Tuesday, February 12, 2013



She was a little bit dirty, he could tell. She sat there with her elbows up on the bar, cigarette in hand, shoulders hunched. She twirled her drink with her free hand, rubbing a finger up and down the glass, collecting the moisture. Every few twirls, she'd reach up and press her wet finger to her lips. It must be cold, he thought. There was a small piece of tobacco clinging to her lower lip and he wanted desperately to pick it off. 

She dipped a finger in her drink and sucked the liquor off, and that is when he decided to stay. 

"Hello," she said, but didn't smile. 

By his second drink he was no longer bothered by the stickiness on the barstool or the sweat stains under her arms or the constant stream of smoke that spilled out of her mouth, rolling over her tongue and dancing on her words.

"Let me guess," she said, "You sell insurance."

People always assumed he sold insurance, or worked in a bank, or was an accountant. As if these professions were the only options for men of a certain type. Of his type. Usually, he viewed it as a small minded stereotype but he looked through the smoke and into her eyes and said, "Yes, insurance." The lie came out naturally, as if he'd been doing it his whole life. Like there was nothing unusual about sitting in a bar in broad daylight, drinking gin and talking to a strange woman and breathing in her stink and smoke and lying about who he was. 

"Everyone needs insurance," he smiled.

He was very very drunk when they walked out and she, who had been very very drunk when he walked in, walked taller and straighter than he could manage. "It takes practice," she explained. He fumbled with his key until she took in from him, sliding it into the lock with authority. Once inside, he fell against the wall and she pushed herself up against him. Her lips burned his face and her hands scratched at his clothes and the smell of her filled his head. He felt sick and giddy. 

"Here?", she said and he did not know exactly what she meant. He only knew the answer was yes. Yes here and yes there and yes, but first, he caught his breath and found his voice and said into her ear,

"Let me bathe you."

He drew a bath and watched her undress. She was all angles and bones and, naked now, older than he'd first thought. Her skin was pale and freckled in odd places and shone silver in the marks on her belly and breasts. She caught him staring and covered herself awkwardly with her hands, like a girl. 

He took his time washing her, gentle and sure. She closed her eyes and gave herself to him, floating in the water, turning when prompted, holding her head back as his rinsed her hair. She was pink from the heat when she stepped from the bath, and he could feel her warmth under the towel as he dried her. "Through there," he said softly, and pointed to the door to his bedroom. He turned from her and drained the milky water from the tub, her sediment floating and swirling and clinging to the sides. 

She lay on the bed smelling of soap and sex, one hand behind her head and the other cupping her breast. 

"How do I look?", she asked, and he answered truthfully - happily - 



  1. Geez louize you are amazing.

    1. I wish I could think of a self deprecating response, but I will just say 'thank you' instead.

  2. very well-written, as always


  3. Why did this make me cry?! Why?! You are a sorceress.