From dusk to dawn, Barney sat at the window of his apartment overlooking the 9 de Julio Avenue. During the day the bus fumes rising from below made it hard to make out the people’s faces walking along the avenue, but during the evening, the glitter from the lights made it seem as if he were staring down at the stars. Things had not been going all that well for Barney. His woman had left him once again; and once again he was alone to rule over his destiny. A sub-normal existence of endless amounts of alcohol during the day and into the night was more than most women could endure. Adding to the sub sequential drinking routine, his book was nowhere close to being finished. This made him as uncomfortable to be around as hemorrhoids on a hot day. That’s how life felt sometimes. Like a real pain in the ass.
He knew women could only temporarily love him, but he felt they would eternally miss the simplicity he held for life. They basically wanted what the words he wrote meant. Barney was a fictional writer of love stories and almost all he wrote only came out in words. Deep down inside love was nothing but a cold fish swimming upstream in a river of disillusion. He was made too pure and innocent to survive in the cruelty of life in the city. It had ripped him of the dream of a house on a hill and reprogrammed him. His only remaining passion of drinking and staying up late looking down at the stars still survived. Not too much to ask for, but women were far too demanding for that.
Barney reached for last week’s newspaper that was still under the bed. He opened to the classified section and flipped through until he found the section where easy women offered valued services. He read through the catchwords:
Hot. Young. Great legs and big tits, Etc. He found one:
Lonely girl with no real dreams, just looking for a good time and friendly conversation
He wanted that one. He jotted down the number on his undershirt and proceeded to dial. A few rings and then a woman answered.
“What can I do for you sexy voice?”
Barney smiled cause he knew he didn’t have a sexy voice.
“I would like to know a little about your services.”
“I offer the kind of service you are looking for.”
“Which service is that?”
“The really fun kind.”
“Ok, great answer.”
“Where are you sexy voice?”
“In my apartment.”
“What are you doing?”
“Waiting for fun.”
“Give me your address and I’ll make something happen for you.”
“I think you already have.”
“Oh yeah how’s that?”
“I got a major hard on.”
“Is that so. All that from hearing my voice.”
“Yeah, imagine what I could do if you were here.”
“Imagine, would you like me to come over?”
“I’d love that.”
“Give me your address.”
At 38, Barney had still not met a woman who could live out a lifetime in a day. A possible contender was now on the phone. Barney gave the girl his address and went to the kitchen to get out the bottle of whiskey he had hid from his woman. She had freaked out and thrown away all his booze during a night of major turmoil. Fortunately for Barney, he had grown accustomed to such reactions and knew what measures to take. Hiding his bottle was not the way, instead he dreamed of a woman who could just partake in his pleasures. He found the bottle of Jim Beam. Good old-fashioned bourbon to rekindle the fire that had almost gone out. Barney felt so good to be alive that he could hear newborn babies crying as they entered the world. He recalled her final exit in his mind. Once the door had closed behind her, he felt as if an enormous weight had been lifted. The rules and regulations had flown out the window and smashed upon the sidewalk. Shadows followed her final footsteps out the door as the weary street sweepers awaited the grand finale while working overtime to gather all the misery that cluttered the path of the half dead.
He poured himself a drink as he stared down at the stars. Magic was below him, but greatness was in the room. There was not much on the walls, just a few drawings. One of the city being devoured by an angry skull. Another of a man crawling out of a whole and reaching for the first thing he sees; a bottle. Magic. Splendor. A vast illusion of a dream resting at the bottom of a bottle and the rest a cab ride away. He felt her getting closer. His mysterious partner just as alone as he was; desired for one thing, discarded for another. He went into the bathroom, brushed his teeth, and wet back his hair. He had not showered for a couple of days, hadn’t shaved in months. His kitchen was in total disarray. The floor was covered with empty beer cans and cigarette butts. Barney walked out of the bathroom and reached for the broom. He began sweeping the floor when he heard the buzzer. She had arrived. A sense of euphoria went through his body as he pushed the buzzer to let her in the building. He still had a while before she traveled the 13 floors up in the elevator. He got a few of the cans up, but couldn’t manage to get the kitchen in any functional order. Except for filling ice cube trays, there was nothing much you could do in there. He grinned upon hearing the sound of the elevator door opening down the hall. Before she could ring his bell, he was peeking through the peephole. He saw her there staring right into the peephole.
“I can see you looking at me, do you like what you see?”
Barney saw her all right! Standing at the door with a red ribbon holding up her frizzy blonde her. He also could see that she had blue eyes and lips painted hot red. He unlocked the door and opened for her. He immediately caught a whiff of her cheap perfume. The same perfume his first love had been wearing when they had sex in the back of her father’s car.
“Hello sexy voice, and now that I put a face to the voice; hello there Sexy face.” She said to Barney as her perfumed person gently planted a kiss upon his burly cheek.
He was speechless upon seeing her. He stood motionless with the bottle of bourbon in his hand like a crucifix to a priest.
“Would you like to come in and have a drink?”
“Just one” she replied.
“One at a time”
She entered with a beauty and a sense of freedom that made the walls echo with the sound of the star spangled banner. Barney watched as she walked across the room covering the footsteps where just a few days ago nothing but the sense of imprisonment dragged its evil chain. She walked towards the window and looked out.
“Great view. It looks like you’re looking down at the stars,” she said.
Barney just stood looking at her admiring the way her skimpy panties were visible through her tight white dress.
“The view is quite great from here as well,” said Barney
“You like it. You be nice and you just might get a closer look” she said.
“I’m your little puppy dog, baby” said Barney.
She walked away from the window and looked at Barney.
“Aren’t you gonna get me a drink?”
Barney nodded his head and walked into the kitchen. It was small and looked even smaller with the mess there was. He got a glass from out the cupboard. It wasn’t even a glass but rather and empty cleaned out mayonnaise jar. He managed to rinse it out and got some cubes from out of the freezer. He dropped a few cubes in as she walked into the kitchen.
“Looks like you need a maid.”
“I don’t need a kitchen,” replied Barney.
“What do people call you?” she asked.
“People call me a lot of things.”
“What can I call you?”
“For now call me Barney, later on who knows, maybe dirty rotten bastard.”
“I’ll think of something a little nicer.”
“I’m sure you will.”
She walked out into the living and sat down on the couch that faced the window to the stars. Barney followed her with a glass in one hand and the bottle of Bourbon in the other. She pulled out a cigarette pack from her small leather purse.
“Mind if I smoke” she said as she looked down at the overflowing ashtray on the coffee table.
“No, not at all”
Barney placed her glass on the coffee table on top of the newspaper page from where he had gotten her number and poured her a drink.
“What is that you’re pouring?”
“Oooh I like it”
Barney thought this chick was too good to be true. Shame she was there on a fee for services rendered basis.