Chevy by Charlie Coleman

Carlos Thornton Williams squired his cherry red 1966 Chevy Impala down the Henry Hudson Parkway. The trip to Manhattan served as his weekly retreat. He was a Bronx baby and the Imp was his Bronx baby. Both were totally fueled. His octane of choice was Muscatel.

Cruising the highway he reserved one eye for the road and one for the cops. It was a fiscally sound principle to find cops before they found you. You didn’t need the Wall Street Journal to tell you that. He savored the last sweet drops of Muscatel licking the rim of the bottle neck as a man crossing the desert would if reduced to the last drops in his canteen. The drive to lower Manhattan was his pilgrimage to the altar of jazz, the Village Vanguard. As he breezed through the Bronx and Manhattan he would often glance at the apartment buildings that formed the urban shrubbery. He thought about the kids his age out there. They would never ever know what they were missing. They had their rock and roll and mod clothes. They had their rebellion. But were they really cool? No. They fussed about the Vietnam War like it was taking place in New Jersey. In reality, what difference did it make to them? It might as well have been on Mars. They were smug living their “I’m so hip and radical” little lives on their campuses but they were devoid of any real life. They were stupid. They were dead. They just didn’t know enough to lie down.

Time passes quickly enough when you’re juiced on Muscatel and listening to whatever jazz stations you can excavate from the radio. On the stretch drive along the West Side Highway to Greenwich Village he made a mental note to pay attention to the parking signs when he got there. The last thing that he needed was a souvenir ticket courtesy of the NYPD. Twice over the past couple of months they had seen fit to accessorize the Imp with tickets. The Imp was the recipient of everyone’s crap just like he was.

Parking in Manhattan was a genuine adventure. You had a better chance at finding the Fountain of Youth than a parking spot. Tooling a couple of unproductive jaunts up and down Fifth and Sixth Avenues failed to unearth a spot. Circumstance propelled him to the East Village. Transgressing 12th Street he found himself on Third Avenue. It seemed OK. He settled on the southeast corner of Third and 12th. Looking around he spotted one guy enjoying his own little aberrant reality. Luckily he was hogging his dementia. Don’t cross his borders, don’t attempt to enter his kingdom and he won’t enter yours. The spot appeared to be as good as he was going to get.

Locking the car he journeyed across 12th to the Vanguard. Carlos maintained his Bronx, “don’t fuck with me” demeanor in order to deter the homosexuals indigenous to the Village. They regularly warmed up to his swarthy complexion, sleek jet black hair and swimmer’s physique. They repulsed him. After entering the Vanguard he sat at a table in the rear where he knew that that waitress would be stationed. She was another perk that kept bringing him back. Who knew, maybe she actually liked him. Possibly she wasn’t just being courteous or leading him on to inflate her tip. She might be worth the bullshit women put you through. A few drinks significantly reduced his anxiety level. Alcohol apprehended his apprehension. Three hours passed quickly at the club. His attempt at small talk with the waitress went as far as the 62 Mets went in the National League, absolutely nowhere. What did he expect? She didn’t let him down. She was just like all the rest.

He decided to head back to the East Village to start the drive home. Crossing Third Avenue on 12th he realized that his Imp was doubling as an office for a local working girl. He deduced her occupation easily enough. She chatted up every guy who walked by her as if she had gone to high school with them. She was gorgeous though. Her long black hair slid down her back to her tight jeans complimenting an ass that was made for tight jeans. The package was completed by a halter that emphasized what a halter is supposed to emphasize. Despite her calling she possessed a vulnerable face. It had a Katherine Ross quality to it.

“Hey, baby, yeah you with the cool island complexion, you want a date?”

“Hey, baby, you’re leaning on my car. Get off.”

“This is yours, honey?”

“Sure is. Now get off it so I can get going.”

“Going? Where are you going now that you’ve met me sweetie?”

“Home, it’s time to go home.”

“OK sweetie, let’s go!”

“No, you don’t get it, it’s just me in my car, not you.”

“Honey, let’s get straight on what’s happening here. I’m the cutest girl that you’re ever goin’ see and you, obviously, are all alone and in need of some excellent female companionship, which, by the way, in case you haven’t noticed, I have readily available.”

“You think that I’m just another guy that you can hit and run?”

“No baby, you’re different.”

“You can tell that by just looking at me and our two minute conversation. That’s amazing! What a woman!”

“Baby, you’re so insightful. C’mon baby, loosen up!”

“Loosen up? Isn’t that your job, to loosen me up?”

“I can’t do my job if you’re going to cop an attitude and leave me hanging.”

“Why the hell would I want to do anything with you?”

“Hostile, hostile, hostile, I’m just trying to be friendly and you have to dish out hostility.”

“Why shouldn’t I? You’re just trying to feed off of me. You, like all the rest of the assholes.”

“Easy, honey. You’re wrapped tighter than a drum in the Thanksgiving Day parade. Give me the chance. I promise I’ll unwrap you. Think of it as Christmas morning. You’re going to be a present to me, and baby, I like presents!”

“I suppose despite your enthusiasm there will still be a fee.”

“Just a tribute to my charms.”

“What if I don’t want to pay tribute?”

“Honey, you’re still talking to me. That tells me that you do.”

“Don’t be so sure.”

“O baby, but I’m sure. Now let’s move our relationship to the next level. Right now we’re just trading pleasantries.”

“What if I’m not the type of guy who goes with a girl like you?”

“Honey, the type of guy who doesn’t go with a working girl doesn’t exist unless he doesn’t go with girls at all.”

“C’mon, no one ever says no?”

“If they do, it’s because they’re married and afraid of their wives or some other lame ass excuse. You don’t have any excuse.”

“How do you know that?”

“Simple, because you would have said it by now, baby. So you’re just out of excuses.”

“Well, let’s just say that I was interested. What’s this trip going to cost?”

“There you go, now we’re making progress, depends what you want, the menu is extensive.”

“Nothing exotic.”

“Twenty-five.”

”Too much.”

“Twenty, that’s the lowest I’ll go.”

“Where?”

“You have the car, baby, where’s home?”

“No, I would never bring anyone like you there.”

“Are you always so considerate?”

“Enough with me, where can we go?”

“We have the car.”

“My car?”

“Why not, it won’t take that long.”

“No, get it straight, not in my car, not out in the open. I’ve never done this before and I’m not about to do this in my car or in front of God knows who.”

“Baby, do I believe this. You’re a virgin? You’re an unwrapped piece of candy. I thought they went out of existence.”

“No, I’ve never been with a professional before.”

“O, I understand. I like that word professional. See, I can cut through the ice. After all that you do have some idea of how to treat a girl. Despite our rough start I think we just might get along just fine. By the way, my name’s Rory.”

“Well, Rory, where are we going to get along just fine?”

“How about a hotel? Not the best place in town but there’s one right down on St. Marks, just a few blocks away. I know the night clerk. I take care of him every once and awhile. He’ll give us a cheap rate.”

“What’s that going to cost me?”

“Ten.”

“Must be the Waldorf.”

“It will do.”

“Let’s go.”

Walking down Third Avenue to 11th Street they passed another girl.

“Say Rory girl, can I have him when you’re done? He’s cute. You always land the cute guys.”

“You just wait your turn. I may want him more than once.”

“Oh come on, Rory, don’t be a pig.”

“See you later, baby, me and my new friend have to get to know each other.”

Entering the St Marks Hotel they were greeted by the desk clerk, “The usual, 2C, Rory?”

“Yeah, that sounds good. It’s as good as any of the others.”

“Well, that’s good. The Presidential Suite is booked.”

“Very funny, Eric, is Richard Nixon in town?”

“I thought I saw him in here with you last week. Or was that Johnson?”

“I think I’ve had the both of them here at one point. Just check your register.”

“Good idea. I’ll check as soon as Thomas Jefferson here signs the guest book.”

With that Carlos signed in as Miles Davis.

Turning the register around, Eric chortled, “Well, look at that, in addition to having presidents as guests, we now have musicians. Who knows who’ll come walking through the door next? Here’s the key, 2C. Have fun. Don’t make too much noise.”

Carlos and Rory proceeded up the rickety staircase to the second floor. 2C looked as Carlos had expected it to look, tawdry but functional. Cheap white blinds advertised their age by their yellow tint. The bottom slats were slightly crooked as if someone has been peering out and didn’t want anyone to see him do it. Paint was peeling off of the walls in a desperate attempt to extricate itself. There was a bed hugging the side wall as if someone was going to carry it away against its will. It strained to look like something one step up from the type you’d find in a military barracks with a functional brown sequined bedspread shrouding it. A small well worn wood dresser next to it served as its only worldly companion. Carlos turned down the bedspread just to see what the sheets looked like. They were presentable, starchy but reasonably clean, which surprised him.

“Baby, you can’t wait to get going, can you? I have a bull on my hands.”

“No, I just have at least a basic level of standards. I wasn’t expecting the Waldorf but I was hoping for at least something halfway acceptable.”

“Baby, if you want to go somewhere else, you’ll just have to pay the freight?”

“No, this will do. Let’s get on with it.”

“Baby, what’s the rush? This isn’t the express line at the supermarket.”

“What do you want to do, talk?”

“Honey, tell me about yourself.”

“Are you serious? What’s this, a job interview?”

“OK, just tell me what you’re comfortable with?”

“Well, that’s probably nothing, but what the hell. I’m a delivery man for a bakery.”

“That’s cool. Just think if you don’t work, no one eats.”

“Some people should starve.”

“You deliver hostility too, baby.”

“Hey, that’s me. What do you want?”

“A little personality, a little warmth, it won’t kill you to be personable.”

“I’m paying for your time. It’s not the other way around. You’ve got it ass backwards.”

“Icy, icy, icy.”

“Look, let’s get on with it. Give me what I’m paying for.”

“Slow down, baby, let’s see what’s going on here.”

“Just what am I purchasing here, therapy or sex?”

“It’s not therapy, it’s just basic friendliness. Just try it.”

“Let’s cut the friendliness bullshit and get on with it.”

“OK, OK. You are an asshole. If you want to be an asshole, that’s fine. Take off your clothes, now.”

“What’s with this now business? I’m the paying customer, I won’t be rushed.”

“You just said it. This is business. So let’s move it along. I have other clients waiting.”

Carlos withdrew his wallet and threw a twenty dollar bill onto the bed which Rory quickly snatched and shoved into her handbag.

“OK, get undressed. Let’s get going.”

“Easy!”

“Let’s go. I have a job to do.”

He quickly undressed. Rory jumped out of her jeans and halter and stripped away her underwear like it was on fire. She pushed Carlos squarely in his chest knocking him backwards onto the bed. Grabbing his penis she initiated a series of strategically placed strokes. She deftly placed a condom on his aroused penis.

“Are we contestants on Beat the Clock?”

“No, they have more life to them than you do.”

“Fuck you bitch.”

Mounting him, she mechanically rode him like a child on a rocking horse until it was obvious by his grunts and exhalation that she had completed her mission. She never even blinked during the whole encounter. She could have demonstrated more passion reading a train timetable.

“The fucking is finished, our business is concluded.”

“I get more emotion from my dentist than I just got from you.”

“You probably treat him a whole lot better, asshole.”

“He deserves it.”

“Then fuck him next time.”

“I won’t come back to you.”

“Thanks, you don’t know how much I appreciate that. You’ve made my day.”

With that Carlos got up, dressed and walked to the door.

“You think that I’m a cold son of a bitch, right?”

“That’s a damn good guess.”

“Well, you’re right. And, do you know what, I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks, especially you, in fact, particularly you.”

“I’m glad that I’m getting such special consideration. I didn’t know that I mattered that much to you.”

“You don’t.”

“Fuck her and dump her.”

“Yeah, that sounds good.”

“I guess that’s why you don’t have a girlfriend.”

“Who said that?”

“It’s all over you. How can you have an attitude like you do and be with someone else?”

“Maybe I don’t want a girlfriend?”

“Honey, even if you did, you couldn’t get one. You’re too fucking cold.”

“There you go again, trying to charm me.”

“I wouldn’t waste my breath.”

With that Carlos walked out the door heading back to the street. Passing the clerk he garnered a “Was it the best ever?” comment.

“It was just what I expected.”

 *

Charles Coleman is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.

3 thoughts on “Chevy by Charlie Coleman”

  1. Good writing, Charlie. Loved the signing in book at the hotel. Sort of wished the whole thing could have been longer. Might have some more mileage in this one, if you choose. Very nice. Enjoyed it.

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