by Mark Ulyseas
From The Seductive Avatars of Maya – Anthology of Dystopian Lives – book available HERE
They call her the flower. Radiant but dying at the edges. There is a life within struggling to reveal itself. Plumes of nicotine hang in the air while tequila sunrises are served on the hour every hour at The Sun. She is beauty nurtured by the beast. The beast of living to survive. A quiet desperation, as someone once said or sang.
She watches him when he is not watching her. She wants him, in her, around her but she doesn’t know why.
He comes in everyday, sits in a corner scribbling a montage of memories, invented and otherwise, on a cloth serviette. He takes the serviette away after paying for it.
It is now a week since he first walked in.
The local radio, muffled by the loud chatter of guests, plays Stayin’ Alive.
The Sun fills up with men in T-shirts, shorts and rubber slippers and women in little black numbers. Men look like lopsided squares and women, black holes…an incomprehensible nothingness. Ill fitting together. Yet they are hungry To Be.
She returns to his table and gently touches him on the shoulder and says, “It is New Year’s Eve, do you want to be with woman or man?”
He smiles wanly and replies, “Woman. But not tonight”.
“Why” she asks, disappointed.
“Tonight I shall sleep alone because I want to dream”.
“I can dream with you”, she says.
He reaches for her hand. It is cold. Her face warm, flushed. He kisses it.
“Yes, Let us dream together”, he replies.
She removes her apron, folds it, leaves it on the counter and walks out with him into the neon night filled with a life she wants so desperately to leave behind.
The New Year arrives and departs as the two souls slumber in an embrace in a hot, humid room on cool white sheets.
The only sound that can be heard is one of resignation and hope.
© Mark Ulyseas, January 01, 2015