Copyright© 2003, by Carlos Malenkov
I asked her to dance, and she wasn't too steady on her feet. Her breath reeked of liquor and she had a faraway look. I was twenty-two years old, in a strange city, and had few friends. Dances were the only places I knew for meeting women.
It was almost midnight, and I had to get up for work the next morning. Walking out the door, a hand grabbed me. Her again. She was afraid. She needed someone to take her home. I felt mingled pity and disgust.
Pity won. We made our way down Eighty-fourth Street under the harsh orange glare of sodium arc streetlamps. Where did she live? Some town on the Island. Long Island. Where the rich folks lived. What the hell had I gotten myself into?
She wasn't a bad looking broad, maybe on the wrong side of forty by a couple of years and a bit the worse for wear... but pretty classy for all that. Tight-fitting slacks and sweater top. That view from behind had attracted me like a magnet. Dammit, that's why I had asked her to dance in the first place. I've always been a sucker for a nice-looking ass.
There was the parking garage where she had left her car. She had to be an Islander. It figured. Only an out-of-towner would pay $25 to park in the city for a couple of hours.
She seemed to have a problem getting the key into the ignition. Did I dare let her drive as zonked out as she was? "Ma'am, maybe you'd better let me take the wheel. I haven't driven in a couple of years, and my license isn't exactly current, but... " She had leaned over and was kissing me sloppily on the mouth. That damn liquor breath again.
Ten minutes later we were in the Midtown Tunnel, heading toward Queens and points east. I had been a little wobbly at first, but her late-model Buick rode steady as a tank.
"Over there. That'll lead you to the LIE."
"The Long Island Expressway. I can tell you haven't been in New York long. Don't worry, you're doing fine. You're a real gentleman, by the way. Not like my ex-husband, that lousy cheating bastard."
She had snuggled up to me as I was squinting in the glare of oncoming headlights. Not an unpleasant sensation, but dammit, she was sloppy drunk. Did I really need this?
Half an hour later, I was still undecided. She nudged me and pointed to an iron-gated entrance on the left. It must have been a quarter mile of tree-lined driveway from there up to the house. Some house. Where I came from, they would have called it a mansion.
She fumbled through her purse for the house key, dropped it, and finally managed to insert it into the lock. All the lights were on inside and it blinded me for a moment.
Chandeliers. Wood paneling. Multicolored wall hangings. Antique furniture. Wealth on display.
"Help me up the stairs, guy. What's your name, by the way?"
"You can call me Jake."
She held on to me with a death's grip as we precariously navigated our way up toward the master bedroom. The last time I had seen a grand staircase like that was at the Majestic Theatre in Des Moines. I seemed to be coming up in the world.
The four-poster king-sized bed had a quilted cover over light rose silk sheets. Silk. Luxuriously slippery-smooth.
She kept sagging as I undressed her. I gently lowered her to the bed and tucked her in.
.... There is more of this story ...