Friday comes precariously. This week I have Saturday off. I'm exhausted, hungry and filled with the melancholy John Keats says falls "swift from heaven like a weeping cloud."
I worshipped Keats at 13 or 14, and dared once to send a sonnet to a terrifyingly lovely older girl. Tonight I'm as lonely as the tubercular Keats in Rome writing to his eternal love in England. The warmer weather that was supposed to be easier on his lungs didn't help, and, coughing blood, the inspired genius met his end at 24.
This is the tenor of my thoughts as I lie in bed staring at the ceiling. But according to my friends in the burbs, a visit to Aladdin's Lamp is the solution to my Friday ennui.
Suddenly energized, I rise to dress. I go out into the cool night, money in my pocket, and stop at the closest tavern for two quick beers before moving off excitedly on my adventure. I walk quickly, overcome by the anticipation of pleasure.
I pull open the heavy door of Aladdin's. On the glittering stage, a girl's doing something extraordinary on a stainless steel pole.
I see desire personified talking to a young man. I smile, touch her gently, say hello, and she follows immediately, as if it's meant to be.
We sit at a table together. She wants red wine. I have beer. Slim, in slippers, she's almost as tall as I am. She wears a very short skirt exposing gorgeous tan thighs and a low-cut top of some revealing material. Her small nipples protrude from breasts that that would fit neatly into champagne glasses. Perfect. She's already given herself to me, and I respond.
Warmth moves up my thighs, through my stomach and chest. Something flashes in my brain. I'm happier than I've ever been. We smile into each other's laughing eyes. This is fun, a miracle, ecstasy. For the couple of hours we're together, we'll see only each other.
But she has many other clients. She's in great demand.
When not working here, making tons, she's studying business, she says. She's very quick, very smart, ambitious, almost ruthless. I can't place her accent, but it turns out she's Brazilian.
She calls herself Yasmin. I run my fingers through the carefully tousled hair, streaked blond, at the back of her neck.
I'm not supposed to touch. Not yet. I caress her cheek and neck. There's no resistance.
She sips her wine and says something I don't quite hear. I'm too caught up in her. I whisper her name. Yasmin. But I suspect in the noisy room she won't understand that I want to talk to her privately, not one of many, as a person, a friend, a lover.
Only later, after the dances, do I realize she must have understood. Unasked, she writes her name and telephone number on a slip of paper and says, "Call me Saturday. Then we'll fuck."
When she's finished her wine, it's time to go to one of the private rooms upstairs. She holds my hand and guides me, heart thumping, cheeks on fire, through the crowd.
There's no quibbling over insignificant practical matters: $20 a dance, and I'll have three. That's all I need, can afford. She tells me I can have as many as I like. She just did 10, she says nonchalantly.
She seats me in the cubicle, rubs antiseptic cream on my hands and hers, very professional. She begins to dance slowly, like something from the Arabian Nights, coming closer, running her fingers through my hair.
She takes off her top, touches her breasts. I ease her toward me, gently touch her breasts, fondle her nipples, bring her closer and begin to suck a nipple. I suck and suck gently. She likes that. It goes on and on, like a feeding infant.
When she takes off her skirt she's beautiful, her thighs just thick enough, a space between them. Her tight panties are off-white. I rub my fingers up and down the front, going as far down as I can.
But there are strict limits. When she slips off her panties I can touch the blond pubic hair, but I'm forbidden to explore whether her slit is wet. Absolutely not.
Does she get wet after all this? Facing me, she sits on my lap and rubs her cunt on my hard cock, on and on, through my pants. She will touch my lips with hers but won't give her tongue, no matter how I plead.
As I leave the booth to go back to my table, emotionally exhausted, I notice that I've been surreptitiously watched all the time through tinted glass: they are careful with their girls.
I thank her and talk some more, showing her that there's still only her. She's sorry, she must go. She writes her note, "Sunday," smiles, and moves away.
The next morning I sleep late, waking peacefully, full of dreams of Yasmin. My friends were so right.