The electric chariot was prepared for immediate departure, with fresh flowers arranged in vases that were attached to its interior walls. There were two robots in the exact shape and form of stallions, efficient and self-driving. All the attendant needed to do was to tap in the coordinates of the destination and pour the champagne. The intelligent horses got pulling at a max speed of 23 miles per hour. The ride was so smooth it felt like walking on clouds, while being tickled in all the right places.
You tell me to leave the door open and wait, so I do. Naked, crouched with the small of my back pressed to the wall, looking down at the hardwood floor. It is late afternoon. Gold light comes in through the windows. The weather has turned and the air drifting in gives me goosebumps, pulls my nipples up. Sometimes I love being cold.
This is not a place but a person. "Just call me Chicago," he had said. "That's where I'm from." And that is what I had to make do with. Not that we met often, only three times, and not that we formed a deep bond, in fact, the opposite. That is what I cannot purge, that we didn't. This is a story of failure. And I am guilty. College music practice rooms, soulless little concrete block boxes with a small glass panel in each door and no natural light, are secluded sites, perversely private, eerily silent but for fragments of music flitting along the carpeted corridors. Earnest students with violin or compact clarinet cases or more often pianists seeking an instrument slide into these as if entering the confessional, then muted sounds emerge. It is a tranquil and civilized little business, but because of soundproofing and the nature of practice - largely repetition and difficulty – a flawed experience to any musically hopeful passer-by. It is merely music in the making, rough music, and only the smallest hint of the sublime reaches out. This was the winter of 1964, Missouri, a long way from Chicago. I don't know if he played an instrument. He was in the building, but so was I and I didn't play anything. It was a quiet place, notwithstanding the music, removed from bustle and speed, solitary people coming and going, and the building, soundproofed as it was, allied to silence, undramatic and fortified with twenty or thirty small enclosures of lined rooms.
She bought barberries. She had enough saffron at home. A twenty-kilo sack of smoked rice was still untouched in the kitchen cupboard. She was going to kill the fattest chicken by the fountain, let it bleed out and skin it right there on the mustard mosaics. She was going to disintegrate the bird in four: two legs and two breasts, marinade it in her magic mix. “Magic” he used to call it. It is just a few spices and butter, she’d protest, what’s so magic about it? Your fingers, you’ve got magic fingers, you touch anything and it becomes the yummiest. Saffron, turmeric, cumin, that was it really. But he called it magic.
Lucia found a beautifully hand-written invitation in her graduate-student mailbox. She shared it with me when she returned to our tiny Binghamton, New York apartment: Dear Lucia, You and Wyler are cordially invited to attend the fifth annual Summer Solstice Festival in our home on the night of the twentieth, beginning at 9:00 PM. Bring your appetite, a favorite wine, and an open mind. We hope to see you here!
An email address was provided to RSVP.
So, you wanna do this? My phone lit up, the five words in her message giving life to every recent masturbatory fantasy of mine -- fantasies that began when I started dating Sasha six months ago.
In a climate as harsh as that of Montana and Wyoming it’s tough to maintain paved highways to every community. That said, the dirt roads that link so many of our settlements run through some beautiful terrain. I mention this only because with no time constraints I was on my way to Laramie from Lakewood and decided on a scenic route.
The silk hosiery, garter belt, corset, lace chemise, the dress, and the shoes had been set out for her by one of the girls. It was still sweltering at dusk. Madame Myrtle could tell it was going to be a long night, a rough night. If the wind would just blow and cool things off a bit; bring a little relief to this humidity. A young girl stood in the corner of the room with a palm fan making the only breeze that Myrtle was going to feel tonight. The girl had come for work. She could be no more than 14, so Myrtle put her to work as a fan. Soon enough the other girls would have her working the men, seduced with rouge, Ostrich feathers, silks, and furs.
‘It’s in here,’ he said, as he unlocked the door of the old, dilapidated wooden shed. ‘My dad lets me use this as a garage.’ The shed was sited on the edge of the golf course that his father’s family owned. ‘I’ve never been on a motorbike before,’ said Maureen as they gazed on the chrome and black leather masterpiece that was Henry’s new acquisition, now that he was old enough to hold a full license.