Charlie shivers in the icicle breeze as he steps off the Number Nineteen one night in the inner city. The orchestra of the lively city clamours all around him in surround sound. It’s the sound of a thousand monkeys making the clockwork pieces behind the watch click and turn to make those hands move. He pulls his collar up and strides across the street through the people on those remaining paces to the stairs that lead to heaven and hell. Excitement makes his blood rise upwards, heating his cold self in the way that only emotions like lust and rage can, the positive former being the happy radiator in this case.
Last night, she had again evaded his clutches, whispering “Leave it til the Freaky Peoples Lounge,” her breath like boiling sweet treacle enticing a delirious child sweet for sugar. She singed the hair in his ear with her heat and her smell of real woman, all class, pure class. Fragile memories like porcelain wind chimes, like the tinkle of her voice were only half-formed of his encounters with her, but they stayed piercing him in the dark, like the glowing eyes of the wolverine in the shadows. That vixen would be his, he would be the hunter victorious over the gazelle tonight. He would trade those fragile memories of porcelain for the yielding flesh and present moment of that woman from the skys above.
Work that day seemed like it would stretch on forever, those seconds on the clock tick-tick-ticking past, like water torture, drip-drip-drip. The clock’s hands laughed at him, dared him to look at their provocative slow motion, like the way she slowly walks around the bar, knowing all men were watching her every move from their peripherals. Every time he looked at that clock’s face, he saw her face, every tick sounded like those long curved nails tick-tick-ticking against the glass she held poised in her hand, like a queen holding a scepter. The office cubicles seemed to constrict hour after hour, making his eyes water as he made his way through account after account, soul being stretched to breaking point. Da Man held his watch over Charlies neck like a guillotine, saying “I hold your paycheck, little man, I hold your paycheck.” Then all of a sudden, the day ended – BOOM – the cubicles expanded and bounced back, freeing Charlie from their shackles. He soared out the doors, before he was a chicken in the coop, now he was a hawk accelerating toward the field mouse, his wingspan increased to fly him towards Her.
Now watch him as he flies past the giggling youths smirking at him at the doorway of the club. They don’t see a hawk, they see someone out of place here, they laugh at the joke contained in his pressed and wrinkle-free shirt, that tie like a collar, those pleb shoes and polyester pants, they laugh in the way those young wolves do at domestic dogs who are slaves to humans. Unhip to this exchange, he bounds down the stairs like a young puppy to his owner, boing-boing-boing.
Smoke emanates the large ballroom downstairs, sweet smoke rolling up from cigars held by hands connected to people connected to each other in conversation over cocktails, beers and wines. They stand in couples, in groups, but never by themselves, you won’t get left alone here at the Freaky People’s Lounge. The lights are dim, but contain slow burn, reds, oranges and yellows, the colours of a well-built fire. The smooth as soul music rolls around his head, making love to his eardrums, dipping in, slinking out like a panther. The smooth DJ catboy Wally fixes him with a knowing smile that suggests a lifetime of learning to cook meals behind the decks. His food provides protein, vitamins and minerals for all those who listen, urging them to use energy provided by the aural meal to cut smooth on the floor. He makes sweaty bodies gesticulate against each other in ways that are Oh So Delicious you can taste them. Hotter then hot women are dripping with all that glitters and furs that their gangster men laid on them. They undulate to basslines that sound like they’re played by Jesus himself. Don’t look at them women, boy, their immaculately-dressed boyfriends over there sipping scotch at the bar will slice you to ribbons. Their eyes are sharper then the knifes they carry concealed into the club, knives for just in case someone wants to tell them that they can’t do whatever they want, whenever they want.
And there She was, in lazy conversation with a figure in a head to toe blue morph suit (drinking through his mask), and a little guy that you could look down to but look up to at the same time. She sits perched on the stool like a vase of exotic flowers draped in kashmir, silk and snakes. As he approaches, she stops talking, senses newness, and looks around at Charlie. She leans against the bar and knowingly raises an eyebrow cocked like a hammer, ready to blow his brains out with her eyes. The hunter has now become the hunted, the vase of flowers are now Venus flytraps, the snakes are still snakes more then ever.
“We can have a drink if you like,” She suggests. She always invites those Johns like that, invites them to be unified with her by use of “we” in activity. Charlie goes straight to his pockets, they always do for her, that mango in a dress.
She laughs, ha-ha-ha, like crystal showers on a glass floor, “No, you work hard for your money, all I have to do is breathe to get what I want,” she winks. She reaches over the bar and grasps the barman’s tie, it may as well be his tongue or his eyes, they’re falling out of his head. She whispers in his ear, works that magic, bingo, two drinks mixed and straight on the bar. She smiles at the barman and mouths Thank You, and it sure was the barman’s pleasure. She leads Charlie off to the nearby couch, whilst the barman stares daggers at Charlie’s back, but smirks a secret smirk under his hand, secret squirrel styles.
They sit on the couch, which devours them whole. She raises a glass to his lips, the ambrosia trickled down his neck and it was like drinking honey from a beehive. Relax, she says, and he obeys willingly. He can tell her anything and she’ll listen, she listens to anything he’ll tell her, he feels totally at ease. She laughs at all his jokes and anecdotes, then orders him, come with me, dance with me, leads him on the floor after she gets them another drink. This drink is stronger, the floor is getting full.
The room warms up even further as they get their groove on the floor. That cat with the kangol hat stepped up to give Wally a break, his half-crazy, half-insane eyes drawing from the crowd the stories he wanted to tell aurally, some sad, some hilarious, all engaging. This DJ, he watches Her and Charlie and puts them through their motions, encouraging his records of slow jams and aural inneundo. The guys who put it on, Tribe 187, they came from a place of golden beaches and rolling hills with archaic and wild people dancing hedonistically with their faces toward the sunshine like sunflowers. It was now time for some of this mythology from the fields of Elysium to infect the city with Love. The nights energy ebbed and towed along with the tunes, the room spun around and around, teeth flashing, laughter overlapping, eyes glinting in the warm pool that was the freaky peoples lounge, ya dig…
They get more drinks and they sway back to the couch smoking reefer. Charlie’s operating smooth, except for that one time when he asks her if she’s ever been married, ever had kids. She pulls back all frosty, Charlie’s made a boo-boo here, don’t get so personal, man, you might not like what you hear. She ain’t going to tell you anyway.
Her eyes are now cold as hell, her face becomes unusually hard, she’s in defense mood now, you better watch out, Charlie, you better watch out…
“What the hell would I be doing here if I had any kids?! I’d be looking after my kids, ya know? What kind of mother would I be, being here drinking and that? Huh?”
Charlie raises his hands in supplication, good move, she wants you to worship her, not make her human, “Okay, okay, I never meant ask such personal questions…”
She becomes all smiles, all loose and lovely and soft again. She says I never met a guy like you before Charlie, see, you’re now all opened up, let’s just enjoy the night… He feels so confident, slides an arm around her waist. She bounces up and perches herself upon his lap, shifting her weight in such ways to suggest what she might be like between the sheets. The naughty couples across from them were playing twisted games which further provoked Charlie’s all-sufficing flush from the drink. He tries to make another move, No, ha-ha-ha, She laughs crystal again, as do the couples watching them whilst getting their frisk on. “Later. Let’s have another drink…”
The night continues and flows like the drinks, the ballroom whirls in and out, her laughter rebounds off the walls, in and out of Charlie’s ears, he’s in the realm. Her laughs turn into the cry of the hawk, he becomes frightened, but the hawks wings are soft down, a narcotic, a baby’s bottle. Her wings carry him through the night as the people encircle them on the floor, the dirge of sleazy jazz jams and covers roll over Charlie like the heavy smoke and syrupy drinks. Warm flushes increase in frequency and make his skin buzz, he tries to say they should catch a taxi, but it comes out like new-born toddler language. She says, “Here, have another drink, let’s sit back down again,” and feeds him another drink. He tries to make another move, but she intercepts and lets him rest his head on her bosom. The hawk is cooing to her prey, he scrabbles for consciousness, but the sides of the hawks nest and the couch are indomitable, he’s like Sisyphus pushing a boulder uphill as he tumbles down the slope into the mouths of the crying hatchlings. Take no offense, Charlie, she’s doing this to feed them.
The sun warily peeks over the building tops at the night’s massacre. He wakes up in an alley under some cardboard with no money in his pockets, but his tram ticket was in his pocket still. That cunning bitch had slipped him a mickey. Again. Charlie, the silly joker, always omitted this from his mind the two times it previously happened. Why would she do that to him, she was a Goddess perched on her pedestal, she wasn’t just some harlot making on Johns. But such is the hold a woman can have over a man, the starved males of modern times will make every allowance for those times they can feel like real men in a world that no longer values real men. Charlie shivered in the icicle breeze, got on the tram with the intent of stepping off at the same place, same time next week. “Third times a charm”, he thought to himself as tram rattled down the tracks towards the future, as the early morning sun reclaimed the day in its illuminated fist, away from the alluring caress of Mistress Night-time.
But that city, it never sleeps. That city, it never sleeps.
The Freaky People’s Lounge is a place where you can always go to forget about your worries, so come sit with our women, dear stranger, and let your soul glide free. Get your groove on with our DJs, have a drink on the couch now, sit back and listen to this story, relax, relax, now sleep…