I dreamed of music, but I didn’t fly or float or dance. I stood in a room without walls, the floor hard and even, black as a broken promise. The sky was smooth, polished. A wind brushed my bones. Gid came out of the pearly air, blurred, solidifying after a moment of fear. “Hush,” he said. Every piece of me quivered. The world changed. Gid lay with me on my bed. We kissed, and he swallowed me whole. His strong hands stroked me, cupped me, held me. Lips crawled down my belly to my thighs. I arced and screamed, and he plunged into me. He pushed me into madness. “Hush,” he said. His hands left a trail of sparks.
Temptation Last call. The stage emptied and most of the girls were gone. Angie walked through the bar, rousting the drunks. The music stopped suddenly, and the room seemed naked without it. Once all the drunks were gone, Benny locked the door and went back to the bar. I mopped the floor, spinning around the handle, trying the beginnings of new moves. Angie stocked the bar. I cleaned the mirrors. She did the receipts. “Ready?” she asked when we were done. I stashed the buckets and shit in a closet off the dressing room. “Let’s get breakfast,” she said. I liked Angie. I didn’t want to be awkward with her. But I was. Angie was all about flesh and fun. It made me nervous and excited and sometimes guilty because I knew her body as well as Tayla’s. It was a dance thing. Rhythm and touch and sweat. There was very little traffic on the street, so Angie pushed her little car as hard as she could. Streetlights blurred. Asphalt sparkled in the light from the headlamps like crystals thrown carelessly over black satin. I rolled down the window and lit a cigarette and watched for cops. We zipped into the Pancake House’s parking lot and Angie found a slot in the back. “Can I ask you something?” Angie asked. I shrugged. “Do you like sex?” she asked. “Jesus.” “What?” “I don’t know.” Angie flicked her filter out the window. “This isn’t — right, I guess,” I said.