The City of Angels (as told by Bukowski at the bar)
She was one of the good ones, but she was a whore. They all were. They all are.
I was young and at the bar. I had worked a long shift at the factory and would often come in this place to wind down, drink a couple drafts, whatever I could afford after a day’s work. This gal comes in. She has this bright beautiful red hair. She’s in a dress, really showing her legs, you know. She walks in. The bar stops. The few other scumbags who are drinking while the sun is still out stop what they’re doing and look at her. The mugs on these guys, all of them: lonely, worn, some more so than mine, some less.
So she comes in and walks past me, and I smell her perfume, and I look at her. And she looks away, scared. I’m not a looker by any means, so I’m used to that look. There are empty seats all around me, but she takes a stool several spots down, I guess not wanting to be too close to this monster. She orders a drink, something red, something classy, you know those drinks sophisticated broads drink. I had four, maybe five dollars on me, so I offer to buy.
I tell the barkeep, ‘Hey Jimmy, I got it.’
The leggy vixen looks at me, and man, she’s a looker, with that fiery red hair and the brightest blue eyes you’ve ever seen, a total gem. Then she looks away and insists to Jimmy that she can pay her own way.
I say, “Look. I offered to buy your drink. Let me buy your drink.”
And she says, “Oh, thank you, but you really don’t have to.”
And she plays with her hair some and looks off uncomfortably, so I insist. I’ve always been persistent when I want something. Why start if you’re not going to finish?
She tells me “Thank you” and gives me a shy half-smile.
I had only had a couple, so I was still pretty good with my words. I said to her, “Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is to allow someone to be kind.”
She takes a drink and looks straight at me with those eyes. I have that sense. I know that I just broke through to her, and now it’s only a matter of time for ugly-old-me to wrap those gorgeous legs around me. I ask her, “Where you from?”
She asks me, “Why do you ask that? I can’t be from here?”
And I say, “No. You can’t.” Again, I had only had a couple, so I was careful and aware and chose every word I said to her with pure precision.
She tells me, “I’m from Atlanta.”
“Ol’ Hot-lanta,” I say which makes her laugh a little. “I’ve done my fair share in Hot-lanta.” Really, I had never been to Hot-lanta.
The conversation seemed to be there, but there was no movement. She was still way out of reach, several seats away. My beer was running low, and I was out of money, so time was ticking. I said, “Why don’t you come down here, and I’ll allow you to kindly buy me a beer like the kind gentleman I am?” That was it, my final attempt to try and close the deal.
She sits there for a moment before standing up, picking her purse up off the bar, and walking in my direction. Imagine this bright red fireball with gams out of this world walking toward you. She sets her purse right down from me, orders two drafts from Jimmy, and slides onto the stool next to me. Jimmy brings over the drinks, and I cheers to her and we clink our glasses, and now I know she is mine. My face will be knee deep in that fiery crotch before too much longer.
We carry on and laugh for a while about something, I don’t remember, and then she calls Jimmy to bring over two shots of whiskey. But she calls it bourbon like the lady she is. I can tell she’s buzzed because her cheeks are starting to match her hair. We take the shots. I look down at those fantastic legs, her dress riding higher than before, showing her magnificent thighs.
We finish our beers, and I ask her, “So Hot-lanta, where you going?” My words are still there but beginning to lose ground.
“The hotel I guess,” she tells me and then asks, “You want to walk me?”
And with that, there’s no turning back for her, now.
I say, “Yeah, I guess I can walk you. Wouldn’t want you to get lost in this City of Angels.”
We get back to the hotel she’s staying in which is three or four blocks up from the bar. It’s one of those really nice hotels, clean, smelling good. I’m dirty from a long day at the factory and half-drunk so I feel a little out of place in such a classy joint, but that’s okay. We get onto the elevator. The button is pressed. The doors slide together. The elevator begins to ascend, dinging with every floor we pass. I look over at her, and she smiles at me and then looks down, and I’m hoping she hasn’t sobered up enough to realize her situation. We don’t say anything, and I can’t wait to see where those racehorse legs lead to.
The elevator dings one last time, and we get off. She walks in front of me down the hall, swaying, her behind a beautiful piece of art. I’m no looker, you know, so I don’t often get a behind like that. So I’m excited, and I’m beginning to bulge, and I can’t wait to fuck her. I follow that behind into her room. The door closes behind us and she immediately attacks, kissing all over my mouth, aggressively. I rip the dress from her, and she unbuttons my belt, and we get at it. I mean, we really get at it. I worked that gal. I was proud of the job I was doing on her. I’ve got her bent over, over the bed, pushing the mattress halfway off the frame and onto the floor, and I’m slamming her as hard as I can, and she’s loving it and moaning. And then she gets quiet, and I say, “What’s the matter?”
The next thing I know, she tenses up and constricts around my purple monster, and I keep going, and I’m about to blow. Then, she convulses, her insides tightening even more, and she hurls onto the bed, and I lose my load inside of her as I watch this chunky orange liquid spew from her mouth, covering the bed sheets. I’ve always hated the smell of vomit. Still inside of her, I gag and hurl all over her back. And then more comes. My vomit isn’t nearly as chunky as hers as it’s possible I hadn’t eaten in days. I’m just standing there, now, my cowardly cock between my legs, and she throws up again, that poor gal.
I guess I fall asleep there, because I wake up the next morning with the sun coming beaming through the blinds of this vomit-flooded hotel room that now stinks like absolute death. She’s awake and dressed and looking like she did when I first saw her.
“I’ve got to go to a meeting,” she says, “and then I have a flight to catch.”
She’s looking into the mirror putting in one earring at a time behind that hellish red hair of hers. I’ve never been one to overstay my welcome, so I get up and find my pants and slide them on and then look for my shoes only finding one. I put it on. I pick up my shirt from the floor—there’re some orange vomit stains splattered on it—and place it over my head. I think I put it on backwards, I don’t know. Looking at her, I can’t believe such a beautiful creature graced me with her womanhood. I’m thinking as she looks at me that she is probably thinking that she can’t believe she allowed such a repulsive being to enter her, but oh well. People make mistakes. We all make mistakes.
She walks me to the door, I’m hobbling in one shoe, off-balance. We walk down the hall, her beautiful behind swaying in front of me. We don’t say anything. We get onto the elevator. She presses the button, and the doors close. The elevator dings with every floor we pass, breaking up the silence. Then it dings one last time, symbolizing the finality of our fragile encounter, and the doors open. We step out and walk toward the entrance. The sun is bright and getting brighter as we approach. We walk outside and she hooks a right, but I need to go left, so I do. I turn back to see her beautiful behind swaying and those thoroughbred calves of hers. I want to call out to her, and it’s then I realize I never got the ol’ gal’s name.
I stand there watching her, the sun really coming down, her swaying behind getting smaller and smaller before finally disappearing, lost forever in this City of Angels.
Originally published in “Notes for a Dirty Old Birthday – Buk100” from Newington Blue Press