Love On The Wrong Side of Town by HeadBoy
Closing time again, and I don’t want to go home. And I sure don’t want to go home alone. Murphy’s Pub is a quaint place, a bit of a dump but the drinks are cheap, the bartender is nice and the lights are dim enough to make everyone look attractive on some level. Attractive in that ‘oh, please, god, don’t let me actually look as desperate as I feel tonight’ way.
The place is empty, except for me and the usual cast of genetic defects, passed-out drunkards, aging barflies, faded jocks and the lost souls wandering through life without hope. I don’t know which category I fit into, but the girl at the end of the bar – she has the dead eyes of a lost soul. She also has a sad face. Sad but pretty.
She sits at her stool, alone, nursing a Cape Cod, stirring the melting ice, running her thin fingers through her rust-colored hair. A stray section hangs over her eyes, the bartender shouts, “Fifteen minutes till closing, last call.” Her head rises only slightly, she raises her glass to the man behind the bar, signifying one last dose of numbing before heading out into the early morning. I gather up my courage, or at least pat down my desperation, and walk over.
“Can I buy that for you?” I ask. She nods, without looking up from her drink. “Make that two, please Marcus,” I say, calling him by name; something no one else seems to want to do.
The rust-haired woman looks tired, slightly beaten by life’s hard edges. She looks to be near 30, but it is obviously a hard 30. Flecks of gray gather near her temples, lines around her eyes and on her forehead show more stress than character. But still, she has a beauty, a haunting beauty. Her blouse has a rumpled, slept-in look, and her shoes are caked in mud. Her hair hangs just past her shoulders in a sort of half grown-out Rachel ‘do that hung around five or six years too long.
“Here ya go Eric, Judy,” Marcus says, setting down cocktails and grabbing my $10 bill.
“Keep the change, okay?” I say. Marcus nods as he walks over to the other side of the bar to dump the ashtrays and collect the glasses.
Judy looks up. “Thanks,” she says in a voice like Lauren Bacall. Her eyes brighten some, but they still have no sparkle. “I’m Judy. You know Marcus?”
“Yeah,” I say, “I come here too often for my own good.”
“Me too, how come I’ve never seen you in here before?”
“Lucky on your part, I guess.”
Judy smiled, weakly. She threw down her old drink like a pro, and sipped at the new one. She looked at me, sizing me up for the end of the evening. That desperate moment felt uncomfortable… the two of us, knowing each other barely more than two minutes, and both of us considering leaving here with each other. In this day and age of AIDS, and other diseases, we were giving thought to just throwing caution to the wind and spending the night.
She looked at my 6’ frame, my dark eyes and dark hair. I’m not the prize, but children don’t run frightened when I walk up the street. She tilted her head toward the door, gulped down her drink in one swallow and said, “C’mon, I live just up the street.”
I chugged mine, feeling the warmth hit my throat and spread through my body and followed her out the door. “Thanks Marcus, good night,” I said. He waved.
Neither Judy or I talked walking up the street, there was a dead-silent awkwardness to the occasion. I spoke up, with a lame topic, “So,” I asked, “have you lived here long?”
“We’re heading to my place to fuck. If you want conversation, fine. But you’re gonna have to do better than that,” she said, with an attitude of ‘don’t bullshit me’ running pretty thick.
“Um, okay,” I replied. “Is Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ just an over-rated piece of crap or what?”
Judy laughed, “Much better. Three months.”
“I’ve lived here three months, and no, Kafka is not overrated, his work is true genius. Who do you read?”
“Other than the Weekly World News?”
“We’re number 4A, on the left,” she said, pushing a key into the door of her apartment. They were cabanas built in the 1940’s for celebrities to summer in – one small problem, the celebs never came, and the stucco faded through lack of use. Inside, her place was furnished with a folding card table in the kitchen area, a badly worn futon, the television sat on a red milk crate, and the room was lit by candles. “You’ll have to excuse the living arrangements, I had to get away kind of quickly, and didn’t have time to pack any of my belongings.”
She opened the door to her bedroom. Inside was a full-length mirror, a thrift store reject of a chair and a queen-size bed shoved into the corner.
“I had to get away from home, so… well, never mind,” she said, almost embarrassed by her furniture. The place was clean, just poorly done up is all.
“Not a problem with me, is everything okay?”
“Shut up and kiss,” she said, leaving things a mystery, and shoving her tongue into my mouth. Her round breasts had a firmness as they nuzzled against me, her hands wandered in a quick but deliberate way; as if she was looking for something. We fell to the bed in a tangle, writhing our way out of our clothes, sliding up and down upon each other, rising and falling into one another’s varied embraces. Things got foggy, mixing vodka and gin will do that.
I remember seeing her pants drop to the floor, with mine not far behind. Her blouse eased off of her body, she had a lithe figure, mostly tan, except for a bikini line that was fading away. Her eyes locked onto mine, as if she were afraid to look at my naked body, and did not want me to look at hers. She pulled me closer to her, and I felt her force her hands on my hips, then lower. Her fingers dug into my back and arms, leaving long, painful scratches. An odd and alluring feeling, both at once.
She shoved a condom on me with a motion that was at once deft and clumsy. “Sorry,” she said, not losing any steam, not slowing down for anything. The obvious thought that we were going to have sex crossed my mind (I was beyond bleary-eyed and close to passing out, so my mind was a dulled thing at this point). Judy moaned, I noticed I was inside her. Her hand reached under the mattress, and she pulled out a pair of bright orange clippers. The shade of orange that can only be replicated on bad acid trips and Denver Bronco jerseys.
They fire to life with a pop, “watch this” and plunged them into the center of her hairline. She ran the clippers across her head again and again with me inside of her, confused. Her pleasure seemed to increase, judging by the sounds she was making.
“Isn’t this erotic?” she asked, running her hand over the uneven stubble. She handed me the clippers. “Your turn, do me.” She said it more like a command than a request, and by this point I was just a drunken, bumbling idiot. I did as I was told.
I ran the clippers around her ear and toward the back of her head. Her hair fell in my face on onto my chest. As it did, she would mutter a muffled “thank you,” and plunge me deeper inside her. She continued to grind on top of me, rubbing the stubble, thanking me and commanding, “harder.”
She took them back, which was a good thing, because they were getting too hot for me to hold. She plunged them on the opposite side of her head than the one I’d been working on, I had no idea why we were doing this. She made pass after pass on her head, rubbing and moaning, moaning and rubbing in between. “Feel this,” she said, taking my hands from her breasts and running them across her nubs.
“Isn’t that splendid?” she asked.
I am hammered, lost in the moment and don’t want to spoil it, no matter how depraved it may be, so I nod and say, “Uh huh, it sure is.”
With that, she plunges the clippers, burning hot clippers, into the hair on my head. There is a smell of machine oil, and the smell of singed hair as she swipes through my hair five, then six times. The end result is an uneven, choppy buzz cut. The only thing looking worse is hers. Patches of hair stand like islands on a bald sea. Fuzz sticks out at all jagged angles, and she loves the way it feels to rub it with my hand.
I’m totally confused, not sure what is really happening, but enjoying the erotic moments, and ignoring the odd ones. She wraps her legs around my waist and tells me to take her into the bathroom. I do as I am told.
Inside the bathroom, she wets a towel under the faucet. The steam rising from the sink tells me it must be near boiling hot. She wrings it out with her bare hands, impervious to the heat. “Wrap this around my head,” she says. I do it. A few minutes later, after more body pressing and writhing (and not a little of the room spinning too), she takes the towel off of her head and wraps it around mine.
Watching her lather up her head will remain one of the most erotic memories I’ll ever have. Part dance, part striptease, part siren song of moans and “umms” and part thrill watching a woman prepare to shave her head. I had never seen that before, never even wondered about it.
I feel a razor shoved into my hand. “You wanna watch, or participate?” she asks, her voice a rough beast, Judy fully in command of this evening’s action.
“Participate, definitely,” I say, sizing up her head, figuring out where to shave first. With a shrug, I start on the top, pulling straight back. The razor glides through patches of hair, and catches on the longer bits. She filled the sink, and takes the razor from my hand, rinsing it and giving it back. We repeat this process until she is completely smooth-headed. Her head has a pleasing, oblong shape. Her lips purse as she kisses my head. The still hot towel has made all the unruly hairs succumb and stand at attention. It is a soothing feeling as the razor scrapes away the hot stubble and reveals my skull to the cool night air.
I looked in the mirror, the back of her, now naked, head bobbed into and out of view. It was such a lovely, smooth sight. I was hooked from that moment, a hairless head on a woman is the most enticing site for me, and to be party to the shaving… I digress.
We fell to the floor, rubbing and caressing each other’s shining scalps. I still hadn’t gotten a good look at myself yet, but Judy was nothing short of a goddess. Her face was all bold lines and stark contrasts, her brows arched perfectly to frame her face. And her lithe body undulated on top of me with more stamina than a woman half her age. Exhaustion overtook us both some time around 5:30 a.m., she offered me a cigarette, rubbed my head lovingly, and asked if I liked the new look on both of us.
I said yes, and prepared for more of the same after a brief respite. Judy looked over at my naked ass, and mentioned something I didn’t understand. “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you said.”
“That’s where the brand will go,” she said, so matter-of-fact she could not be kidding. “That way you’ll always be mine,” she said, reaching under the mattress again, this time producing a large, twisted piece of metal with a twisted, Rhunic emblem on top. “Come on,” she said, tilting her head toward the bedroom door again, “we can heat it up on the stove.”
I can honestly say I have never dressed and run out a front door faster in my life. My feet hurt as I sprinted up the street in my clunky boots, pulling up my zipper as I turned up Getting Street toward my end of town. The sun was peeking up over the low rolling hills at the East end of town.
Down Getting and on to Butler Place to my house. The morning paper was sitting on the porch, mocking me. My head swam in vodka, and stung with razor burn. It was a long night.
Inside my apartment, my roommate was getting ready for a jog. “What the hell happened to you?” he asked, gasping at the scratch marks on my neck, my shirt sticking out of my zipper, my shoes on the wrong feet and, of course, my freshly shaven head.
“Let’s just say I’m won’t be having sex for a while,” I said. “And beat me senseless if I ever set foot in Murphy’s again.”
(Thanks for the assist, Schylaar. All comments welcome @ [email protected])