Art by kristjan
By: Kyle K. Mann
They almost wouldn’t let me check in at the Westwood Holiday Inn. I was dressed in faded jeans and a Hawaiian shirt, and didn’t have a credit card. Having had little sleep in days didn’t help my looks or attitude. And I was on a powerful combination of illegal drugs.
What put the squinty-eyed woman off the most, though, was the fact that I demanded a top floor penthouse suite. “But they have a fully stocked wet bar,” she bleated.
“Look,” I stated with a surge of confidence, “I’ll be delighted to put down a generous deposit.” I spread out a fan of hundred dollar bills, and shortly afterward was happily heading for the elevator with guitar case in one hand and suitcase in the other.
My maniacal pal Ab the editor, who had watched the whole scene with shocked amusement, chuckled in horror as we rode up. Within minutes another key peer group member, Art the producer, had arrived; my goony friends demolished my “wet bar”, guzzling an amazing collection of varied and potent beers. As for me, I was way beyond alcohol.
“You mean this dump costs a hundred bucks a day?” huffed Art in mock indignation. “That’s outrageous!” He began laughing wildly, and popped another Carlsberg.
Art was right, of course, but I wanted to impress a woman friend I’d been lusting after for years. I was questing to capture her attractive husk like a playboy in heat.In truth, I’d loved her for years, too. I had only one fear, that if we ever actually fell for each other, Tondy might yak my ear off.
My badly inebriated pals finally wobbled out of the suite, emitting loud whoops, and it was time to phone my singing female friend. For once she sounded subdued. “My gig last night was a disaster.”
“The keyboard player didn’t show, and since he was doubling on bass we were left with guitar, keyboards and trumpet!”
Tondy sure is a hard worker, I thought: she works five days a week at a straight job, then handles weekend gigs singing in front of uncaring goons. We chatted a few minutes and made a date for Sunday, which seemed achingly far away.
I rushed down to the outdoor jacuzzi pond next to the swimming pool. The area was oddly empty; dusk was approaching. Even the repellent chlorine foam could not hinder my enjoyment, and the powerful jet soothed my spasming back. For some minutes I languidly lounged in idle pleasure. Finally a goggle-eyed older guy with a hairy paunch approached as I hunched in the bubbling tub.
“Gotta watch out for this foam, it’s toxic,” I said blandly, hoping to discourage him. The dude stared at me, then began easing in, and not feeling at all social I fled back upstairs for safety. I was slipping into my Inn-supplied bathrobe when the phone rang.
It was Ab, screaming with annoyance that he had been put on hold by the switchboard person. “My call should have been put through at once!” he growled.
“By the way,” I tangented laughingly, “I charged the wet bar to you, man.”
“Right, you’re sending the bill to my home,” he said, calming down.
“I’ve decided to throw the wet bar out the window.”
Ab emitted a bark of humor. “But you can’t, the window won’t open wide enough.” This was true, the windows in Holiday Inn’s only open a teeny bit so you can’t jump out.
Annoyed by this, I abruptly slammed the phone down and attacked the screws holding back the window-door, somehow managing to take them out with my fingers. Finally I threw open the sliding door fully and look out and down: ah, there are the humans down below, getting out of the limo and checking into their suites with non-opening windows.
Later, after mindlessly cruising Wilshire, I pulled into my parking space in the garage and semi-staggered out, fumbling with newspapers, bags of food, clothes, and I hear a feminine voice say “Do you need any help?”
I whirled; it was a lady in sitting in a car across the aisle. Black lady, looking good… Oh, I realized. Oh.
“No thanks,” I smiled, fumbling yet further with my shoulder bag and opening the trunk. A sheaf of papers fell to the pavement. She giggled sweetly.
“Are you sure you don’t need any help?”
“I almost do,” I laugh.
“Come on over here, I ain’t gonna bite cha.”
This is significant because for weeks I have been fighting urges to engage my my first hooker ever so as to ease the absurd pressure in my genital clump. “Are you sure you don’t bite?” I walk over slowly and damn, she is looking hot and yet has a gentle aura about her and is quite psychic too, I see at once, because we introduce ourselves and she intuitively has the best approach possible…
“I could just give you a massage.”
I love it, becoming aroused at once. Pictures flow in my brain…
And the The Override cuts in, like a part of my soul that is very old and tired and doesn’t want any more karma.
“No, I should sleep,” I tell her almost sadly. “It’s been almost two days.” Then I sort of bow to her in the space between the cars. “But it’s been nice making eye contact with you.”
And she smiles and I smile, and weirdly I feel like I just got laid.
I go up to my room, thinking heavily. If Tondy wasn’t on my desire-horizon would I do it? Perhaps. Perhaps. Would have gotten semi-involved with her too, I think. She was a rare hooker. Smart the way she would watch for tired single males heading back to the sanctuary of their rooms. Cute, too…
I try to take a bath to wash off the chlorine but once seated in the tub I suddenly realize the drain is defective. The only way to bathe is to leave the water going full blast. I endure this for a moment, then emerge. Now is that a sign? Should I go back down to her car?
Nah. I’ve never paid for sex. Heh, at least not outright in cash. Sex always has a price.
Right. I’ve only made it with one woman, my ex, of course, in the last five years. Man did I pay. I never want to see that lying, scummy bitch again. Why did she lie to me about the drugs? I never lied to Her.
Perhaps I should go down to the garage, bring up the hooker, and do it without games, unspoken commitments. But no. (I’m pacing around nude at this point.) I can’t do it. I hate using rubbers, and I might get some horrid disease. Right, but I’m suddenly lonely. Jacked up on these stimulants. Want to interreact. Want to reach out…
What if I just went down there to talk to her? Tell her she made me feel great? Ahhh, fug it.
I get dressed, still thinking. How great do I feel? Excellent. What if I gave her forty bucks for the mental lovemaking? Am I crazy? Maybe.
But when I go back down, her car is gone.
And I am disappointed but recognize the symptoms. Another “guidance-burst” from my unconscious, my higher self. After all, who is it I don’t want to disease? Who am I saving myself for?
I don’t know, but my higher self does. That higher self wants to keep it a surprise a while longer.
Later, I called Ab to tell him I no longer have a window problem. “Great, man,” he says, preoccupied with getting ready for a late night date.
“How many women have you fucked, total?” I suddenly ask.
“Uh, I have a list,” he admits.
“Ahm but it’s not totaled up?”
“Right.” He pauses. “It’s about thirty.”
“More than me man.” Those years with the ex.
He changes the subject. “I just took a great shit: long, firm and with a gently tapered tip.” We both laugh. Sometimes taking a great shit is better than sex.
Still later, unable to sleep, I hit the streets on foot. Friday night in Westwood, and the animals are out this evening. Swarms of mostly young humans are thronging the streets, in search of dreams they can barely articulate. There’s a strong need to see and be seen. Skirts are brief, and so are tempers as the masses press up against each other, trembling with strange desires. But I’m too old for the game.
I do, however, walk over to the Westworld Arcade to play the latest laser-disc cartoon game. Suddenly I’m Dirk the Daring, roaming a hideous haunted castle. But I get killed, and the machine wants more money.
Kyle K. Mann
1983, Santa Monica