It is nice to be in a place where I can take a bath. He has one of those claw foot bath tubs. The water gets so hot the steam will fill up the entire room. The last time I stayed here, I had been up for four days on speed. I pulled my dirty ass into the bathtub, trying to be gentle with the hands I had cut up while I was tweaking through piles of stuff outside the goodwill looking for shiny treasures. I was so tired, I slipped under the still water a few times. I woke up gasping for air without the strength to pull myself out. This went on over and over until the water got cold and shocked me awake again.
I don't need heroin today. I want it though. I am dreaming about it like you dream about a lover licking chocolate off your stomach before they fuck you and make you breakfast. I feel like an empty shell without opiates. I would like tp talk to someone but the words are caught in my throat. I am slowly suffocating on my fears. I had spent the last few days of this week on a speed run to cleanse myself of the last of the opiates in my body. My friend won't let me stay here if I am on heroin. Meth is okay to him but heroin is a big no no. Fucking hypocrite. He just wants me on speed so I will cop for him. Then he uses the drugs to lure in the young men. They say the difference between a straight man and a gay one is a half gram. He frequently tests this theory.
I am freshly scrubbed like new money. I need to find my way back to the tenderloin until he gets off work. He doesn't like me here when he goes out. I am not sure if he is afraid I will steal something or if he simply resents the fact I don't work. Whatever. I have just enough time to get high and come back with an innocent look on my face.
He gives me as kiss as he pushes me out the door "Just ring the bell when you come back."
He hands me a bag of snacks as if I am going off to kindergarten. I have about two dollars in my purse, a few condoms, an old bus transfer, "the list" which is a comprehensive listing of all the shows in the area, and half a candy bar. The purse is just for show, really. Sometimes I carry a beer in there to keep it semi-cold.
The bus driver doesn't notice me as I sneak on the back of the crowded bus. I feel nervous and afraid with all these people pressed around me. It has been three days since I have done any drugs of any kind and a week since I got off heroin. I hate it. I hate this feeling of being exposed. I know I am supposed to enjoy normal. It just makes me feel like slitting my wrists. I used to cut myself with razor blades and steak knives. Right now, I tightly twist my hair band so I can feel something. The pain distracts me.
I slowly walk up the hill to the land that time forgot. The strip clubs and pick up bars are just a few blocks away when a man stops me.
"You do date?" He asks in broken English. He is a well dressed man. He has a suit on with a loosened tie as if he had a long day at the office.
I am taken aback by his brazen approach. I start walking again but he is clearly following.
At the corner, he asks me again "You do date? Around the world."
Around the world means he wants me to give him head then have sex. I am really not in the mood for this shit. I'm tired and cranky and
"$120. For me and my friend." He tells me.
Just then I notice another man behind us. He looks harmless enough. An older man in his early 50s. Both in suits. He is standing in front of a cheap hotel. Now, I get it. They have been standing here flagging down hookers. $120 for two dudes is fucking nothing. But I have my own ideas.
"Ok", I tell him. He grabs my hand and leads me down a hall towards a set of rooms. The rooms here have doors that go straight into a parking lot. Their room is right behind the manager's office. Perfect for me.
As I enter the room, the older man tried to paw at my clothes. "Wait baby", I tell him. "I need to get cleaned up".
He nods at me. I direct them to each of their double beds. "Get naked and give me the money. I will leave my purse right here," I tell them.
The younger man hands me 6 crisp twenty dollar bills as I walk into the bathroom. I shut the door and look at myself in the mirror. I am fucked. I am a fucked up person. I shake my head at myself. Not as fucked as these two dudes though. I wait a few minutes, adjusting my skirt.
"Are you guys ready to party?" I ask. I hear some muffled yes.
I took a deep breathe and I walked right passed them, right out of the room. I saw their naked hairy walnuts. One guy was clearly jacking it before I came out. I breezed right by them and straight to the street below. I knew they weren't going to chase me. What could they say. I disappeared into my world and left them with their dicks in their hands.
Now I could get some dope and stop feeling. That was the only thing that matter in that moment.