Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Chastity Bed 

The rain was falling so hard that it bounced off the slick, black asphalt of Avenue A. I watched through the windows of Doc Hollidays as a man in a soaked suit ran past.

"So, I guess I'd better sleep with her tonight," the girl said. She had clucky jewelry on her wrists that slid down to her elbows when she raised her arms. Her eyes were all pupils and whites, separated by sharp rims of green.

A week ago New York had been thrown into an early freeze but that Tuesday night the thermometers must have been pushing into the mid-fifties. Her landlord had turned on the heat during the chill and now the apartment was unbearabley hot. She had an air-conditioner in her room. Her roommate, a tall blonde Czech who was at the bar getting us another round of beer and whiskey, had just asked if they could sleep together in her bedroom to share the air-conditioning.

"Hot," I told her.

"No. Cool. That's the point," she said.

"Right. Cool."

"At least I have a big bed. Not like those beds in college. You know. The ones that are completely wrong. All long and narrow, barely wide enough for one person, when all you want to do is get someone else in your bed. We used to call them Chastity Beds."

The roommate returned. It was time to start thinking about whiskey and stop thinking about chastity.