It’s Not Dark Yet

Previously, on A Young American…

To start at the beginning, go here.

I awoke on the sidewalk to a splash of fresh New York mud-water in tremendous pain. The hangover wasn’t even factoring in with what seemed like at least two bruised ribs, welts on my face, and some deep cuts on my arm that may have been caused by broken glass. I tried to stand up but the back of both my legs felt like they’d been kicked in.

I fought to my feet and doubled back, using the wall to hold myself steady, reaching in my pocket and pulling out a crushed pack of cigarettes. Only one was still good, and it was the one I turned upside down for good luck. I chuckled as I lit it, knocking my head back and trying to keep my eyes open.

The combination of the sun and the swelling made it difficult for me to see that well, but I could tell no one was paying any attention to me. I loved that about New York; everyone couldn’t care less if I was naked running down the street with a plunger up my ass as long as I didn’t touch any of them. My freshly scabbed lips wrapped around the butt.

I checked my pockets and luckily my phone and wallet were still in them. My legs gave way and I slid down the side of the building until the ground stopped me. I puffed the next 10 minutes away, debating whether or not to go to Barbara’s or the hospital. Maybe there’s a place called Metroshowers I can go to. When I checked my phone there were three voicemails. The first was from Barbara, “Hey, it’s me. I just wanted to call and make sure you found a place to stay and were all right, but I’m guessing neither is the case.”  

Received at 11:45 PM.

The next was from Charlie, “Hey, man. Barbara just called me. She said you two got into a fight. If you’re out there, give me a ring. You can come crash at my place and we’ll see what we can do in the morning.”  

Received at 1:30 AM.

The last one was just a sigh and a click.

Received at 3:00 AM.

I felt like shit. I thought about the consequences of my mysterious disappearance and how they might effect her big meeting this morning. I looked at the time: 8:30. I dialed Barbara. “Hello?”

“Hey, I got your message. Sorry, last night was pretty crazy.” The silence wasn’t long, but it was unpleasant. “Are you okay?” I asked.

She scoffed, “Am I okay? I slept in a bed last night.”  

“I think you know what I mean.” I replied, scraping some dried mud out of my hair.

She let out a chuckle this time, followed by another silence; this one a bit longer. “Hey, I’ve got a meeting soon and-”

“Yeah I know. That’s why I called. I didn’t want to occupy most of your head when you needed to focus all your attention there.”  

“Thanks.” She said. “Call me after?”  

“Sure. I know this really shitty restaurant that serves great coffee.” I hung up and texted Charlie that everything was fine, and the next time we would hang out I’d have one hell of a story for him, if I could remember it. I spent the next hour pretending to be homeless. I figured I wasn’t going to get another chance to look this fucked up.

“Spare change?”

“Come on, dude, your suit clearly costs at least 600 bucks.”  

“Hey, bitch!  Gimme a dollar!”  

“Remember, a friend in need is a friend indeed. That’ll be 20 dollars.”  

Naturally, I didn’t make enough to do the homeless job for a living, but I made a good 10 bucks in mixed change and one lady whose daughter felt so bad for me she gave me her allowance. I didn’t feel bad, because her mom probably gave it back to her 10 fold for helping out someone else.

I moseyed my way over to one of those bathhouses with steamrooms, but they wouldn’t take me. I thought about one of those strip clubs that offered shower sessions, but there weren’t any open this early. I walked into the library and checked different websites for hookers.

Good old Craigslist was very helpful. I wrote down the numbers of the first five girls on the list, all of whom looked very attractive in their blurred out photos. Leaving the library, I dialed the first number. “Hello?”  It sounded like a fucking 13 year old.

“Hi, what’s it gonna cost me to use your shower?”  

“Oh, you wanna take a shower with me baby?”  

“No, I just want to use yours to clean myself.”

Click.

What the fuck? I dialed the second number, “Sorry, Phone number 9,1,7,2-” I hung up and tried the third.

“Mph, hello?” She sounded like she had a mouthful of something and I hung up. How unprofessional, I thought while I dialed the fourth.  

“Hellooo!” A cheery voice said.

I was taken aback, “Yes, I’m calling about your ad?”  

“Okay, baby what are you looking for?”  

“Well, I actually just need to take a shower, and I’m willing to pay for that.”  

I thought she hung up when, “All right, well I’ve heard weirder, haha. Why don’t you come by and call me. I’ll come down and we’ll talk more.” She gave me her address and I made my way uptown. When I found myself in the Sheraton lobby I was almost immediately approached by a manager.

“Get out of here!” he shouted. I took a step back. This fucker wasn’t kidding.

“Hey, take it easy, huh?  I’m supposed to meet somebody here.”  

“Yeah I’ve heard that one before. I’ve heard ’em all. Save your breath for the tourists and get out of this hotel!”

“Whoa.” A feminine voice rang out behind the manager. “I’m sorry, sir. This is my boyfriend.”  She bounced up in blonde pigtails and a red low-cut top. A black thong was creeping its way out of her equally black jeans. “We had a fight last night, and I guess he got himself a little roughed up.”  The manager’s eyes turned from Hulk rage into sweet Jigglypuff compassion.

“I’m so, so sorry, sir.”  He said, motioning as if he was about to get on his knees and kiss my hand.

“Well you scared me half to death!” I said, taking some of his rage, “I come in here to try and make up with my beloved and you come prancing up out of nowhere screaming at me like I’m some homeless man.”  

“I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t know. Tell you what.” He said, “How about you two stay a night for free?  My treat. Would that make things better?”  

“Yes, I think that’ll be fine.”  

“Perfect, what’s your room number?”  

“322.” She said.

“All right, I’ll make sure that goes through immediately. Again I’m very sorry. Enjoy your stay.”  I locked arms with my lady as we got on the elevator.

“Now I know why you need that shower so bad.” She whispered, “What the fuck happened to you?”

“You pretty much nailed it on the head back there.” I replied. She covered her mouth to hide a high-pitched laugh, “So, can we consider that my payment for the shower?”

“Well, sure, but that was more than I was going to charge you.” She said as we stepped off the elevator.

“There’s a good amount left over if you’d like to cash in your coupons.”  She reached down and grabbed my cock, pressing her chest against me.

I backed away slightly. “Got any gift cards?” I said, rubbing my head. Crusts of dirt powdered the floor. She seemed a bit disappointed, which was weird. I thought that the prospect of not having to let some dude inside her and still get paid was a nice one, but I guess this girl took her job seriously. When we got inside the room I immediately went to the bathroom.

“You sure you don’t want any company?” she asked sweetly from behind the door.

“Yeah, I’m sure.” I climbed in the warm shower. The heat of the water stung my entire body, but I let it slide as it washed the dried blood and mud off my body. I looked down and watched the brown water spit into the drain. I tried to backtrack to the night before. I got into the taxi, and was heading down the road. It seemed as if I was about to get away, when the cabby pulled over.

“Get out.” He said. The whole thing felt like a dream trying to remember it all, and eventually I gave up and shook myself out of my trance, stepping out of the shower and wiping the fog off the mirror. I didn’t look much better, but at least I wasn’t dirty anymore.

I stepped out of the bathroom to thank the lovely, and now naked, prostitute lying on the couch. “Um, I’ll call you.” I said, rushing myself out of there. When I arrived at the restaurant Barbara was sitting right where I met her. She looked at me, and for one brief nanosecond I saw a “Thank God you came” expression on her face, but it immediately turned to fear and concern. She got up and ran up to me, caressing my face.

“Oh my God, Logan what happened to you?!”  

“It’s no big deal. My own doing.”  

“Do you need to go to a hospital?”

“I’m fine.” I insisted, “All I need is a coffee.”  She wiped a tear before it could escape and we sat down. We were in an awkward silence for eons before she lifted her head up.

“That’s quite a disappearing act you have.”  She smiled weakly, but it was a smile nonetheless.

“Hey I’m sorry I flipped out last night, I-”

“Don’t worry about it. We were both out of line.”  She said, “It’s behind us now. I won’t bring it up anymore.” But she would, and we both knew it.

“How’d your meeting go?”

That lovely smile of hers returned in all its glory, “Great!  I was sweating it for weeks, but we nailed it, and we just got a really big client.”  I was excited for her, I really was. When she made big wins like this she liked to go out and party. Like clubs and dancing party, which was something I hated, but I went along with it on the count of drunken sex with Barb was both rare and magnificent. I usually dragged Charlie with us to the gatherings because Barbara would bring friends.  

“Well that’s great!  Where are we gonna go for celebration?”  

“How does Atlantic City sound?”

“What!?”

“My boss is booking the hotel rooms as we speak.”

“Wait, we can still bring Charlie, right?  I mean it’s practically tradition these days.”  

“Sure. I was the one who sold the meeting so I could get him a room, easy. We’re leaving at four Friday.”

“Don’t waste any time.” I pulled out my phone, “I guess I shouldn’t either.” I called up Charlie while Barbara paid the sorry excuse for a bill.

“Yo.”

“Hey what’re your plans this weekend?”  

“I don’t know, sittin’ on my dick. Why?”  

“Well how about a nice trip to Atlantic City?  Barb managed to get us a hotel this weekend.”  

“No she didn’t!?”  It was more of a question than a statement.

“Yes she did. We’re leaving Friday, so get your shit together.”  

“Boy this is gonna be a real treat!” He hung up without saying goodbye and I struggled to my feet. Barbara wrapped her arms around me.

“I’m glad you’re okay.” She whispered into my chest.

I hugged her back. “Me too.” We stepped outside and she pulled out some keys. “What’s that?”  I asked.

“I rented a car.”  

“What is it you do again?” She laughed.

“Get in.”  She unlocked the blue Jetta parked on the side of the road and I sat inside. I noticed the glove box opened with a touch screen.

“No way.” She laughed as she started the car and we went to her place to spend a sleepless night packing and fucking.

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