Thursday, July 14, 2005


And so there I was, minding my own buisiness, when out of the clear blue
sky this dame walks up to me and says. . . . No, wait a minute; I’m
getting ahead of myself. She was gorgeous. And I don’t mean the kinda
pretty that happens to catch your eye on the way to get a cup of coffee
on the corner of Fifth. I mean this broad, this lady, had looks that
the first time you see her you think you are making it up, maybe need
some sleep, maybe you should lay off that second pot of coffee or start
living right. And then she looked at me from under her hat, a midnight
blue number with a brim that left her eyes in shadow, her eyes, those
eyes that possess a gaze that possesses you when it finds you, when it
found me.

I should have walked away, turned my back on her and waltzed right on
past the file cabinets and the desk and headed for that cup of coffee or
something. Anything. She was trouble.

But instead I closed my eyes, soft strains of her perfume playing in
my mind, and when I looked at her again she was still there, holding
my face in the grip of her gaze. Oh, she was trouble all right, and
I knew it. But I couldn’t help it: I closed the filing cabinet,
ground out my cigarette, and took a deep breath to try to slow my
heart. Even so, my “Evenin’, Lady,” came out a little scratchy
feeling, and I took a pull on the coffee on my desk which had been
something resembling hot an hour ago.

"Good evening,” she replied, finally letting my vision go, my
sense of equilibrium returning a bit only to be knocked for a loop
again by her voice, low and quiet, the soft accent adding to the
disorientation while gentling the tones to a purr. But you could
just smell the growl that was in there somewhere, like a panther
lying longingly in the sun, sated relaxed.

I followed her attention to her hands, covered in black leather,
soft, fatal and supple like her voice. “I need your help,” she told
her fingers, moving the tips slowly around each other, a play that
made me think of incantations. The words traveled through the smoky
air like a foglight cutting the mist of dawn over the sea. For a
moment my mind spun, taking the room with it as I tried to imagine
what type of help this woman would ever need and how on earth she
decided to look to me for help. And then she looked at me again, and I knew
that how on earth wasn’t the question; earth didn’t figure into this
dame at all and here she was, standing in front of my desk on a hot
August evening, the cars passing through the rainslick below the
window of my walk-up, rain which had only left my shirt sticking to
my back instead of providing any relief from the heat. Her gaze was
as hot and relentless as the weather.