Monday, January 19, 2004

At The Whorehouse Day!

The girls at the whorehouse sit Indian style in a circle on the Persian carpet in the parlor. All the customers have left for the night, save one. Zach Baxter.

Zach's been a customer of Lila's for twenty one years now. Looking around the circle, he sees so many faces that have given him such sweet comfort.

There's Nina, who spent three whole days with him when he showed up one night with a pile of divorce papers bearing his signature. Nina waited hours at a time for Zach to finish crying. And when he ran out of tears, Nina cried for him.

There's Melanie. Melanie was Zach's favorite while he was drinking. She'd do the only thing Zach wanted out of a girl back then. She'd finish his bottles. When Zach put the bottle down, Melanie kissed him on the forehead and put herself back on the shelf.

And of course, there's Lila herself. Zach's first. His father brought him to Lila when Zach was fifteen. "He's having a tough time of it Lila. Thought you might be able to set him on the right track," Mr. Baxter had said before shoving Zach through a beaded curtain. Years later, Zach came to Lila when he thought his erection was gone. "You made me a man once," Zach had said. "Beautiful Lila, make me a man again." Lila shook her head. "I'm not the one you want," she said. "But I'll bring her to you."

And Lila introduced Zach Baxter to sweet Frida. Tiny, patient, with naïve eyes, Frida didn't just inspire arousal, she was the blood of the erection itself. There she is at the north end of the circle. A little older now and still most desirable, though not quite the force of nature that Zach remembers from that fateful night. But that sort of bloom doesn't last very long.

If he tried every minute until the day that he dies, Zach Baxter could never thank these women enough. And tonight, they've asked him for a favor.

"People respect you Mr. Baxter," Lila says. "You throw your hat in the ring and ain't nobody gonna put their money on anybody else."

"And you don't even have to win," offers Tatiana, a recent hire at Lila's. "Just put the issue on the table and it'll be struck before election day." Tatiana has had Zach wrapped around her finger these past few weeks. She knows she's got his ear, by way of his heart.

But Zach doesn't need to be manipulated. His answer was yes before he heard the question. "I'll do it. Of course I will," he tells the circle.

Lila rises and kisses Zach Baxter on the cheek. He will run for mayor in an effort to battle the incumbent's plans to level Lila's house and the surrounding twenty blocks to make room for a new sports arena.

Happy At The Whorehouse Day!