With mute precision, the cigarette box clicks patently. She lights up with the hushed authority of her flawless lipline. I'm walking along the street. I'm behind her and alongside her and then bouncing a step ahead of her like her smoke. I look and see the cherry flare and her nostrils quiver, a thick white plume kissed out into the brisk air as if to say look, this is how I breathe. Eyes like sister black widows with diamonds for eggsacs. I know there aren't exactly eight mascara legs, but somehow it is right that they look more or less. They are just so, just menacingly so.
I work for the lady with the vermillion lipstick. We talk about beauty, elegance and style over iced coffees after hours in her club. I don't know what my job is. I think I'm just supposed to appreciate the fetished female form. And watch her load cigarettes into her fingers like an assassin putting bullets into a clip. Just so, just menacingly so. She's French. She makes me feel like a woman's slip. I smell make up. I taste silk. I'm soft as a top drawer in a rosewood cabinet.
This is how possession works. Most people will never know how good it feels to let a lesbian use your body. She wanted me, surely I thought and I was correct, though not in the way you'd think. You might call me an indirect sex-object. I wasn't entirely aware of this when I kissed those vermillion lips. Her whole being leapt inside of me. It was like vomiting backwards, only beautiful, and holy, like a simultaneous orgasm.
I coughed. Then she coughed. She gave us a good stretch like a tomcat and said ah, just so. There was no fighting for control. No argument. It felt amazing. Her skill, her will, seamless intimacy, shared revelry. We have the same priorities, like two rivers met, or did you forget...wasn't allure what we were chatting up over iced coffees, just so, just menacingly so?
The clothes, jewelry and cosmetic film she had been wearing were in a pile on the floor. We picked them up and inhaled. She wanted to know herself with a man's supposedly dull sense of smell. We fixed my tie, my hair, we put on a jacket, tucked in the shirt and fixed the cuffs. We looked in the mirror. We looked smart. I let her smile my face, and laughed our modulated laugh because it looked something between silly and lurid when she did it. I saw myself for the first time, my very own eyes staring back at me, stripped of illusion. She said look, “Let's just walk us around now. The streets are lovely in the morning.” We locked the door and tromped up the steps and into the sidewalk traffic downtown in this vintage city.
A conversation void of syntax is seething behind my eyes. Motions are inevitable and simple as connect the dots. We are caught in the nervous energy that anticipates the end of a dream. We see our fix getting out of a taxicab. Eyes stop on black pumps at the ankle line. Charcoal nylons on her well turned legs. The skirt she wears is sepia on slate, a timeless plaid. One leg at a time, spanning the distance to the edge of the sidewalk, we fix on the shadow between her thighs. She's wearing a white cotton blouse. Very smart. She is Grace Kelly as a secretary. She is Audrey Hepburn as a court typist. It is 1920 or 2020. With mute precision the cigarette box clicks patently.
The line the cigarette makes against her face makes sense like the equals sign at the base of a column of sums. She exhales a statement of fact: I live, I breathe, I am. We catch her eye and draw her close with a seductive look I could never have managed on my own. A vital thrill like something an insect might feel coursing through my body. We walk up to her and place one arm around her waist, the other a delicate, unbreakable clasp behind her neck. She drops the cigarette. We kiss her mouth and it tastes like copper, and shocks like a tongue testing a battery. And with that electric zap, I am suddenly just myself, slowly waking, embarrassed and aroused in the presence of Grace or Audrey's very changed expression...a look far too wanton for a secretary, too voluptuous for a court-typist. She blinks and smiles. Just so, just menacingly so.