Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Conspiracy of Moments

The cold air blew on his face as he stood precariously on the railing of the bridge. The air was wet and he was shivering.
He looked down in to the abyss, it was dark and foreboding. He knew the river was somewhere down below yet its palpitations and workings were imperceptible to him who was standing up above it contemplating. The urgency and the finality of the moment welled up inside him. His heart beat fast and adrenaline coursed through his veins. He felt alive. In this juncture between life and death, in this moment of decision of the existence of his future, he felt more alive than ever.
He took a couple of deep breaths to calm himself. He mustn’t let himself be fooled by the fickleness of the moment. He had to carry out what he had come here to do. Time was a deceiver. It conspired with God to keep one alive. The remembrance and forgetfulness of moments was its greatest weapon.
The sudden sound behind him almost decided his path for him. Startled and feeling himself losing balance he crouched down quickly and took hold of the railing. He looked behind him to the source of the sound.
A woman stood there; young, very young, at the very least not above 22. She was dressed in skimpy clothing revealing much and concealing little. A shirt that was much too small and tight stretched over her ample bosom and displayed her navel and cleavage in its stark stunning beauty. Shorts that adhered strictly to their name showed legs that stretched on for ever and ever and drew fantasies in a man’s mind. She was beautiful, naturally so, but yet she wore make up. Rather than wage war with her naturalness, the artificial accentuated her beauty more making her look angelic even.
He stood there crouching on the railing and holding it with one hand looking back at her lost for words. To say that she had knocked his very senses asunder was an understatement.
Her blue eyes were locked on to his and a cigarette smoldered between her full red lips.
‘Watcha doin there? Enjoyin the view?’ she asked taking the cigarette out and letting out a trail of smoke. Her voice was sweet, beautiful.
‘No…. nothing… nothing’ he stammered, still crouched upon the railing like a squatting monkey who had been startled from behind.
‘Didn’t look like nothing. Planning on jumping?’
He looked at her and back down into the void. It wouldn’t do to have her here. He wanted his last moments to be his own. He clambered down from the railing on to bridges pavement murmuring.
‘What? Didn’t catch that..’ she said letting out another puff.
‘Nothin..’ he said louder looking at her.
‘It’s cold. Brr…’ she shivered. ‘Want a drag?’ she asked offering him her cigarette.
He took it from her hands. The end of the cigarette was wet and the redness of her lipstick was imprinted there.  He took it in his mouth, drew deep and coughed.
She smiled at him as she lighted another one and started to smoke on it. He eyed her, the exquisiteness of her form. In the dim lighting of the bridge he could make out the words on her shirt.
She saw him looking and cocked her eyebrows.
‘Watcha lookin at?’
His face burned red as he quickly averted his eyes and took another drag from the cigarette. Violent coughing ensued.
She started laughing shaking her head, her black hair playing in the wind.
‘Like it?’ she asked doing a twirl. ‘Never met a man who didn’t. Sure fire shot to a few bucks every night.’
He looked back at her. A smile played on her lips.
‘You are a..’
‘A hooker? Yeah.’ She shivered. ’Damn the cold’ she muttered.
Of course she was a hooker, he couldn’t believe he hadn’t figured it out already. It was the dead of the night and here was a girl wearing a skimpy dress.  He nodded to himself and put the cigarette in his mouth, then decided against it and threw it away. He asked her.
 ‘What are you doing here?’
‘Good question’ she said still smoking hers. ‘Deserted place, no one around and what’s a hooker like me doing here when I ply the trade of giving company. A guy picked me up off One End Street. Wanted me to go to his place to hook up. Normally I don’t do it you know; I got this steady room in a hotel and an understanding with the manager. I bring him customers nightly and I get a part of his share’
She paused long enough to take another puff and gazed off into the distance.
‘Anyway the guy I told you about offered me a bit more extra. More than I could have gotten from the hotel and I thought what the heck, it’s for a twirl and his house ain’t that far. So I got into his car and drove off to….’ Here she paused again. ‘What’s the place… Cli… Cli….. some avenue.’
She looked at him her face an effort in concentration.
‘Clifton avenue.’ he sputtered.
‘Mmm..’ she muttered with the cigarette in her lips and her face lit up. ‘That’s right. So I get there and you know do the horizontal bop, this guy’s got a rad place I’ll tell you that. And afterwards he just falls asleep and he’d already payed me so I just crept out of bed, got dressed and got goin. One thing I learned in the business, never wake up a sleeping man. He gets all grumpy and irritating. Bad for business.’
She smiled at him and he couldn’t help but smile back. He liked her.
‘So I get outta his apartment building and I’m standing out there and there is no taxi. So I think, hell I’ll just walk, save me some money. And so I start walking and I am crossing the bridge on the other side and I see you standing on the railing here; according to you doing nothing.’
He blushed and grinned.
She laughed and stood there regarding him for some time. Her gaze made him feel hot under the collar. He fidgeted and looked down at the ground.
She tossed her cigarette on the ground and stamped it out with her heels.
‘Say. You ain’t a virgin are ya?
The question took him by completely surprise. He gazed up at her, his mouth slightly ajar. He quickly closed it brought himself to some sort of control and said.
‘No… no… why would you…?
‘So you’ve been with a women before.’
‘Hm… what about I give you a trial run? Right here, right now. If you like it I can make you one of my regulars.’
‘What…?’ he was shocked and bit flabbergasted. His mouth had forgotten how to stay closed again.
She was edging closer.
‘Why not? I don’t see no ring on your finger or do you have girlfriend?’
‘What..? No….’
‘There is no one here but us and I like the view’
‘Wait… what…?’ his back was pressed against the railing. She was close to him now.
‘I promise you I am not like anything you’ve ever had before. One taste and you’ll be hooked.’
Her breath was on his face and she was pressing up against him. He could feel her nipples pressing through his shirt onto his chest. She started to kiss him lightly and he tasted cigarettes and something sweet. And before he knew it he was kissing her as well with a fierceness and urgency that he never felt before. He trailed his arm through her lush black hair and held her head drawing her closer to him….
Together they slid down on to the pavement and in to her blue eyes where time lost all sense and meaning.

He hitched up his pants and buttoned them. He looked over at her. She was straightening her hair with one hand and applying lipstick with other. She rubbed her lips together, smacked and looked at him.
‘So… how was it?’
‘Good…. Great…..’ he smiled serenely. ‘Thank you’ his voice echoed his sincerity.
She dusted of her dress and smiled as she said ‘Told you I was the best you will ever have.’
He gazed at the deserted stretch of the bridge and the road beyond.
‘I’ll walk you’ he said.
She looked up at him.
They walked in silence through the streets time once more immaterial in front of them. Moments were born and just as quickly died. They walked and civilization came back to them. Lights grew brighter and people more abundant.
They reached One End Street.
‘I’m here.’ She said turning to him. ‘The night’s still young so…’
Her words trailed off. Everything was serene.
She reached into his pocket and drew out his phone and dialed her number onto it and saved it. Then she slid it back into his pocket.
‘I’ve saved my number. If you ever feel like doing nothing call me. I think I can find you something to do.’
She grinned mischievously. ‘Though next time no freebies’ she winked.
  She started to walk away and he looked at her retreating form smiling whole heartedly.
In this moment everything else did not exist and he was happy. In fact the other moments had disappeared from his memory. He felt the weight of the phone in his pocket and called himself a fool. He walked on, back to his house for a goodnights sleep.
The conspiracy had won again.


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