Saturday was not a good day, the whole week had been horrible and the N’oreaster rolling through did little to improve my psyche. Sleep deprived I arrived at “Werks” earlier than normal, not expecting to see Kate nor really caring if I did. I quickly became engrossed in my reading and was only distracted when I found my cup empty. I had been there two hours when Kate showed up an hour later than normal. Despite the weather, she seemed to be in a decent mood. Looking back I regret how I behaved that day, though I was capable of nothing more.
I barely acknowledged Kate as she sat down; offering her no greeting and no smile. I just kept my nose in the book and didn’t even look up. She tried to talk to me a couple of times but I didn’t respond, not even with a grunt. My rudeness eventually took its toll, Kate dealt with my indifference for about 20 minutes before rising silently to leave. I heard her push the chair back, I wasn’t going to say a word but something; maybe it was weakness, desperation or guilt caused me to speak. I didn’t even look up as the words seeped from me in little more than a whisper.
“My mother died.”
It was the first personal or intimate detail I had shared with Kate. Up to that point I had been vague, sharing little more than surface details about myself. She sat back down, my bleary eyes rose from the book to her. She looked very composed, maybe even relieved; reaching across the table she took hold of my hand and I closed “Guyton’s Book of Medical Physiology.”
We sat silently for a moment before I spoke. Kate just held my hand as I began to describe the dysfunction of my family. She listened patiently as I spoke of my brother returning home, damaged emotionally from Vietnam when I was four. My mother whose personal demons tore at the fabric of our family until my parents separated when I was eight. I spoke about my father, brother and of my mother an unsteady and unbalanced fixture trying to do her best just to function.
It felt I like had been speaking for hours; as if I had let forth the ugliest, most venomous parts of myself to this woman who intrigued me so; who caused me so many conflicted emotions, who I wanted so to impress and who I really knew nothing of. I felt completely exposed. It seemed that I had been talking for an eternity, it had been less than twenty minutes. When I stopped it took only a moment for me to compose myself. With her still holding my hand she asked;
“Billy when was the service?”
“Yesterday.” I said flatly
“When did you get in?” She asked.
“This morning, I took the red eye from Salt Lake.” I said flatly.
Kate stayed there with me for a few moments before I withdrew my hand. I forget what I said to her, I knew she had to pick up her girls. I knew that I had taken advantage of her kindness and I sensed that I would probably never see her again. We walked to the door together, she was wrapped in a Burberry raincoat that only left her face exposed and I was in a cheap black plastic slick that barely fit.
We stepped outside and paused underneath the awning, she looked up at me and said; “Billy, I am so sorry.” Then she lifted herself to her toes and embraced me. I was shocked by how grateful I was for the human contact that I brought my arms around her without thinking. I held her for just long enough to feel her relax in my embrace and for the scent of her perfume to tease me; regaining my composure, reality returned and I released her.
We stepped back from each other and she reached up to wipe away the rain trickling down my face.”Are you okay, Billy?” she said with a concern I had heard very few times up to that point in my life. I smiled weakly and nodded in response before turning around. “I must be okay, my heart is still beating” I thought to myself and I headed home.
I really just wanted to be by myself or that is what I thought until I returned to the emptiness of my apartment, suddenly I felt isolated and very insecure. Earlier in the week I called in to work and let Siobhan know what happened and she had covered my shifts through the weekend. Now, alone in my apartment I realized that I had to get out or else I was going to engage in less than constructive behavior. I called Siobhan at home and asked if anyone needed a shift covered. My desperation must have been evident, because she told me she would find something and to just show up at the “Circle” at five. I then threw some gear into a bag and walked up to campus in the rain and worked out.
At five I showed up at work, Siobhan watched me as I walked in and with some concern said:
“Jesus Billy, when did you last sleep?”
“I got a couple hours on the flight from Salt Lake.” I replied.
“You know, I can get someone else to work the door tonight.” She said.
“I’m good, I’ll stock everything up and help out Sue behind the bar until it gets busy.”
Everyone must have sensed the foulness of my mood, I imagine that I exuded an air of anger, frustration çankaya escort and raw angst, because they avoided me for the most part. Both Amy and Beth were working, and they each came up to me and gave me a small hug and some reassurance. I tried to be gracious but I know that I appeared cold and numb. Later I was going down to the stockroom to grab a couple cases of light beer. I was unlocking the stock room door when I felt someone lightly lay a hand on the back of my shoulder. I turned slowly to find Tricia the hostess behind me. She kept her hand on me, with a cocked head she smiled slightly, stepped forward and gave me a gentle hug.
For some reason I didn’t just stand there stiffly with my arms limply at my side. I actually raised my arms around her and pulled her snugly against me, her head wedged like a puzzle piece into the crook of my neck. Tricia and I had never touched before this moment and there was something comforting about this embrace, but I also sensed something….something more than affection, something raw and real; something we had sensed but never acknowledged or acted upon. I held her for a minute before releasing her. She stepped back from me and adjusted my tie, before slowly turning around and heading down the hall, as she turned into the dining room she looked over her shoulder and gave me a reassuring smile.
The storm was winding down but it was still wet and windy and not many people were out and fewer were at the ‘Circle’. There was no reason to cover the door; so, I spent most of my time working as the bar back and busing tables for the wait staff. By nine we had shut down the kitchen and there were only a handful of patrons at the bar. Siobhan told Tricia and I that we could clock out. I went to the back and found Tricia pulling on her black vinyl rain coat.
“Heading to the ‘T’?” Tricia asked.
“Want to share an umbrella?” She asked patting hers.
Smiling in response I nodded.
We headed out into the rain, I held the umbrella over us and Tricia hooked her arm into mine as we started towards the ‘T’ station. After a few steps Tricia broke silence.
“How you holding up Doc?”
Doc was a nickname she had given me when we first started working together, a few others called me that.
“Not bad…” I replied.
“Everyone was surprised to see you tonight.”
“Well, I needed to get out…it was good even if people avoided me.” I said with a chuckle.
“Well what do you expect Doc, you’re a loner who is aloof on your best days.” Tricia said looking up at me.
“I’m not a loner….I’m just introverted.” I replied with a tinge of sarcasm.
“I’m introverted; you’re an extroverted loner who is just a bit intense.”
“Am not.” I answered sarcastically.
Tricia’s only response was to look up at me with a smirk and to roll her eyes.
There weren’t many people on the street but a there were a few more in the underground shelter of the station. Pulling the umbrella closed I noticed a couple of men staring at Tricia. I wasn’t surprised, Tricia was quite striking: She was 5’8, incredibly thin (she was FLAT as a board and had no ass) maybe 110 pounds, sported dyed shoulder length hair that varied from one dark tone to another depending on the week and her skin was very fair, almost translucent.
Tonight, as usual, she wore no makeup with the exception of dark lipstick, mascara and eyeliner, which accentuated her already gaunt features. Even though her black vinyl rain coat covered the black sheer top (that only just obscured the black bra underneath) and her leather skirt, one could glimpse the fishnet stockings that slid into her knee high lace up black boots. Sensing the attention that she was drawing, I stepped closer to Tricia put my arm around her shoulders and gently pulled her to me. Tricia looked up at me and smiled before wrapping her arm around my waist and leaning her head against my chest.
We stayed silently attached on the platform until the train pulled up. For me it felt almost natural to have my arm around her; I felt comfortable, content and at peace for the first time that week. We boarded the train and sat down together; Tricia leaned against me, her head on my shoulder and rested her hand casually on my knee. We had ridden the “T” together a number of times but never like this. We sat contently not even talking while the train made its run. We had just pulled out of the last station before Tricia’s stop, pulling her head off of my shoulder she looked at me.
“Doc it’s still kind of early. Do you want to come over and watch a movie or something?”
I smiled and replied;”Sure.”
I had never been to Tricia’s before. We climbed out of the station and crossed a bridge over one of the old channels and walked arm in arm into what once had been the “garment district” but was becoming an artists’ colony of sorts. It was only a three or four minute walk through nearly abandoned streets, until we came to a large six story brick structure that looked ankara rus escort like it had been a warehouse or factory in the past. We walked into a pseudo lobby that had a large ad in the window advertising “loft condos” and headed to a freight elevator. Entering the elevator Tricia hit “6”.
“Great building.” I said trying to break the silence.
“Thanks, it used to be a leather goods warehouse. I got a great deal on my condo through the redevelopment authority. They’re trying to get artists to move into this part of the city.”
I vaguely remembered that Tricia had mentioned going to art school in Providence. “Photography?” I volunteered.
Tricia smiled coyly slightly raising her eyebrows.
“Good memory…my BA was in visual arts.”
“How did you get involved in social work?”
“Well Doc, I needed a way to support my artistic obsession; so, I got my MS in social work to avoid starvation.” She said giggling.
The elevator came to a slow lurching halt; I stepped forward, unlocked the gate and pulled it open. We stepped into a long, fairly wide hallway that ran the length of the building. Tricia took my hand and led me down the cavernous corridor. Stopping at the last large industrial door Tricia unlocked it and pushed it open. I followed her into the darkness and heard the click of a light switch. Almost instantaneously the light spread and large room unveiled itself.
“Wow!” I exclaimed slowly.
“It’s not bad, it’s nice to have a corner unit, plus I have roof rights; so, someday I will have a roof deck.” Tricia explained pulling off her coat.
It was a large space, probably thirty feet by forty with twelve foot ceilings. Each of the exterior walls had a bank of fifteen foot long factory windows that started three feet off the floor and continued almost to the ceiling. There were no walls aside from a separate enclosure hidden in a corner that I guessed to be the bathroom. The bedroom, kitchen and den were distinct spaces divided by waist high shelves that were pulled together by her studio space. The place felt like a combination gallery, studio and home; her art was displayed everywhere yet it was not chaotic but comfortable.
Tricia, walked over to the kitchen area and started to rummage around.
“There’s a coat tree by the door Billy…Kettle One and Tonic?”
“Yes, please.” I replied as I pulled off my soaked jacket and shoes before walking over to the kitchen. Tricia handed me my drink and announced “cheers” before clinking her glass against mine. We both took a sip.
“Doc, I’m going to change feel free to look around and make yourself comfortable.” She said in almost a giddy tone before leaving the kitchen with her drink.
I started walking towards one of the windows when the lights dimmed and I heard the door to the bathroom close. She had a decent view; I could imagine that she could see part of the harbor in daylight, she could also see into the building (and they could see into hers) across the street. The other window appeared to be perched above the corner of the street and the alley, giving a glimpse of the skyline. After checking out the views I began looking at her art work. Most of it was photographs, many black it was a mish mash of landscapes, cityscapes, portraits, casual shots of people and a number of nudes. Her work was good and after a few minutes I wandered back to one of the windows and gazed out.
“Not much to see at night.” Tricia announced almost startling me.
Turning around I was glad that there wasn’t much light, the dusky glow hid the look on my face. With no visible self consciousness she approached me carrying her drink through the dimly lit loft. Tricia, was known for her fashion sense, she had the ability to balance sexy with tasteful, knowing how to tease without being blatant. She had changed out of her fish nets and skirt and had put on a very sheer black thigh long cover up that tied up in front. I could just make out the contour of a nipple through the material, lower I could just barely discern the outline of her panties. Her legs were long, toned, thin but not spindly just like her arms; her flat torso was proportional to the rest of her linear form. A fresh coat of dark purple (almost black) gloss coated her thin lips, and it seemed to me that she had also freshened up her dark mascara and eyeliner. In the dim light the dark accents contrasted with her pale skin making her face seem sharper and more angular.
Tricia walked up next to me and I turned to look out the window with her.
“Can you see the harbor during the day?” I asked, silently hoping that my “gawking” hadn’t been too obvious.
“You can make out a little of it from the other window. The view is better on the roof. From here it’s pretty urban and industrial.” She said stepping
next to me.
Looking out she took a sip of her drink then looked at me.
“I can see into all the condos across the street, which is sometimes interesting.” She said with a glint ankara yabancı escort from her eyes.
“I bet it is.”
She then placed her hand on the small of my back and walked me over to the other window.
“This where the real action is.”
I couldn’t tell if she was being serious or not. Looking out all I could was the brick wall of a taller building and the entrance to a dark alley lit by a few side lights.
“Really?” I said giving her a questioning look.
Tricia giggled while she put her arm around my waist and pulled herself against me.
“That’s where the hookers bring their johns.” She said with glee.
“Hmmm…” I muttered not sure how I should respond.
“Sometimes they pull up in a car and you can’t tell exactly what they’re doing. Sometimes they get out of the car or walk over to the doorway there and you can watch them fuck their johns or blow them.”
I stared down at the doorway, more of an alcove and thought about Tricia watching the nefarious activities of others.
“I never would have pegged you as a voyeur.” I said in sardonic tone.
“C’mon Doc, I’m a photographer of course I’m a voyeur.”
“Yeah…there is a difference between observing someone unseen and being a voyeur. I could be wrong but I thought that a voyeur gets some type of sexual thrill or satisfaction from watching others.”
With a devilish grin Tricia looked at me and raised her thin eye brows before taking another sip of her drink.
“Well, I find it fascinating and I objectify the hookers and their john’s. I try not to think of why they’re selling themselves but focus on what they’re doing.”
I turned to face Tricia and leaned against wall next to the window.
“Does it arouse you?” I asked
Tricia’s eyes squinted a bit and a sly little smile came to her dark lips.
“It’s taboo, its deviant. I could never sell myself to a stranger but the sexual context of it fascinates and intrigues me.”
I processed what Tricia said and really had no response, for a couple of moments we both stared out the window at the doorway six floors below us, then Tricia spoke.
“So, Doc have you ever bought a whore.” She asked softly.
I finished the last of my drink and placed the empty glass on top of a waist high book case that divided the living area from her studio.
“Kind of….” I replied my voice trailing off.
A wicked grin came to Tricia’s lips and she gave me an expectant look.
“In college I knew this girl, Sean, cute and bright but was more into the social aspects of school that the academics. She dropped out after sophomore year and started working as a bank teller.” I said before pausing.
“yeah….” Tricia prodded.
“So the year after my girlfriend graduated and we broke up, Sean and I became fuck buddies.”
‘Uh…Doc there’s a huge difference between being a fuck buddy and being a whore.”
“Hold on…I’m getting to the good part.” I said before continuing.
“So one day Sean calls me in a panic. Her car broke down and needs $150 of work done.”
“Let me guess…she didn’t have $150.” Tricia chimed in.
“Yeah, so I tell her I’ll loan her the cash.”
“You’re such a nice guy.”
I shot Tricia a sarcastic look and continued.
“I get to her apartment and she answers the door only wearing a tank top that barely goes past her ass.”
“I’m guessing that wasn’t her normal attire?”
“No Tricia, it wasn’t.”
“So Doc, how did this business transaction proceed?”
“Well, I gave her the money and was about to see if she wanted to go out to dinner, but uh….well she uh..had other ideas.”
“I bet she did. So, did she ever pay you back with cash or was this a ‘services rendered’ barter?”
“Services rendered barter.” I replied somewhat sheepishly.
“What was the sex like? Was it any different than normal?” Tricia asked.
I paused for a moment and looked out the window down at the alcove.
“It was different. I knew she wasn’t going to pay me back. So I felt like I had permission to do whatever I wanted. It was more intense, rougher than usual. She was more submissive but also I could tell she was into it. It almost seemed as if she liked getting fucked like that and getting money for it.”
I stopped talking and looked at Tricia who looked like the ‘cat who swallowed the canary’.
“Was that the only time you paid her for sex?”
“Did you ever get together again?”
“Was the sex as intense as it was when she whored herself?”
“No, it was like it had been before; good but not nearly as exciting.”
Tricia stepped away from me and walked towards the large antique wooden bed that was in front of the other window and placed her empty glass on a small table that held couple of cameras, then turned back to me. Even in the low light I could see the determined look on her face as she sauntered back towards me and asked;
“If you had a whore now, what would you do to her?”
I knew what was happening but I still was trying to process the situation. I was tired, my emotions were in complete tumult and I wanted Tricia badly.
Tricia walked up to me and took hold of my damp shirt with both hands, pulled me against her and looked up at me.