I wrote this last May. It wasn’t a 3WW but the words fit. There’s a much shorter new 3WW below this that I do like. I keep forgetting to say that Bone is responsible for 3WW probably because….I won’t get into an indepth analysis about his screen name that I still can’t stand but am used to.
I’m hung up on aging as I’m not 35 anymore–sometimes it takes awhile to realize that. Paisley has a project on aging that sounds fun.
She felt less than. As if her life was stuck somewhere on an endless 33 RPM loop rather than downloadable.
That was strange as she was too young to really remember 33 RPM records. Her father had hundreds of them, all jazz. She had thought that was strange as her father seemed to disdain music. But maybe he once had liked music. Nah, after his death she found out that he had been holding the warped records for somebody, name unknown since she had been born
She had no idea why she was thinking about this as she took a shower. The shower was the only truly good thing about the hotel. Not great but good. She was feeling old. Used. Despondent. She thought a shower would help but it only made her feel worse. Putting body lotion on skin she knew was still smooth only made her feel worse.
She wondered why she was here. She knew but at home she had a great shower. That seemed to be the only important thing. The suite didn’t have a window that could be opened. She felt confined.
Usually she thought: Another city, another hotel room. Another opportunity to have fun; to remake herself. Sometimes they made her feel like Eloise playing grownup. This city, and so the hotel, made her feel as if every nerve in her body was exposed.
When she looked into the mirror she felt worse. Good bones had taken her this far; Botox and other procedures helped. But her neck; necks didn’t lie. Nor did the age spots that seemed to come overnight. They could be rid of. More would come. Skin was beginning to sag in places…. smooth but sagging. Made no sense. No, she couldn’t let herself think about this. Not now.
She didn’t hear him come into the suite, but she felt his presence. How many hims had there been through the years? She lost count a long time ago. He was separated. His wife fell into the friend of a friend of an acquaintance category. He was smooth. Too smooth for her now.
If you liked Alec Baldwin and he did, he was good looking. He worked in many cities, and she would meet him in most. He kissed her neck, and she involuntarily jerked. He pretended not to notice as he asked:
“Did you see the condo?”
“Didn’t you like it?”
“No, it’s everything I’m not looking for. You know that. It has no natural light. The bathrooms are small and not worth fixing.”
“The location is perfect, and the rooms are large.”
“Perfect for what? How many nights a week are you planning to spend there?
“You know I travel.”
“I know your wife and kids live twenty minutes away.”
“We’ve been through this before. You know I’m separated. That I’m dedicated to you.”
“I know it’s not a legal separation. You might as well be married.”
Her girlfriends made fun of her “legally separated” rule she had broken just for him.
He stared at her:
“you’re not getting any younger.”
“You would know Mr. with Viagria I come.”
“That’s nasty, crude. When you did become so nasty?”
“Waiting for you.”
She sat at the vanity and took out a Virginia Slim. Like everybody he hated smoking.
“It’s Cinco de Mayo.”
“We can celebrate all weekend.”
“You are a fool. You don’t even remember.”
She blew a perfect smoke ring into his face. He flinched. They had met at a Cinco de Mayo party three years ago. She had broken every rule and slept with him that night. He hadn’t needed any help that night. They had good times, but she couldn’t understand why she was so willing to meet him in different cities. She had loved hotels then. She loved exploring the cities, then coming back to the hotel room to wait for him. She would approach each city as an over eager tourist who found pleasure in kitsch and the mundane.
He had talked her into quitting her job. Her job had stopped being fun sometime ago. She didn’t need the money. He didn’t realize she was going to quit soon anyway. Maybe he did. She let him pay for the hotel rooms, for her clothes, her monthly condo expenses. After a lifetime of being independent even when married, she was finally the kind of woman she abhored and didn’t think existed anymore. She was a goddamn kept woman.
“I’m going to order room service.”
“I want to go out.”
“Room service is so much better.”
He opened a bottle of Cristal as if good champagne would make up for everything. She was tempted to throw her glass onto the stone floor and watch it break but restrained herself.
She had never felt so much contempt for a person before. She laughed:
“You want me to live in a city I don’t even like, so you can be with me, but not be seen with me.”
“It’s not that, Carly. I’m proud of you. But my kids go out. We can run into them anywhere.”
“Or your wife. Are you planning on running from the condo to the house to the condo. Don’t you think it weird that of all the cities you spend time in, you want me to move here?”
“It’s my home. When Lynne gets used to us….”
“Excuse me? You’ve been separated for three and a half years, and Lynne has to get used to us?”
“She’s fragile. Not like you. You’re strong. Independent. I love that about you.”
“I’m not that strong.”
She walked out of the bathroom, threw on some clothes, packed her overnight bag, and walked out. She was so quick he just stood there. He was so sure she would be back, he didn’t run after her.
The streets were filled with eager kids. A bouncer was trying to talk some girls into going to a club. He told them how much they would love it. How it was filled with classy kids. She remembered being their age. Bouncers didn’t try to talk kids into going to clubs. They had lists of people they called to make things happen. She had been on some lists.
Or ropes opened or they didn’t. She knew Marc, the doorman at Studio. They had worked together at a job he took off his official life story. It would make him a year or two older than the age he had always given. But the ropes always quickly opened for her and her friends.
There were times she wished that part of her life had never happened. It filled her with too many expectations. There was always a new and better man somewhere. There was always an even better tomorrow.
She walked into a street filled with restaurants. All were busy. None looked booked. She walked into the one with the best looking tables, menu and most expensive food. She asked for a table on the street and ordered oysters then Ahi with a half bottle of champagne. She saw his daughter. She was way past tipsy, and putting the moves on a boy who looked bored.
She paid with the credit card he had given her, and took a cab to the train station.
Tomorrow was going to be the first day…she was giving up men forever.
When she got home she shredded his credit cards, packed the few clothes he kept there, some other things and called Fed Ex to pick them up, in the morning She called the bank and had them stop the checks she had sent on the account he set up for her. She was old enough to still find the things you could do in the middle of the night amazing.
Then she took a long, long shower.