Late next morning Kristine emerges, dishevelled and still quite desirable, despite the shapeless, dull-grey facility issue tracksuit she wears. A reserve of questions are apparent in her hesitant greeting.
“Did you put me to bed? I can’t remember getting there.”
I’m already up. Considering I’d slept on the couch again, “getting up” only involves opening my eyes. The sustainability of this accomplishment is being tested by the dirty residue of last night’s drug binge Donald Duck lends a hand with a few clicks of his beak. I wait for this morning’s batch to kick in. The urges I’ve repressed last night make me grumpy. Like a Troll.
“Oooohhhh yeah, I carried your heavy arse. You were blind. Ya only had about three drinks!”
My attempt at a sneer sends shooting pains into my head. A guilty conscience slanders me by flushing cheeks with blood.
“I don’t drink usually. God, my head hurts.”
“It’s called a hangover, Ms Clean...look, let’s get something straight. I never touched you last night. Not in that way, just so you know.”
I blurt this out without sugar coating it. The issue, now raised, requires a rapid conclusion. I feel the arms of Morpheus closing around me. A background buzz livens my bones, promising sweet sleep. A tense silence draws out. She studies me curiously under a deconstructive microscope.
Shit. I need more than that. Did she really know?
Hold the phone! Wow! Holy crap! The pleasure centre of my brain is having a party. I’m streaking through the stratosphere. Ground to Rocket-Man, stay on track, repeat, stay on track, you were having a serious conversation out there.
Oh yeah. That problem with the new girl needs wrapping up. Things are strained enough around here. I can’t leave her moping around, clinging to mistaken beliefs. And I don’t need to worry about surgery at her hands while I’m passed out. I’m selfish, yes; horny, yes; but I’m no rapist, and some frightened lesbian cutting off my dick while I sleep is a dreadful prospect.
“You wrote yourself off on purpose, didn’t you? So I could fu...have...sex...with you...by myself.”
Said with distaste, I make it sound shameful that she’d think I’d lower myself to such depravity. Her eyes widen at my bluntness, and it’s her turn to flush.
“Yeah....yes...it’s what you wanted isn’t it? I made it easy for you to...to repay you for saving me from the Crawly.”
Her voice is flat, eyes downcast.
“Wrong! Well, partly right; but get that owing shit out of your head. You got it off my face first, and that’s reason enough not to interfere with your bits and pieces. And then you nursed me when I was crook! That’s gonna take forever to make that up to you, although we needn’t mention it ever again. This place is big enough for both of us. You can stay as long as you want. No strings attached. Just leave me in peace and I’ll try not to make a mess.”
Eloquently put old man. I sail one of my hands through the heavy air in her direction. Kristine shakes the floppy appendage, smiling in relief.
If I had any regrets about giving up the key to her pleasure house, her glowing smile wilts it to shame.
“Great. Glad we got that cleared up. I’m about to pass out, so why don't you amuse yourself for a while.”
I almost tell her not to molest me in my sleep and bite my tongue hard. The joke would fall miserably flat; maybe even returning an elephant to a room already crowded with others. One’s name is Addiction, the other, Mental Stability. They’d have to wait their turn to be dismissed.