Play me a song, he says.
He hands her a harmonica.
What, now? she asks
Yes now. he says
She plays Old Susannah, passably.
He taps his foot along to the music.
She laughs when she finishes and claps her hands.
My pa taught me that. I forgot that i even knew!
They are lying on black satin sheets, a rarity for the time. Sensuously slippery. Only the best for the top earner! That’s what the madam says. You earn me money and you can have anything you want.
Until the day she slips and starts to age, and she leaves the grand house with the satin sheets and the beautiful dresses and men who cherish her to work the streets, the alleys, a new long-term resident of a hog farm out in nowhere. And then man after man after man after man.
You were my first choice, he says
Tonite maybe. she teases. Usually you go with Tomato.
Yeah, she’s so plump. It’s fun.
Yeah it hurts my feelings, she says noncommittally. Well...
But you are always my first choice. Somebody else always gets to you first.
This isn’t our first time or anything! You sound like you’re trying to make it fanciful or romantic.
I’m not! maybe i am. he said. Sorry.
I don’t mind! It’s ok, you paid for an hour. So....
Well it’s just that i want you to know i think you’re really pretty and i always...wanted to....
We have already! don’t you remember? Oh, you were too drunk weren’t you you naughty roughneck...
Yeah. Yeah. But that doesn’t mean i don’t remember it at all, I just don’t - I want to remember it better. I want to lie with you and then take it with me in my mind complete, to the next place and the next and the next. Do you understand? I never know if i’ll ever make it back to this place.
Ha, of course you will. Stop it. And guess what, I’ll still be here.
The sheets were cool and slippery. There was a cigar burn hole in the middle and it would chafe his thigh. Or her back. Neither of them knew what it was and they didn’t care. They didn’t even look.
thank you Daniel Connors for your art