Floating Dust

by Avis Hickman


Right at this moment, she’s clearly wishing to charm the men she’s talking to. Her rubied lips are over-creamed and lipstick is smeared on her top tooth. Too much make up — altogether. She laughs coquettishly, and pats the nearest man’s hand, but awkwardly. It’s clear by her actions that she’s no expert in the art of dalliance.

Darling little body, tight and firm — like a juicy new plum, still with that fresh bloom on; clear eyes — laughing up at her beaux. Flirting with a danger she doesn’t comprehend. Pouting now — like the child she so obviously is. And the groomers. They are egging her on, caressing her soul softly — pulling her on to her ruin.

I want to scream to her: “Go home! Can’t you see where this will lead? It’s not worth it.”

But instead I sit, drearily stroking my grimy tabletop, swaying like a new tree in a breeze. Waiting for the tabs to kick in. This could have been me a few months ago. Hell, that was me only a few months ago; bright, eager — wanting to start the rest of my life; no time to wait and grow up properly. Open as a puppy; they all said it. All those hollow-eyed men, who only wanted to be my special friend, show me a good time. Briefly. Just take this fix, and perform for the men, girlie.

I relax, as I feel the drug smooth out the wrinkles in my life, coating my skin with a layer of dullness. It helps to get me through the nights. Now, I am drifting above with the stars; looking down at us here — all tiny specks of dust floating in the hot evening air. Christ! I have to pull it together; the main punters will be here soon. Suck it in, tidy up; make yourself presentable; smile for the customers. Smile wide, girlie.

Time passes so fast, and you’re out of date before you know it. Money changes hands for freshness. So maybe I’ll get a night off tonight; if I’m a good girl.


Copyright © 2008 by Avis Hickman

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