May 06, 2010

Street Signs Part Deux

A sequel for a story writ two years ago...

I shuddered as a breeze caught around my ankles. Denise had left me after all, after that "hell" I went through when she had that family emergency. I still lived with Dwight, although he somewhat simmered down from the boiling hot lothario he was two years ago. The two of us moved out of our old place on Mason street and found a nice, decent double loft in the industrial part of the city. I was no longer studying at the university but I was working as a technician for the labs in the forestry department. When I say technician, I really mean something more like... well... the guy behind the counter at the dispensary for lab equipment. But I do know how to work all the stuff, and service it. Mostly since it was equipment from the 1930s.

I didn't care that I was single, I changed for a new lifestyle. Dwight had become a graduate student and was working as a TA earning a bit of money and I was pulling my part. Our place became a pretty chic place, like you know, those fancy looking apartments you see on television. We had a flat screen, and Barcelona chairs and big glass topped counters. To be fair, the flat screen is 24 inches and the reason we have so much modern furniture was because the guy who lived across the hall ran a furniture warehouse and couldn't move the damn things so he gave them to us. Pretty sick bachelor pad if I must say. Our double loft is a bit of an anomalie because there's two separate lofts. One over the entrance and one over the living space. It works, there's still tons of light and all, just less privacy. I can be in bed and sit up and then see the big D riding on some girl he met. Lately, it has been the same girl. I think he's finally settling down for a change. But every night those two were together, I wanted it just as much, so badly.

Mason st. and Delaware avenue

My old apartment was on my normal bike ride to work at the College of Forestry. Every morning, I'd pass by it and ring the bell on my road bike just to say hello to my old windows and front door. Sometimes, i'd check the mailbox to see if I still had any mail being sent there. I got most of it by then, but occasionally, a misinformed relative will send a check there and whoever moved in just leaves my mail in the box still.

On that morning, I did my usual routine, rode past it, and rung the bell. Suddenly, I heard the shuck of a window and I looked up to see a round tan face looking back at me. From my own old apartment for that matter. I was enthralled for a moment as her straight, blond hair drooped over her bare shoulders covered only by the straps of a worn looking undershirt. I forgot I was on my bicycle. Someone had opened the door of their car right in front of me and well, I went sailing for a brief second. I did a sort of half barrel roll over the handle bars and laid there on the street for a moment. The offending vehicle had closed the door and pulled away quickly, running over my bike in the process. She saw this and her head ducked out the window.

I dont know for how long I laid in the street but when I came to, my head was cradled in her arms and resting on her knees on the sidewalk. Up close, her face was sweet, and her eyes were greenish blue. If I didn't have to get to work, I could have laid there for a while longer. I staggered to my feet and she looked at me in surprise.

"I... I got to get to work..."
"Are you all right? You took a nasty hit and that person just kinda ran off."
"Where... where's my bike?"
"Well, you cant really ride it. It got run over."
"What? Lucy Bell? Run over?"
"That's a cute name for a bike."

I started to cry a little. She pointed to the wreckage of my bicycle leaning against the wall of my old building. The handle bars were bent, the frame wrecked and both wheels busted up pretty badly. The only thing that survived was the pannier rack on the back, the bell and my Brooks saddle.

"Why don't you come inside for a moment. You can use the telephone here to call your work place."
"Uh.. S-sure."

She was petite but she was strong enough to support me up the staircase. She kicked open the door to her place and placed me in a chair in the living room. I thought to myself, this used to be my living room... I looked around me, the place was rather bare. There was a simple scrubbed table on one side of the dining area, a couple Ikeaish chairs, a forlorn looking saggy couch and a few prints framed on the walls.

"My name's Samantha. Everyone calls me Sam."
"Well, my name's Rafe."
"Just want to know. Is it with an ie or a... hah. Oops."
"Easy mistake. It's fine. The telephone?"
"Ah, nearly forgot."

She walked over to the kitchen counter and picked up a black cordless phone and handed it to me. I called in my office, saying I wouldn't be in today since I was in an accident, etc. etc. As I spoke with my boss, I watched her walk around the apartment doing her things. She walked into her room and emerged wearing a sweatshirt with the letters Alpha Nu on the front. My mind raced a little.

"Cool. How're you feeling now?"
"A bit better. Say, can I ask you something sort of personal."
"That depends on what you're trying to find out."
"Do you buy groceries at Boles' Green Grocers?"
"Yeah, I do actually."
"Do you recall bumping into someone and slapping him there?"
"Slapping... let me think. Yeah, there was this perv there. Said he was reading the words on my ass and thinking of the Dean or something. I told him I was kinky and... oh my god. That's you. Like... how are you!"
"Fine thanks."
"Look, I didn't mean it when I said perv or anything. It's just, it's been pretty hard lately. I was dating some douche bag who wanted me to spray tan myself orange and he dumped me for some floozie at Chi O and I dont know why I'm telling you all this."
"I dont either. What are you doing here?"
"Well, I moved in here when the place came up. I graduated and needed a place to live since I started work for the admissions office."
"Believe it or not, this is my old place."
"That's like some sort of crazy coincidence."
"Sorry for kinda standing you up the last time we met."
"Well, I did come on to you a bit forward."
"I suppose. You're not dating this uh.. D bag still are you?"
"No. Single as a nun."
"Ahh. Well.."
"You're asking me out aren't you?"
"My answer to you is yes."
"You're not still kinky are you?"
"You have yet to see my good sir."
"Uh. Great. Pick you up at eight?"
"On what? Your Lucy Bell is reduced to a bike seat."
"Saddle. Bike saddle."
"Fine fine. But what do you intend to do?"
"Well, you have yet to see my good lady."

We exchanged numbers and parted ways. I took the remnants of my bike out of the lobby and carried them back to the loft. When I got back, Dwight looked at me and sprayed his drink all over the table.

"What the fuck dude? What happened to you?"
"It's a long story. But in the end, I got a date."
"What? No way. How long has it been since your dick's seen another woman's bits?"
"Not that long. Sheesh. It's been what? Seven months."
"Seven months! Oh my god. I'm surprised your balls haven't exploded unless you've been whacking off constantly since that Denise witch dumped you."
"I'll appreciate it if you dont call her a witch. Denise and I are still friends."
"Yeah look. I'm friends with my grandma. But I dont think about her like the way you think about Denise."
"Look, your grandmother..."
"Aww dude. I cant eat now. I'm thinking about my grandma in bad ways. Fuck."
"Dwight. You're sick."
"You're sick man. You're the one with the date now. The girl I've been bringing around, she says she wants to move some things in. Shit dude. What am I gonna do?"
"Fine with me."
"No. Not fine with you. You should be virulently opposed and get in her face."
"You dont know her name do you?"
"No fucking idea."
"Right. Well, we'll work on that. Not even a first name."
"Abby or Edie or Babby something with an ee sounding name."
"I dated a girl by the name of Babbi all right?"
"Back at the old place. The one I brought back a second time and never after."
"That was Bambi. We talked a little."
"Woah, total brain fuck right there man."
"Right. I'll help you figure out your girl's name for you if you help me."
"With what?"
"I need your truck for tonight."
"Fine. Take care of her. She needs a bit of gas."
"Fine by me."

Dwight's pickup rumbled to life as I put the keys in, and shifted it into gear. I loved driving, it's a warm feeling, feeling the warmth of the seat, the rumble of the car as it sat in gear. I pulled the car outside her place, got out and set off for her door. There was a familiar buzz of the doorbell and a warm, sassy sounding voice from the speaker.

"Hey, it's me."
"Hey, come on up."

The door rattled with a buzz and I pushed my way in. I came up to her door on the third floor, and the same little bare room made itself present again.

"Hey you."
"How're you doing?"
"Fine, just give me a second to finish putting on makeup."
"Sure sure."

I sat in a small easy chair as she disappeared to the bathroom again. I looked around, there seemed to be a bit more furniture than when I was here earlier this morning.

"Is some of this furniture new?"
"How is furniture 'sorta' new?"
"Well, college finished a couple of days ago, and students are just throwing all this stuff out."
"Did you look at it with a black light first?"
"I didn't want to think about that."
"Well, it comes with student used furniture."
"So.. where are we going?" She emerged from the doorway, wearing a black slinky dress, her face lightly touched up with makeup. "I mean, if we're going somewhere else, I need to change again."
I thought about it, one thing came up. "Twin Peaks."
"Twin peaks? The bar?"
"Yeah sure. C'mon it'll be fun. Look, I got my darts with me, I can teach you." She reluctantly looked at me with a cocked head and little pouted lips. "Or how about Swing."
"That sounds more like it." She grabbed me by the tie and we left her place. In the hall, there is an old alcove for the telephone, she pushed me into it. Her lips pressed against mine, this caught me by surprise, and I just let it happen.
"How 'bout dinner too?"
"That's better."

I took her for dinner at Oxygen 42, a considerable dig into my pocket and then we found ourselves dancing and grinding around the dance floor. Drinks flowed between me and her, more her than me. Before long, I found her crashing about, falling, flailing and generally, very drunk. After an hour's worth of dancing, I had to drag her back to the car.

"Where are your keys?"
"I dunno. They-they were n a scrunchie on my wrist." I looked at her wrists. Bare. "But uh oh. Looks like I lost them."
"How am I supposed to get you home?"
"Take me with you!"
"It's only our first date. Look... I"
"Shhhh. Just let me sleep. I promise I wont be bad."
"Allright I suppose."

I drove back to my loft and took her up to my room. She looked at me, a wide grin smashed itself over her face. She giggled and then pounced onto my bed. I looked at her, I cant do it I thought. She's drunk. She looked at me and crawled to the edge of the bed and grabbed my tie again and this time, with a weird amount of strength, she pulled me down on top of her. The rest is just history.

I woke up, the sun was streaming through the windows, and my head was still somewhat of a groggy mess. I looked around. The bedsheets were tangled around my legs and waist. A lump of pillows lay around, the comforter was thrown onto the chair and there were clothes everywhere. I looked to my side and splayed out on the sheets, arms enwrapt around a stuffed moose I had laying on the bed, was the naked figure of Samantha. Her hair was spread out and fanned over the pillows. I drew a finger and poked her side. Her eyes stirred, and I poked again. Her lips, parted revealing a small pink tongue that licked around.

Atlas and Kingman Sts.

I sat quietly at the cafe, sketchbook laid out flat in front of me. My cigarette still let little wisps out, showing resilience to dying out just yet. As I drew, the pen just seemed to flow over the pages, cutting loose all of my enslaved ideas and thoughts in picture form. It was a little while since I last saw Sam. That morning we had gone to bed together, she just disappeared and hadn't called since. The waiter brought along another coffee to the table. As I looked at the steaming cup, I heard the piercing ring of a cellphone. I looked around to find this strange source of noise and found myself making eyes with Sam again. She saw me and sprang up, knocking over her table and the things on it.

"Oh my god, so there you went."
"Yeah, here I went."
"Why didn't you call?" Her legs crossed, revealing a bit of a thigh. It was becoming irresistable.
"Well, you left in such a hurry, I almost thought you didn't want to be bothered."
"A girl would like to know a little bit at least..."
"Well, I apologize then."
"Do you want to make a girl's fancy again?"
"You know..." Her skirt lifted a little.
"Aha, well... hum." I put my coffee down and looked her in the eyes. Her lashes batted over her light blue eyes. "I could.. Lets go how's that?"

I took her arm and she took mine and we walked back to my apartment.

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