Dick

I smoke too much. I should stop, really. Enough pamphlets on lung cancer, I ought to stop killing trees and satisfy my mother. I've got the patch on a shelf somewhere, between the box of tampons and Aspirin. Maybe I should start now, slap one of those suckers flat on my arm and tell addiction to go fuck itself. But I'm too lazy to peel myself off the bed to the bathroom. Maybe later, when I go to get my usual dose of Aspirin. But I shouldn't have that either, not after drinking. I shouldn't have had that martini, but what the hell. And my cigarettes are in the bedside drawer anyway, so I'll reach for them.

I have a life all of its own in my bedside drawer: old candy wrappers, a vibrator, and condoms. Except the condoms aren't there right now. They're on the floor somewhere, along with my clothing. Mine, and that of the naked stranger in my bathroom. No, he's not a stranger. He bought me a drink, and even asked me for my name before he arbitrarily dubbed me Angel. We're practically best friends. His name is Bobby, or is it Billy; what does it matter, anyway? They're all Dicks to me. Another resolution, I should stop with the one-night stands. But it's hard keeping a guy when you're a morbid bitch, and there are things my vibrator just can't do for me.

Hey baby, Dick says when he walks back into the bedroom. His hair is wet and he is undressed. I am suddenly sober, and pray that he get dressed. But no, he parades before me like it's his birthday. Then again, for all I know, it just might be. An excellent start to the New Year for both of us. It's the new millenium now, according to the whoops of the neighbors in the nearby flat. I wonder if the world had ended while I was fucking Dick, then I realize that it did not. A pang of regret; it would have been a good way to go. Just imagine dying during an orgasm. Talk about climax, dead-end sex. The world would end along with me, and there would be no morning after to dread. Or encounters such as this.

I watch Dick as he dresses. I wonder if he suspects that I'm not really blonde. I wonder if he is as repulsed by me as I am by him. I wonder if he knows what time it is. It might be midnight, or it might be noon. Who knows? My shades are always drawn. I like the darkness, its soothing to my eyes. I could attribute my paleness to it, but what would be the point? I should smoke less. Maybe limit it to a pack a day. Why is Dick looking at me?

I sit up on my pillow and fake a smile. He smiles back, his cheeks spreading apart on opposite sides of his face. I want to kill him, but I light up a cigarette instead. He looks at me as if he cares.

You smoke too much, he tells me. Thank you very fucking much, maybe you can adopt me and buy some pamphlets. No, he'll probably get it for free at his physician's office, or pediatrician, for all I know. I should stop cursing too. It's unlady-like, says my mother. I need more social etiquette. Maybe that's why I haven't gotten a promotion. Is Dick still in the room? He is, and he looks at me again, and once again I wonder if my fake blondness is on his mind. Because, you know, men often contemplate female hairdos. And my hair smells like cigarettes, but I'm pretty used to that, so I just don't notice. I wonder what life would be like if my eyes were green. Would I be more beautiful? Would I enchant strangers at first glance? I have bags under my eyes; I haven't gotten much sleep all week.

I left my number on the drawer, he says, call me if you can, okay?

Okay, I say, I'll call you, Bobby.

It's David, he supplies.

I smile, I'll call you, David.

And then I watch him leave, slam the door of my silly little studio and dissolve forever out of sight. And do I care? Not really, I've got to get up early tomorrow. Is it tomorrow already? David looked kind of upset.

I think he caught me in a lie, but it doesn't matter much to me. I'm never going to call the number, I'll misplace it while I'm cleaning, although it's obvious at first sight that I never clean. But that number will lie on my drawer for months and I will be too lazy to remove it. I am surprised that Dick hadn't noticed another Dick's digits lying there still. They all want me to call them for some reason. Maybe because they think I'm really blonde, or because I'll quit smoking some day.

I've got a patch on a shelf somewhere, between the tampons and the Aspirin. And tomorrow, I'll get up and take the pills, and twenty days from now I'll use the tampons too. But the patch is still going to be there, until the next millenium. Until the world ends.