She had told me to give her a ring if I was ever in town.
I was in a phone booth splattered with graffiti and stinking of piss.
Her name was listed in the directory.
Right below there was an advert for a call-girl service.
Attractive girls, personal service, discrete. Call now.
On the opposite page there was another advert, this one for Gun City.
All types of hand guns, hunting rifles and gear.
I ignored the ads and dialed her number.
Wiped my fingers and let it ring a while.
She didn’t pick up, and I didn’t leave a message.
There was a card in the booth.
Jesus loves you, it read. Come and be saved.
There was an address and the opening hours.
I took the card, and tore the page from the directory.
I got back into my ride, lit a cigarette.
It was going to be a long night.
Looking to score I cruised around the industrial districts to the east of town.
There were groups of kids, hoods up, looking as sad and lousy as their surroundings.
I met a guy I knew from before.
He didn’t recognize me.
He told me what he had and I took it all.
I needed to get high.
Headed up to the ridge, where the lovers make out with the city lights below.
It was a good place to shoot up.
At length, as the methamphetamine took hold; I felt my libido rise.
The torn-out page was in my hand.
A lusty gaze stared up at me, the illustration of a call-girl possessing a face with full lips masked by the rising smoke of her cigarette.
I desperately needed a cigarette, and my pack was empty.
I could have bummed a smoke from the car next door, but the rocking told me they were otherwise occupied.
The call-girl was still there, still looking at me.
I needed to get laid.
She had told me to give her a ring if I was ever in town.
And she hadn’t answered.
I took a ride down to the business district, the office towers glowing bright in the twilight.
The hookers were in the street.
Smart cars pulled up, smart men leant out and made smart comments.
The prostitutes gave it right back to them, flashing their tits over the top of their shirts.
Deals were made.
Women got into cars.
I was distracted by the spectacle.
A hand rapped impatiently on the window.
One of the whores had snuck up on the passenger’s side.
“What are you doing tonight, honey?”
My mouth was dry from the drugs, I hadn’t spoken a word all day.
She was black, she was beautiful.
High forehead, smooth skin.
She bore a gaze of pure malevolence.
I nodded, tilted my head, she got in, and we drove off.
I still hadn’t spoken a word.
She opened her cigarette case, it was empty, she slammed it closed in disgust.
“Hey, you got a cigarette honey?”
I shook my head, pulled into a convenience store.
I bought five packs of Marlboros, condoms, sedatives and painkillers for later.
We smoked in silence as we cruised out of town in search of a motel.
I was getting really high.
The effects were coming on strong.
The euphoria was rising, I was feeling better than ever.
I asked her name, and she told me. Angela.
I asked her age, and she told me. 25.
I asked her the price, and she told me. Expensive.
I asked her if I could fuck her in the ass, and she said yes. Excellent.
We found a place, crummy, the proprietor was disinterested behind his window.
We got the key for room number four.
She put her bag on the table and pressed me onto the bed.
Unzipped my pants and took out my already hard dick.
Sucked it vigorously.
I’d never got off with a prostitute before.
Despite my appearances, I’m a straight up guy.
Was, a straight up guy.
I knew I was sliding down a slope of no return.
What was I doing here in this place?
I looked around the room, bare walls, peeling paper.
A crucifix and a picture of the virgin Mary.
Clean sheets upon a soiled mattress.
She was sucking me hard.
I lit a cigarette and smoked.
I let her do her work.
When I couldn’t take any more I pulled her onto the bed.
Kissed her roughly on the mouth.
Tore her pants down, donned a condom and lost myself inside her.
Was she in to it or was it all an act?
I was riding her hard.
Picked her up and pressed her against a wall.
I looked in her eyes, stranger’s eyes, as I drove myself deep.
“What a bad way to make a living.”
“Not when it’s like this,” she replied.
I kissed her again, with a little bit of tenderness.
Finished, flourished, spent, but unsatisfied.
I asked her if she’d like to do a line and she said yes.
We snorted off the edge of the bathroom sink.
She giggled and told me zany stories.
I fucked her again, took my time.
Her knees were up against my chest.
Flashes tore through my mind, all the sex I’d ever had.
It is truly the moment when you are most alive.
But I didn’t want to be with this woman.
I wanted to be with her.
I could see her face.
I could taste her name upon my lips.
It was all mixed, the drugs playing games with my mind.
I saw her laugh, saw her cry.
Jesus I fucked with all my strength.
And I paid her price.
I folded a fat wad of bills and put it back into my pocket.
I offered to drive her back.
She asked me to take her home.
We cruised along the highway, I put some loud music on to avoid speaking.
The city lights slid past.
She indicated the way, and I took the offramp.
It was all coming back to me, these streets hadn’t changed that much at all.
She was leading me back to a fateful place.
As we got close I felt my pulse beat.
She told me left and I knew it couldn’t be chance.
I pulled over on the curb on an ordinary suburban road.
Got out of the car and stood upon the spot.
She rolled down the window and asked me what I was playing at.
I sat down on the dew wet grass.
She got out and walked over.
I couldn’t leave just then.
I had to linger for a moment, let the bitter blades of glass cut me up a little more.
I looked up at her.
“He was drunk you know.”
“The driver.”
“Came tearing down that road, skipped the red, tore into the passenger’s side.”
“Paramedics said she didn’t suffer. Died, in an instant.”
“Who died?”
“My lover. Right on this spot.”
I stood up. Told her I best be getting her home before she got too freaked out.
She asked me if I was telling the truth as we pulled away.
I told her I was and she went silent.
I walked her to the door, for it wasn’t safe there, hell it wasn’t safe anywhere in that city.
She told me I was different from the others.
I told her that I’d heard that all my life.
Got a lot of trouble for my differences.
She invited me inside and I nearly said yes.
My hands were shaking at the wheel.
I needed to burn a little rubber.
I had an idea where to go, although I wasn’t sure if the action was still there.
I got back on the highway, let the speedometer sail to 200.
Traffic was light and I dodged a few cars.
The tires were hot when I arrived and sure enough there they were.
Lined up on either side of a straight road.
Hoods up, the chromed engines exposed.
The boys were geeking out over canisters of nitrous oxide, turbo chargers and free-flow exhaust systems.
I joined the queue, teamed to a BMW M3, slung low, the windows tinted black.
I guessed a Portuguese kid maybe, Lebanese at a push.
We inched forward.
The cars in front ignited as they tore away from the line.
An Uno Turbo fish-tailed wildly across the tarmac as the driver hit second.
Fire squirted from the exhaust.
I thought he was going to free slide into the audience but he kept it straight.
A hollow victory, but winning wasn’t really why we were there.
My ride was old, falling apart and patched up.
Who knew how many street races it had been through before me.
They could play with their electronics all they wanted.
All you really needed was a short gear ratio, and enough torque to tow a bulldozer.
I could barely see ahead for all the smoke.
The kid spun his wheels for a while, what a knob.
The girl dropped the flag.
I felt that old familiar sensation of being crushed into the back of my seat.
The engine was roaring.
Petrol through the lines, air from the sloop, mixed together and then set alight in a 4 litre V6.
You should try it some day, you really should.
To his credit, he stuck with me, almost to the finish.
Like shooting fish in a barrel.
No one races for slips these days, more’s the pity.
Drugs, sex and cars, I was doing alright so far.
I saw a phone booth, and thought to call, decided against it and then did a u-turn.
The phone booth stank of piss.
I looked her up, let it ring a while and then hung up.
Did another line of coke off the dash.
I knew it would end badly that night, but I didn’t care.
It was time for some real fun.
I drove down to the inner city.
Bags of garbage were piled up on the pavements.
They spilled open, torn by the claws of stray dogs.
Homeless people pushed shopping trolleys.
I found the club, parked and joined the queue.
It was early yet although night had fallen a while back.
They were all freaks, dressed in leather and studded collars.
A man was on all fours, led by his mistresses’ chain.
I got felt up by the bouncer, a woman with big blond hair, generous breasts and an adam’s apple.
She was taller than me, stocky, and felt my package.
She asked me if I was carrying anything else and I said no.
Inside the music was pumping, the party was in full swing.
Bizarre silent films were playing on a big screen behind the stage.
Really jittery stuff, about some drag queen trying to find her vitamins.
I was sat upon a couch, the whole spectacle before me.
I was especially appreciative of the diverse array of tattoos.
A girl with white hair and black lips sat down next to me.
The music was too loud to talk, not like I wanted to.
I gazed at her though, the piercings through her nose and lip.
She asked me to dance or something, and I did.
She was all over the place.
Had to be careful to avoid those steel tipped boots.
A fight was coming, as I knew it would.
He pushed me to the ground, shouting, words unheard.
Dragged me outside into the street.
I couldn’t believe my luck.
Sure he slapped me around a bit, but I don’t think he really knew what he was getting into.
I pulled myself up against a car door, let fly a biting insult.
He came back and I gave it to him.
Boot to the face and he went down.
I was praying for him to get up, to take a little more and he answered my pleas.
I hit him hard in the midriff, pressed him against a wall and punched him repeatedly.
I saw images of all the fights I’d ever been in.
Jesus I’d taken a beating in my time.
And here I was, squaring up.
He might have been bigger than me, but he didn’t really know how to fight.
He went down and I let him go.
She looked at me with hate and admiration.
I almost took her back to my car.
I gunned the engine and hit the road.
Cruising to destination unknown.
I saw another phone booth.
Was it worth another try?
Pages were missing from the directory, but I got the number right from memory.
Let it ring a few times, and then a voice answered.
It was a man.
I could have been mistaken.
I asked for her by name, and he called it aloud.
She picked up, and I heard her voice.
Memories came rushing back, catching in my throat.
She didn’t recognize my voice.
It took a while to sink in.
Honestly, I didn’t know how she would respond.
Well holy shit, she recognized me after all.
“How are you?”
There was a sharp intake of breath down the line.
Bit of distortion.
“I’m ok. How are you?”
“I’m in town. Just for the night. Thought I’d ring you up, see how you doing.”
“I can’t believe it’s really you. How long has it been?”
“It’s been long.”
“It has.”
I asked if I could take her out and she said yes.
There was hesitation in her voice.
Told her I’d meet her outside in 15 minutes.
Man I hauled ass over there.
I flew over those old roads, broken down and patched up.
Like me.
She was there, waiting for me outside.
Halter neck top, leather jacket, jeans, a belt strapped around her waist.
Man, she looked like the kind of girl who could get a guy in a lot of trouble.
She had got me in to a lot of trouble.
And I was back for more.
I got out, walked over and she embraced me.
I held her a moment too long.
She looked at me curiously.
She told me how surprised she was to see me there.
Thought that I had forgotten her.
Oh, she was coy.
There’s no forgetting a girl like that.
And she knew it.
She told me she liked my ride as I pulled away.
She asked me if she could drive.
She didn’t have her license, but her boyfriend had been giving her lessons.
She looked at me with those pleading eyes, those full lips.
I still had blood on me from the fight, but I gave in so easily.
She took it slow, working the clutch, stalled at a red light.
I told her to rev the engine, and she did, laughing.
The night was alive with possibilities.
She drove me to a club, she knew the owner so we skipped the queue.
We drank heavily, danced together.
She rubbed her ass in my crotch and giggled.
I’d ran out of cash, so had she, we went to draw some more.
On the way out she caught my hand; looked me in the eye and said those fateful words : “Do you want to fuck me?”
She told me that she was a nymphomaniac, and her boyfriend wasn’t giving her what she needed.
Not like Ryan.
Solid kid he’d been, drummer, a real rock star, always high as a kite.
Live hard, die young, he’d always said it and then made good on his word.
He’d died too on these mean roads.
A city as mad as this shouldn’t be allowed to exist.
She asked me again, insisted.
She told me about the karma sutra, the positions she liked.
She rubbed my cock in full view.
I couldn’t say no.
I wouldn’t say no.
I took her hand, lead her to my ride.
It was far but we picked up company in the parking lot.
Two losers, looking to get laid or get high and failing at both.
The comments were sharp like needles.
“Hey pretty girl.”
“Nice legs.”
“Wanna party with us?”
They were closing in like jackels, frothing at the mouth.
Alarm bells were ringing in my head.
This is the part where the guy gets knifed and the girl gets raped.
Except it was her who pulled a knife from her bag, a big evil hunting knife.
“Would you like your dick cut off?”
She’d changed this girl, I didn’t remember her this way.
They slunk off and we got into my ride.
We drove up to the ridge where the lovers make out with the city lights below.
I took a sedative and a painkiller.
Lit a cigarette and then let it burn out as we made out.
We’d never kissed before.
She’d sucked my dick, she’d ridden me.
But I’d never felt her tongue darting in and out of my mouth.
Never felt her hands glide down my cheeks.
Never felt my fingers run through her hair.
Wishing this moment could last longer.
I’d fantasized about this so often, it almost didn’t feel real.
I pulled her away, held her face in my hands and stared into her eyes.
“I can’t believe it’s really you either.”
She smiled, and kissed me again.
Threw a leg over and straddled me.
Unbuttoned my shirt slowly.
Ran her fingertips along the lines of my muscles.
Pulled her top off, unclasped her bra.
I ran my hands up her back, she pulled them onto her breasts.
Amused, I fondled her nipple piercings. A nice surprise.
She was grinding her crotch against mine.
The windows were steaming up.
She unzipped my trousers and withdrew my dick, started stroking.
I let the seat incline backwards, closed my eyes.
I felt her shift position, and then I felt the wetness of her mouth upon me.
It was all coming back to me.
She had told me to give her a ring if I was ever in town. And she had answered.