy? - The Bloodhound Gang Hell Yeah