Come Monday morning Steve Kowalski doubted he’d have a job to go back to. Before his meeting with Lola and Dom today he went down town and wandered about for a little while. He went in the coffee shop, the one near the flea market where the repulsively ugly head-barista had bug eyes and a receding chin that disappeared into his neck, devolving into rolls of fleshy, pink fat. The ugly swine was enough to put you off your coffee. Disappointingly, the pretty waitress wasn’t on duty as an antidote. Kowalski found a table over in the corner and nestled himself in away from the enveloping chatter. He sat and drank a cappuccino and then walked back out onto the dismal streets again. It had started to rain. It’d been a while and he was desperate to fuck something.
His relationships with women had always been brief, intense affairs, cut short before any deeper feelings of love had taken root, when the sex was all passion and searing desire. He was getting older now though; it had been years since he had slept with anything young and perfect and it wasn’t looking like he was going to do so again unless he paid for it. He liked looking at woman for the beauty they possessed. But he couldn’t muster the effort required to maintain a relationship, with all the intricacies involved. To Kowalski the rudiments of the female was a distant and unknowable thing, something he would never understand or be able to relate to. Young women looked at him at one time but it didn’t seem to be the case anymore. His youth had faded and he lamented the fact that an element of his being had been lost forever.
The streets were tantalisingly full of those beautiful and carefree young girls from the university with their little skirts, flowing hair and blithe smiles. But there was a searching, desolate look in Kowalski’s eyes that peered through the rain like a stray dog and repelled, rather than attracted them. He wasn’t just walking the streets; he was prowling them with that awful starved look in his eyes. Even the great swathes of scruffy looking charity collectors and bible-bashers who plagued the thoroughfares around the vicinity of the Rotunda like a swarm of insects avoided outcasts like Kowalski. So that was at the very least one positive aspect to come about from his demeanour, Kowalski despised any form of charity or altruism.
The problem with socialism was that it is essentially idealism that upholds a belief in the integral good of every individual. But the fact is that not all people are good and worthy. Some of the putrid scumbags do not have a bit of good in them. And he refused to accept that life itself was in any way sacred. In fact, in many cases, it was completely worthless and expendable. In the grand scheme of things, there weren’t many who stood out as a man amongst the fleas. Kowalski realised he was often too harsh though, you had to remember that life for most people means days filled with empty hours, wasting away our lives in demoralising servitude. And that in itself does things to a man’s mind.
He’d have to catch the number fifty-one bus. On his way to the bus-stop he stopped and looked in the Jewellers window on Corporation Street. There was a pre-owned Omega watch for six-hundred quid. Oh, there was probably enough wealth in society to go around. We could all be wearing Omega and Rolex watches. But it isn’t in the fundamental nature of man to spread the wealth around. Not really. Human beings are by nature greedy, selfish fuckers. Working class, most certainly, yet not a fucking hero amongst us.
Steve Kowalski was born into the working classes. Born into shit. The middle classes look to Botox as a superficial gloss to conceal their expressions. We have Ecstasy and Heroin, or whatever might be our drugs of choice to anaesthetise us from the bastard of a life we are spat into. However you looked at it, this was the expressionless Botox generation, scared of feeling, scared of expressing a single emotion, for fear of not for one moment being a perfect acceptable image. It was life imitating a television screen. Yeah, this was a reality TV show called Shitville.
Speaking of Shitville, he’d left a nice little surprise for his boss – a glass of urine on her office desk over the weekend – just a little something for the bitch to find when she got in first thing at the start of her working week.
He shouldn’t laugh. There was a time when he cared about some matters. But his boss really was an insufferable idiot. Kowalski had no idea how the woman had managed to attain her position. Of course, thinking about it, he did know. It was the same in any large corporation. It had little to do with ability. It was all spineless office politics, toeing the party line. It’s a question of whether you’re willing to sell your soul to the company, say the right things to the right people. Regardless of both common sense and personal opinion you just keep parroting the sycophantic company spiel, whatever the bigwigs want to hear. Eventually you absorb all their crap like a sponge, you actually start believing it, and you suck it all up and then sweat it out from every pore. Scratching backs was the route to success. Such things disgusted Kowalski; he refused to play the game.
When he was kid, Kowalski kept two pet Terrapins in an aquarium. If he didn’t clean them out for any length of time they’d begin to emit an indescribable stale, deathly smell. He didn’t know what on earth could be causing it but his vile boss’s breath was, to Kowalski at least, reminiscent of the dirty reptile tank’s stagnant water odour. She was a rather cheerless, sour-faced creature with cropped brown hair. There can’t be many women whose breath smells like turtle shit. Kowalski imagined part of her trouble was she hadn’t been fucked in an aeon. A good punch up the knickers would probably sort her out; though he’d often wondered if she might be a lesbian, if that made any difference. Admittedly though, he had rather a chuckle imagining her on Monday morning going through the CCTV footage to see who’d left her the glass of piss.
So, at any rate, come Monday morning it was pretty certain his shit job at the bank was going to be out the window. As if he gave a flying fuck. As far as he was concerned his work at that shit-hole was done.
Lola and Dom
Attractive couple, mid 30’s
would like to meet single male voyeur
Apply box No’ 76.
The ad was in the personals section at the back of the local newspaper. Kowalski wrote to the box number and provided his telephone number. A couple of days later the telephone rang.
“You can watch us fuck,” the deep voice said sternly. “And if you want, Lola will suck you off while I’m fucking her, she likes that. But you don’t get to fuck her, you with me?”
“Ok.” Kowalski agreed, holding the phone to his ear with his shoulder as he poured a shot of chilled Vodka.
“And we don’t want no funny business. No weirdos, you understand? I ain’t into touching other men or them touching me. Mostly, you just watch, and Lola will suck you off if you want. That’s it. No weird stuff, we keep this a clean and wholesome exercise, you get me, brother?”
“Listen, I’m six-foot-five and if there’s any funny business I’ll pick you up and throw you straight out the window with no questions asked. I teach Kung-Fu, man, so don’t try no funny shit with us. We don’t like no weirdos coming around here. The main thing is that we just want someone who likes to watch. And we like being watched. What you say your name was again?”
“Kowalski. Steve Kowalski.”
“You currently in employment, Kowalski?”
“Yeah,” he slugged back a mouthful of vodka, “in administration. At a bank, you know?”
“Alright, Kowalski, you sound level-headed enough, just remember what I said. You come to this address…”
They arranged a time and Dom gave Kowalski an address in Great Barr before abruptly hanging up the phone.
Kowalski jumped off the fifty-one near the Scott Arms pub. He ambled past, peering through the window. Many of the same old beaten faces were sat inside drinking as they’d been doing for twenty years or more. None of them had anything else to do with their lives. The clouds parted for a moment and the pattering rain glittered in shafts of sunlight. In the doorway of the betting shop, leaning against the door frame, there was an old guy of about seventy-five dressed like Humphrey Bogart in a dark grey suit and cocked hat. He was jubilantly counting a hefty wad of notes. Such are the small-time dreams and aspirations the disenfranchised masses. You could call them delusions. We all have them; we wear our delusions like a suit of armour in order to move through the world and hold onto our sanity. Our real identities are swallowed up in the morass of media images until we don’t know who we are anymore. We allow it to happen. Losing who we are protects us in a way. Our true selves protected by an outer shell of pretence.
Kowalski called in at the off-licence and bought a bottle of Pinot Grigio. He thought it might be polite to turn up with an offering of friendship.
Dom and Lola’s place was a smart four-bedroom detached affair set a little way back from the busy Queslett Road with a garden lined with rose bushes. Big Dom opened the door wearing jeans and a t-shirt revealing muscular, tattooed arms. Kowalski was led into a plush living room with a glass chandelier hanging from the ceiling centre and offered a big leather armchair to recline in. Lola poured the wine for each of them, handed a glass to Kowalski and went and sat directly opposite him in a chair on the other side of the room. She sank into the leather chair, running her fingertip around the rim of her glass. She threw one leg over the arm rest, offering Kowalski a teasing glimpse up her short, black skirt. She sat looking at him, sipping her drink seductively, apparently innocently opening and closing her legs, one stiletto dangling loosely off the end of her toes.
“Oh yes. She stirs the blood alright doesn’t she?” Dom winked salaciously, eagerly trying to elicit some reaction from Kowalski. The man obviously got off on other men wanting his woman.
Lola was a slim and petite, baby-faced little thing who looked much younger than mid-thirties with long blonde hair, big eyes and full lips. After a while she parted her legs completely, allowing Kowalski to see her stocking tops, the pale flesh of her thighs and white, silky knickers through which he could see a torturous hint of her dark cunt. She had him transfixed, mesmerised; it was as much as Kowalski could do to stay in his chair, he desperately wanted to leap across the room and ravish her.
“Yes…” Kowalski’s heart was thumping madly in his chest, “…yes… I have to agree she really does.”
“Well, don’t take any notice of her,” Dom said, suddenly aggressive. He got up and strode across the room towards her. “She’s a prick-teaser… nothing but a dirty little slut!” With that he raised his hand and back-handed her over the head, sending her sprawling on the carpet.
With his left hand he grabbed her by the hair, whilst with his right he reached up her mini skirt and yanked her knickers off. He forced her legs apart with his knees, fetched his huge, swollen cock out and rammed it inside her, making her scream and arch her back. He banged away at her on the floor in front of Kowalski, before ripping open her blouse and dragging her by the hair across the floor to Kowalski. Dom forced her to kneel between Kowalski’s trembling legs and ordered her to unzip Kowalski’s jeans and suck him off while Dom banged her from behind.
Kowalski was initially shocked by the force Dom had struck the woman. But in retrospect, afterwards, he realised he’d found the whole thing thrilling. As Dom pounded away at Lola he knocked her soft mouth up and down the shaft of Kowalski’s cock and he ran his hands through her lovely soft hair and onto her lovely firm breasts; her nipples were hard against his fingers. He came, absolutely ecstatic, in her mouth and it was all over too soon. He hadn’t felt so satisfied in such a long time that he collapsed back in the chair, still exitedly mauling her hair in his hands, hardly able to draw breath from the whirling excitement of it all.
“This builds up for days,” Lola told Kowalski as they all sat at the couple’s long, oak dining room table finishing the wine off afterwards.
“Yeah,” Dom continued, “it’s something we have to do. And then we’re sated again for a while.”
“Will we do it again?” Kowalski enquired, hopefully.
“No. We never use the same person again. Unfortunately it just doesn’t ever have the same impact twice,” Lola shook her head. There seemed to be a sympathetic air in Lola’s manner, Kowalski thought. He hoped it wasn’t because she felt a bit sorry for him.
As he left their home they saw him off at the door. Dom stood with his arm wrapped protectively around Lola’s shoulders. “It was nice to meet you,” she waved, both of them smiling great big smiles, as if they were waving off a family member after a pleasant Sunday lunch and a decorous game of Bridge.
It was early evening in the first week of January and it was just about starting to get dark by the time Kowalski made his way home. The rain had stopped now and the beautiful setting sun was reflecting golden in the windows of office blocks.
Death to the literary establishment.