Cities without landmarks
Niagara Falls, U.S./Canada
Three a.m. I’m shacked up at this truck stop-motel thing outside Columbus, Ohio. I’m already drunk. Been drinking shots of Jim Beam and chasing ‘em with ice water. Really sad shit, drinking out of the free plastic cup that comes with the room. Anyway, the walls were starting to close in on me, so I leave the room and wander over to the bar.
Place is dark and empty. They’re getting ready to close and there’s a woman at the bar, long blond-y kind of hair, I can’t see her face. I order a whiskey and slide in next to her. In the shadows I still can’t see her face, who cares. By the very fact that I’m sitting next to her at 3 a.m., it is understood by both of us that I am picking her up. We don’t even have to talk. We just drink the hooch, sitting next to each other. I pull out my smokes, she has one. That’s the extent of the courtship. Fuck it. It’s 3:05 in the morning. I still haven’t looked at her, I just say out of the side of my mouth: “Let’s go.” So we do. I get out my key with the diamond-shaped red plastic tag and shuffle over to my cubicle and fumble it open. As I go through the door, I can feel her shadowing me. In the dark, still no talking, we start groping and jostling, clothes kind of getting pulled off and saliva around the edges of our lips and grunting and we’re stumbling around because we’re both so drunk we can’t stand up straight. I’m so numb I can’t smell her breath or taste her. I’m thinking, I don’t care what she looks like, let’s get it over with and crash. So I grope my way into the bathroom to piss. Lunge into the wall, my face scrunched into the icy ceramic tile, pissing straight down into the bowl. One of those pisses where you black out while you’re pissing. I come out of it and I haven’t closed the door and the light is falling out of the doorway onto the bed. She’s nude, lying there on the bed and she looks different somehow. Softer. I focus on getting my clothes off, almost barfing on my shoes as I hold myself steady at the end of the bed and for the first time I see that she’s old. Real old. Like 80 at least. I thought she felt kind of bony and shaky back there. I thought she was just out of shape. Not only is she old, but she’s turned on. She’s up for this. And I’m standing there, looking down on her balding pubic mound, fuck it. And I start to pull on my dick. Figure I’ll just jerk off or something. Maybe I’ll actually fuck her, a new experience. But as my dick grows harder (believe it or not) her eyes grow bigger. It’s like she hasn’t see a hard-on for the last quarter century. And she starts breathing real hard. She gets really turned on. She’s rubbing herself staring at my dick. And I’m talking to myself, “Get me out of here, God. Please. I’ll never do anything bad again, just get me out of this. I really don’t want to have sex with grandma.” And just at that moment, for some reason, I start to come. Long ropy spurts, all over her and she sees what’s happening and starts to fidget more frantically, like some kind of Saint Vitus’ dance and this orgasm or something tears through her and then she stops moving. I’m barely standing. But then I look up and see that she’s completely immobile. And I think, oh great, she’s dead, I came and she went. I wiped myself off, then I checked her pulse. And she was dead. And I was so out of it, I passed out next to her. In the morning, I woke up, and she was all stiff. I felt like someone had taken an electric can opener and was cutting my brain up with it. I left.
Needless to say, I don’t pick up people in bars anymore.
Eric Bogosian is an actor and writer. His solo shows include "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll" and "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee." His novel "Mall" will be published by Simon & Schuster in November.More Eric Bogosian.
Niagara Falls, U.S./Canada
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