slave to love
The motel was one of the last in the country to offer the Magic Fingers vibrating bed. For those of you unfamiliar with this contraption, I feel remorse for you if this is the case, it is a device that attaches to a bed and allows the occupant to be gently shaken for fifteen minutes. All for the very affordable price of a quarter.
The motel was also the only one in the tri-county area that offered bright red, heart-shaped bathtubs. While they are often crudely referred to as ‘fuck tubs’, he preferred to think of them as a tip of the cap to romantic days of yore.
These two features of the motel were no accident. He had scoured the map for just these amenities.
He sat on the hood of his freshly-washed car and waited for her. She agreed to the meeting and she knew the room number. Now the question was, would she show?
It was obvious that the motel allowed pets as a few doors down he could hear a dog barking. Not the yapping of a small dog but a robust, full-throated bark. More of a woof than a bark.
Between woofs he could hear the crickets starting up for the night. The sun was starting to set and he could hear the motel’s sign starting to buzz and crackle as the lights began to come on one by one. Not all of them, but enough to illuminate the sign. A sign that didn’t say Come On Inn or No Tell Motel, but those names would have certainly looked perfectly at home nestled there.
The hum of passing traffic, while not constant, was steady enough to offer a nice accompaniment to the barking dog, crickets and the song that was running through his head.
Tell her I’ll be waiting
In the usual place
With the tired and weary
And there’s no escape
To need a woman
You’ve got to know
How the strong get weak
And the rich get poor
Then, like a needle sliding off a record, the music stopped and he wondered if he should have brought wine.
“Too late now” he said to himself and the song started up again. His eyes closed and his lips mouthed the words. A closer examination of the man would detect a small shimmy in the region of his hips.
You’re running with me
Don’t touch the ground
We’re restless hearted
Not the chained and bound
The sky is burning
A sea of flame
Though your world is changing
I will be the same
He saw her car pulling in. Now the question was, would she?
He didn’t know it at the time but he was going to find out soon enough that she thought the ‘fuck tub’ was a nice touch.
**This morning I received this email from someone who wishes to remain anonymous but is ok with me posting her ‘reply’ to this story. As I’ve said before, eliciting reactions is very validating.**
That’s the Way
She knew he was more Roxy Music and she was more Led Zeppelin, but his fingers knew more about playing her than anything she’d encountered in the tri-county area. So she was going to the motel he had picked out. She knew it was seedy but the seedier the better. It was like a nod to romantic days of yore.
You’re gonna let your hair hang down,
I’m satisfied to sit here working all day long,
You’re in the darker side of town.
She wondered if he would try to reason with her again. That, to her thinking, was not his strong suit. He may be successful in a suit in the office, wheeling and dealing, but her favorite part of him was the twisted part that made her feel like jumping into a bed of Magic Fingers and laughing until they both came.
That’s the way, oh,
That’s the way it ought to be,
Yeah, yeah, mama say
That’s the way it ought to stay.
As she watched the old highway dust billow behind her car, she pulled in to the parking lot. She felt like a comet with a tail falling towards his sun. And then she felt ridiculous for thinking such a poetic metaphor. He hated poetry.
He was sitting on the hood of his car, looking her way. The sky seemed to be opening up behind him with a vortex of sunset colors and flickering neon was coming to life in front of him. He was light but the secret kind you hide under the covers with while reading past your bedtime as a child.
The motel looked to be a slight step up from the Bates Motel. He looked like a dream coiled and ready to take her. The question was, would she?
She didn’t know it at the time, but she was going to find out soon enough he could quote Rilke as well as fuck her senseless.