Horizontal Lives

True Tales of the Infamous Courtesan: Persephone N. Hades and her Horizontal Life underground. How she got there, her mis-adventures and her struggle to re-surface.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Life Indeed Can Be Stranger Than Fiction

Planned to be an easy, status quo, skuzzy, running errands, get stuff done and don’t work kind of day; today was supposed to be.
Yielding; a release within the pleasant numbness of monotony.
Today, was supposed to be.

No make-up. Hair pulled up here and there, held in place by hundreds of bobby pins. Ratty old blue jeans. T-shirt, sweatshirt, sweater layered over each other making me look something like a starving waif. (Attractive only to ‘starving-waif lovers’, believe me.) Bag slung across my body. Metrocard in my back pocket. Ipod plugged into my ears. Press it on and hope for a good tune. Never know what will come on. Descending into the subway rewarded with Eartha Kitt’s ‘Monotonous’.

You know it?

"Everyone gets into a dull routine,
If they don’t get a chance to change the scene.
I could not be wearier. Life could not be drearier, if I lived in Siberia.
I’ll tell you what I mean:
I met a rather amusing fool, while on my way to Istanbul.
He bought me the Black Sea for my swimming pool.
For thirty days, salt air I sniffed while I was shipwrecked
And cast a drift, with a man who looked like Montgomery Clift.

That song always tickles.
In the morning, three doctor’s appointments scheduled:
GYN end of the year exam.
All’s well.
B12 shot (to fight my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) in the derriere from my lovely Leprechaun doctor.
All’s well.
Final look-see of the dreaded, albeit unusual snail wound.
All’s well.

Back down the subway to head home and finish making the changes to my website for the New Year. Need to pick out new photos from the latest shoot, change text, etc. Email all to my web designer so he can have it ready for the New Year.
Deadline: 5p.m. tonight.

Slip the earphones in again. Train arrives. Decide not to sit down as my bottom hurts still from the Leprechaun’s massive needle.

"For what it’s worth, throughout the Earth, I’m known as Femme Fatale.
But when the yawn comes up like thunder, Brother, take back your Taj Mahal!"

A boy/man, man/boy is starring at me. Why? Look at me. Yuck! Must be a ‘waif lover’.
Close my eyes. Let my hips sway to the music.

"Jack Fath made a new style for me.
I even made Johnny Re smile for me.
A camel once walked a mile for me.

Blaring announcement. Train is delayed in the station.
Open my eyes. Boy/man is still watching me. Resolve to stare back.
He looks a bit familiar.
A one-time Match site date?
One of Nia or Kia’s past beaus?
Not Clarisse’s. She’s still in love with the dildo. (Forgive me. The Great King.)
A one-time client maybe, from years ago?
He tosses me crooked grin, then looks down.
Argh! Who is he?
He knows me.
He knows me and I probably know him.
Fiddle with my Ipod. Adjust the volume. Remove my Metrocard from my back pocket. Put it in my purse.
He’s still looking.
My stop is next. I’ll just smile like I remember him and go.
Take one last look before the train comes to a halt.

Notice his neck.

Buried in his collar, the small splotch of a port-wine-stain peeks out. I know that strawberry colored birthmark.

Oh well. Too bad. My memory is older than the rest of me.
The train is crowded. I push my way through the exit and head up the subway stairs.

"Traffic has been known to stop for me."
"Prices even rise and drop for me."
"Harry S. Truman plays bop for me.


Who is saying ‘Natalie’? I pull out my left headphone and look around.
It’s the boy/man who is now standing next to me and ‘Natalie’ is my gigantic clue.
I’m ‘Natalie’. Used to be ‘Natalie’.
Long, long ago when I first starting ‘working’ in L.A.

Images click fast like changing slides in a projector:
Chrysler Le Baron convertible with the top down at night.
Sitting at red lights, resting my head back looking up at the Palm Trees.
Speeding on the freeway, modern cell phone thick-as-a-brick on my crotch.
‘Thomas Guide’ perched on my lap.
Pager clipped to my bra buzzing my cleavage.
Directions to the as-yet-unknown ‘Him’ scribbled on a scrap of paper clenched between my teeth.
Creeping slowly with Brights on; leaning forward over the steering wheel, eyes squinting to make out address numbers on the unfamiliar curbs.
Parallel park. Badly.
Refresh lipstick in the rearview mirror.
Replace mace to the top of my purse.
Press the clicker in my hand. Car goes beep-beep, and locks.
Listen to my own heels as I clip-clop up the dark driveway.
Front door opens before I reach the porch.

"I’m sorry." Man/boy says. "You are Natalie, aren’t you?"
"I am." I say softly taking the other earpiece out of my right ear.
"Do you remember me?"
"I do. I’m surprised you remember me."
"That’s one thing I’ll never forget."
"Wow. I’m flattered. I’m not actually looking at my best at this moment."
"You look the same as I remember you."
"Oh God! Did I look that bad that night?" (I can’t believe he recognizes me.)
"You look great."
We both look down at our feet.

A boy in Superman pajamas, both bottom and button front top, opens the door with his finger on his lips signaling me not to speak. Smiling, I comply, tiptoeing dramatically behind him up the shag-carpeted staircase of a middle-class home, past closed doors toward a slit of light coming from the back room. Of course I’m confused and nervous, but mock giggling to show him I can play along.
Once safely ensconced, he shuts the door behind me and locks it with a homemade bolt. Standing stiffly, slipping my hand into my purse to feel the mace, I titter softly like a dolt not knowing what to make of the situation.

The room smells of dirty socks and SuperGlue. Decorating the walls are football flags and posters of ‘The Green Hornet’. ‘Batman.’ Other Comic Book Heroes I don’t recognize. (Not an aficionado.)

It is a boy’s bedroom. A little boy’s bedroom. A little boy who grew up in this room and still lives here and is now no longer a little boy.

He bounces backward, his butt plopping down on the twin size bed, dislodging the Spiderman sheet that was so neatly tucked in. His entire face becomes a big-hearted, guileless, gargantuan grin as his hand pats the space on the bed next to him

"So you made it to New York I see?" I push a bit of sludgy snow with the toe of my boot.
"Yup. Goin’ to NYU just like I said I would."
"Good for you. Really. That’s great."
"Didn’t think I would?"
"You probably never thought about it."
"Actually I did. A while ago though."
"So what are you studying at NYU?"
"Art and animation. Drawing lots of flying Superheroes."

I laugh, remembering.

"And what are you doing for a living, to put yourself through? Scholarship?"
"No. My parents help. And I’m driving a cab."
"No! Say it ain’t so!"

We both grin.

"So what are you doing now?" He asks, looking me in the eye. "Are you still an actress."
"No. No." My ‘no’s’ brushing away his question like a breezy wind blowing an errant feather.

I put my purse on the floor by my feet as I smile and sit next to him on the space he patted.

"So should we take care of the business first?"

(I say this as charming as I can but it always comes out a clunker. At that time, I always got the money up front. No more.)

From under his Spiderman blanket he secrets a tin Spam can containing clumped one-dollar bills, handing them to me to count one at a time. They number two hundred and fifty one. I give the extra one. He slips it back in the can, replacing it under the bed.

"Sorry to ask, but can I also see your I.D.?"

(At that time, I rarely asked for I.D. although I should have, figuring it must be the man’s home I was in. But this was a special case. I wasn’t sure he was even sixteen. Egads! I have enough to worry about with the law other than being accused of statutory rape.)

I do the math in my head, which is generally not a good place for me to do math, and come out with a figure that puts him around eighteen or nineteen years old; well into the safety zone.

Breathe out. Okay. Here we go.

"Why don’t I start with a massage? Here. Let’s take off your shirt."
"We can’t smoke a joint." He says, strangely out-of-sinc.
"I don’t smoke pot." I say.
"I do." He says. "But you know." His eyes trail back to the hallway where obviously his parents are sleeping.
"I’m sure we’ll be okay without it. Come here."

I unbutton the Superman buttons and loosen the shirt from his arms. He lies on his tummy, closing his eyes as I straddle his butt with my knees.

"Aren’t you gonna take your dress off. I really want to see you with your dress off. I’ve been thinking about it for weeks."

"Weeks? Wow."
I slip my dress off over my head.
His neck strains as his eyes turn to see.
Looking down at him, I notice a bright red wine spot, a birthmark, on his neck, shaped like a ripe swollen strawberry.

I wonder if he was teased a lot for that.
"I don’t want a massage. I want these." He whispers, turning over.

Both his hands fall upon my breasts. I let him fondle me awhile then lean forward taking his lips between mine, soft and lingering, purring.

"I never kissed like that before."
His comment makes me smile.
Lying side-by-side, like two teenagers (one teenager and me, actually) I run my nails lightly up the inner side of his lower arm. Goosebumps appear and he shivers. He’s so sensitive.
"Have you ever felt this before?" I say, scritching his arm, delighting in the response his skin is giving my nails.

His arms wrap around me, squeezing me tight to his body as we kiss. My pelvis is a magnet to his cock as it stiffens under his pajamas. Warm wetness seeps between my legs.

How long it has been in my life since I spent any time enjoying anticipation, the wonderful promise of dry-humping?

My pussy getting scrumptious and warm. Reach out to pull his cock to me when he suddenly halts.

"Did I hurt you? Are you okay?"
"Do you want some music? Don’t you think we should have some music? Don’t people do this to music?"

I’m a little confused.

"Music is fine. But won’t it be too loud?"
"I’ll put it on soft."
"Okay." I say, but I’m running his last phrase through my brain: ‘Don’t people do this to music?’

Oh god. The little bulb in my head lights up. He’s never ‘gone-all-the-way’ before.

This sweet Superman/boy is a virgin. Oh lordy, lordy, lord.

And he picked me.
Off the Internet.
To be the One.
Have mercy.
I will never forget my
first time and the stranger I shared it with.
How can I do this?

He’s dropped a cassette tape (yes it was that long ago!) into the cassette machine, pressed play and hopped beneath the sheets again. Naked. Waiting.

Harry Chapin.

I have to admit I was a bit surprised.

(No. No. I love Harry Chapin. I have bunches of him on my Ipod.)

It’s just not what I was expecting.
I’m not sure what I was expecting.
I don’t think I was ‘expecting’ at all.
Okay. Maybe ‘Hootie and the Blow Fish’?

But not Harry Chapin.
Lying on my side, wrapping one arm around his thighs to keep me from falling off the narrow bed, my mouth finds his shaft, moistening it gently with my tongue.

"Oh god, yeah." His moan is certain, as if he has imagined this many times before.

I don’t loiter too long with my lips, as I don’t want it to end at this phase for him. Not to over stimulate his dick, I slide the rubber down carefully, without sensuality. When it’s in place, our eyes meet.
We both smile, knowing.

"Do you mind if I’m on top?" His question comes out like a child asking to ride in the front seat.
"I love that." I sigh.

His cock slides easily inside my wetness as he rests the heavy weight of himself upon me. I close my eyes as my body alchemizes into a luscious canolli cream. My heart feels his heart banging against it. I hear his breath; his sighs sounding amazed at every thrust. Sweet icing melting between my legs. Balls cupping up, kissing the gooey liquid. Head swelling and throbbing deep inside. Then his cock stiffens, holds and explodes in fierce pulses. The groan that emanates from his belly overpowers the lyrics floating in the room. Then silence. Our bodies expanding and contracting. I listen to him breathe. I listen to the words of the song:
"It was a rainy night in ‘Frisco. I needed one more fare to make my night. A lady up ahead waved to flag me down. She got in at the light."

"That was…" he whispers in my ear, ticking the little hairs.
"For me too." I sigh, my lips on his port-wine stain.
"Was it?" he asks sheepishly, lifting his head, looking down at me.
I smile genuinely and nod.
We lay side-by-side on the twin bed holding hands, eyes closed, listening to the song:

"It took a while but she looked in the mirror. Then she glanced at the license for my name. A smile seemed to come to her slowly. It was a sad smile just the same. And she said, "How are ya, Harry?" I said, "How are ya, Sue?" Through the too many miles and the too little smiles, I still remember you."

I turn over to face him, tracing my fingers aroung the outline of his birthmark. He flinches at first touch but allows my hand to remain.

"Did you get teased about it?"
"Um-hmm." He answers softly, eyes still shut.
"People can be so mean about the stupidest things."
"Hey, but it taught me to fight." He enthuses, lifting himself onto his elbow. "Good outcome."
"I guess."
"Gotta fight for what you want in the world."
"Oh yeah? What are you gonna fight for?" I tease.
"I’m gonna be a famous comic book creator someday."
"I have no doubt. You love it." I say scanning the room.
"When I’m doin’ it, I’m flyin’."

"I feel the same way when I’m on stage. I know exactly what you mean. I’m really an actress. I’m just doing this to make enough money to stay acting. Until my career takes off."
"I bet you’re good."
"I don’t know. Cause you’re real. That’s the hardest thing. To keep it real."

Out of the mouths of babes.

I trace my nails along the pattern of hair on his stomach as I glance at the digital clock on the nightstand. Five more minutes and then, Brrrrr. Back into the night, onto the freeway, plunging toward the unknown.
I want him to take me with him.
I want to hitch myself to his life so full of promise.
I want to lay in this twin bed, warm and protected until life transports us together into that place of hope and safety.

The red numbers on the clock click over. I kiss him on his forehead, and slip my dress on.

"She hands fifty dollars for a two-fifty fare. She said, ‘Harry. Keep the change.’ Well another man might have been angry. And another man might have been hurt. But another man never would have let her go. I stashed the bill in my shirt."

We tiptoe back down the hall and as I step into the bone-chilly California night, I hear the door latch, clack behind me.

"So what are you doing if you’re not acting?"
"Same thing as when I met you."
"Well. You’re good at it."
"And I like it."

We don’t know what to say anymore.

"So you’re driving a cab and making flying creatures. Or I should say, flying as your creating them. Sounds like you’re out there swinging." I say with a warm laugh.

He bends his head giving me a sad look.

"I’m happy." I rest my hand on his arm. "I am. You’re sweet to care. And you’re sweet to remember me."
"I’ll never forget you." He leans in to kiss me. I let him.
"Well. Take care." He says.
"You too." My eyes fall again on his birthmark as I watch it move away.

I can’t see as I walk. My eyes have blurred with a lake of unfallen tears. I don’t want to feel this. I put the earphones in and press play.

NO! No. oh my…

"We’d both gotten what we’d asked for, such a long, long, time ago. You see she was gonna be an actress. And I was gonna learn to fly. She took off to find the footlights. I took off to find the sky. And here she’s acting happy, inside her handsome home. And me, I’m flying in my taxi, taking tips, getting’ stoned."


At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is almost 130 AM and I am still reading your blog.. the mini stories are so much fun to read they are great I love them so.. I learn a great deal about you and find the writing so enjoyable .I know I am repeating myself . these should be made into a book at some point ... if books don't become blogs....I am so captivated and I relive your moments with you .. I laughed at the monster roach story.. is it true .. did it happen as you say.. It is so interesting .. I bet you are up writing even now.. well you write wonderfully.. I am so happy this pleases you . it pleases me to read them..

At 2:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That song, by Harry Chapin is very poignant for me, as well, as it unfortunately, describes how my life has turned out. Whilst I don't drive a taxi I more often than not "FLY" my car to work as well as "flying" my motorcycle when it's less cold. His lyrics cause my soul to weep over lost possibilties and faded dreams. Sorry if I got off track here, just wanted to connect with your reaction to this overwhelming work of musical art

At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not off the track at all--in fact, completely the point--I'm so happy you connected with it so strongly-as did I

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