I need a cocktail, Abby says when we get inside, and I say there's Stoli in the freezer. Do you want some, Abby asks.
I've had that unopened bottle of Stoli since we moved in— I hardly drink at all at home because it's boring, but I guess if there's a time for cocktails that's now. I make two screwdrivers and hear Abby snorting a line in her room. Do you want any, she says, her voice already different.
No, I say, I have to take the car to the repair shop. Or maybe it's too late. Yeah, I guess so. Are you okay?
I'm okay now, she says, and suddenly I feel so sad that I don’t know how to speak. Abby comes into the dining room and wiggles her tongue, shakes her hips and puts the mirror on the table with way too much white powder. I snort a line, and oh, yes, let the day begin.
I put on "Brighter Days." Honey, usually I don't like the vocal diva drama, but this is different, it's Cajmere. Featuring Dajae, whoever that is, some woman with an amazing voice telling us "I need a place to run and hide, relax a while and dream of…" — yes, honey, brighter days. Brighter days, indeed. I love these clanking beats rotating into the vocals shaking with the booming bass, maybe we should move to Chicago. Abby, should we move to Chicago?
I sit down with the cocktails, and Abby lights a cigarette and looks at me in that way that means we’re here in this mood together, and I say what are we going to do for your birthday?
Mattilda, the same thing we do every day.
Should we go to P-town?
Mattilda, we are not going to make it to P-town.
Okay, what about Revere?
Revere. We can make it to Revere. Yes, let's go to Revere. For sunset.
Oh, that's perfect — almost feels like my birthday.
You didn't tell me about your birthday.
I'll tell you next time.
Mattilda, you have a page.
Oh, okay — should I call it?
Mattilda, that's up to you.
The way this song takes a cheesy narrative about feeling so blue, that's what she keeps saying, feeling so blue and then bringing it into something transcendent, that's what I'm feeling, that's this cocktail, that’s this conversation right now, that's our relationship, I mean we’re not talking about anything but somehow my mind is zooming into past and present and future at once, sipping my cocktail that's too strong suddenly I feel spectacular and I don't want to turn at trick right now.
But sure, I could use the money— I guess I'll call. He answers on one ring, I say hey, this is Tyler.
You have a sexy voice.
Do you take incalls?
Where are you?
East Boston? We're practically neighbors. I'm in Chelsea.
Great – when do you want to meet?
I could be there in 15 minutes.
146 Webster, do you know where that is?
By Maverick Square?
Exactly – I charge 150 an hour.
I'll be there in 15 –I'm looking forward to it.
That was too easy. He didn't even ask any question. I get off the phone and Abby’s already doing another line, she hardly even shakes with the burn anymore. She just looks at me when she's done and it's her eyes that are on fire, she wants to know if I think he'll really show up.
I don't know – he said 15 minutes, is Chelsea that close?
Here's your map.
Oh, it’s the next neighborhood over, or maybe it's not a neighborhood. Is Chelsea a part of Boston, or a separate town?
I don't know. You're the one who's good at geography. Do you want another line?
Oh, yes – feel it, feel it, that's what the music is telling me now — oh, yes, hold that note and shake it, break it, make it into everything that I need, greed, feed it to me, read.
Abby, I hope this doesn't ruin my mood. He did tell me I have a nice voice.
You do have a nice voice. Tyler. I guess I better go hide and do my makeup.
Maybe I'll change my pants. Oh, wait — this is the version of “Brighter Days” that I like — let's dance. Abby, I love this song! Wait, was that a knock? Abby, was that a knock already?
I rush to the living room, look outside and sure enough, some guy in a brown jacket who looks awfully cute, at least for a trick. I mean he's under 40. I open the door. Tyler, he says, and holds out his hand like we just met in the board room or at the golf course or know, where do you guys like this meet? The game, right, the game — we met at the game, score! Of course he squeezes my hand way too tightly.
He looks around, but there's nothing to look at in the living room so he says: Do you live alone?
I have a roommate.
Are we alone right now?
Definitely –do you want to go to the bedroom? It's in the back.
I like this music, what do you call it?
Hard clanky knock-you-down house.
What do you mean?
Where do you go to hear this kind of music?
In Boston? The Loft on Saturdays. Axis in the back of Avalon on Sundays. Paradise on Thursdays.
Do you ever go to Chaps?
How come? You’re awfully attractive — I bet you would be a big hit there.
I don't think so — too preppy.
What do you mean?
I'm not sure where this conversation is going, so I kiss him on the lips and he meets me right away, grabs the back of my head and pushes his tongue all the way back. He tastes like cherry, no not cherry — what is it? Liquor, cherry liquor.
He lets go, and starts to pull off my shirt. Wow, so white, he says. Like marble.
He’s wearing a lot of layers, considering it's the middle of summer — one of those brown work jackets, a blue button-down work shirt, wife-beater, Dickie’s, work boots -- actually he's kind of dressed like some of the fags in San Francisco, or maybe like the guys some of the fags in San Francisco are imitating.
Hairy chest, tan line right around the wife-beater and his dick is already hard, he pushes me onto the bed: Is this okay?
I'm worried I'm not going to get hard because of the coke, but as soon as he starts grinding against me I realize that won't be a problem. Heavy, he says, squeezing my dick. Heavy? You feel so good, he says.
He’s rubbing me all over — damn, this does feel good. When I look him in the eyes again I realize he's actually really cute, not just kind of cute like I thought before. What do you want to do, he says, so I start licking one of his nipples, over to the armpit, that chalky taste of deodorant, down the side of his chest to his dick, into my mouth and he says whoa, you're really good at that, whoa, holds my head like he wants to make sure I don't go anywhere.
I'm not going anywhere. He's pumping my face and I'm wondering why it can't always be like this — sex, sex work, my life, the music, Boston, all this energy, where’s this energy coming from, no not the drugs I mean I guess there's the drugs too but there’s also this energy, safety, a hug, I mean how can someone's dick in my mouth feel like a hug but also there’s the feeling in my head, everywhere and nowhere, the weather, what, I even like the hot weather with this guy pumping my face yes the feeling of his hands on my head until I'm starting to choke and right then he pulls my head up to his, licks my lips, says that's some of the best head I've ever had, you really know how to treat a guy.
They all say that, I mean the nice ones, and now he's rubbing my thighs, damn, and then he’s behind me, holding my dick, precome on his finger and he sticks it in my mouth, kind of sweet I mean the taste but maybe he's sweet too. I want to treat you good, he says, and I know he means what I'm not feeling, but maybe it'll be okay, I like the way his dick curves upward and he says don't worry, I'll go slow, another thing they all say, even though none of them mean it, and I reach over for a condom, hand it to him, get some lube, White Silk, and the craziest part is that his dick goes right in without it hurting at all and he's moaning and he pushes me onto my stomach, starts to pump too fast, ouch, so I grab his arms from behind and he collapses on top of me, yes I like the smell of his sweat, maybe baby lotion, aspirin, Tide detergent, or maybe that's the deodorant, cherries again.
Hold me, I say, and he does, now just moving his dick slowly and I grab his ass so he can’t pull back too far and he's saying yeah, yeah, and pretty soon I'm saying yeah, yeah, and the percolator song is on, whatever a percolator is, I guess that thing for coffee, right, gurbling into those uneven bubbling beats and damn, how is this working so well, maybe the coke, just a little, maybe not that little, those were big lines, or the cocktail, or something about how turned on I am and now he's got his arms around me, squeezing so hard my back cracks and I start laughing and he says what, what?
And: are you okay? Like he's actually concerned.
Yeah, I say, yeah, and then he grabs my head and sticks his tongue down my throat again and we’re pressing tongues against one another like we're both trying to get to the other side and wow, he's still fucking me, usually I can’t take it this long and now it's that song I always fast-forward past, the one where suddenly it's some straight guy talking about whoop that pussy, whoop that pussy which is kind of funny, now that I think about it, considering the situation, but I hope this guy doesn't notice, no he doesn't notice, probably wouldn't matter if he did notice, he might be straight anyway, gross don't think about that, there he goes again saying yeah, yeah, yeah, fucking me faster, yeah, yeah, yeah, hands on my hips and I move them to my inner thighs, he's jerking my dick but I'm going to come so I pull his hands away, he says what?
Don't do that, or I'll come.
He makes this noise that I can't place, air going into the back of his throat and then coming back out, right into my ear and he’s panting, maybe he just came because he's jerking me really fast and then there's my come so fast I don't even feel it until I open my eyes and look down at the puddle of white and yellow on the bed and just like that he pulls out, hardly hurts and when I lie down on my back he has the condom in his hands: What should I do with this?
There’s a little bit of shit on the condom when he puts it in my hand and that smell, I drop it to the floor and he's already pulling up his pants, counting out 20s. He hands me 260, a 110-dollar tip. Thank you, he says, that was great, can I see you again? He's already putting on his jacket.
Definitely. I stand up to kiss him, he meets my lips but I can't tell if he wants to.
I'll let myself out.
Okay, I say, even though I'm a little worried he's going to run into Abby, but I just lie back and close my eyes anyway, then open them and look at all the dots of paint on the ceiling, the indentations, the different textures of plaster or whatever, maybe some water damage, a few brown and green and black specks, I close my eyes again and my mouth is hanging open, eyelashes flickering really fast and then once I put on my robe and go into the kitchen I see that all the doors are closed. I go in the bathroom to wash up, and Abby comes out: How was it?
It was hot, I say, and Abby laughs and says aren't they always?
No, I'm serious.