(Originally written 1983-84 – mild erotica)
She comes into the new Red Baron and then looks confused.
She is the same girl, blonde hair so bleached as to look like hay, same bleeding lipstick and nail polish, same black dress – her legs, arms and breast sticking out as if from a black Band Aide.
The bar has changed and she sees just how out of place she is in it, and turns to leave.
Then, she sees me, stops and comes towards me, grinning in my direction as if she’s found a long lost lover.
I never touched her, although I’ve fucked her brains out every time I saw her here, aching at the end of each night when she left with another man instead of me.
I don’t belong here any more than she does, which is why I stand out enough for her to see me now when I seemed so invisible before.
While I still call the bar the Red Baron, management gave it a new name “Rose Buds,” for some reason needing to keep the same initials, assuming perhaps that the place might continue to draw the old crowd as well as the new crowd if something – even so insignificant as initials – remains the same.
The bikers, head-bangers, dead heads, teeny boppers, punk rockers, hard rockers, truck drivers and our usual collection of perverts wouldn’t get caught in a place as slick as this, polished floors, mirrored ceiling, bar top so unmarked by cigarette scars as to seem unreal.
I’m not sure who but me and her would even chick out the place after management put up a new sign lighted from within rather than the old flood light on a creaky wooden placard that moaned and groaned on its rusty hinges each time the wind blew or some drunk slammed the door too hard.
Yet the name “Rose Buds” fits in a twisted way, as if mumbled from the mouth of a recently expired corpse to recall some earlier unfulfilled desire, lust never lost yet never satisfied.
She slides onto the stool beside me, her legs touching mine and I nearly explode from the contact, as I grip my drink so hard my palm hurts – the icy chill of the beer bottle reacting to the fire raging under my skin.
I want to dump her on the unscarred bar top and stick every part of me into every part of her, but I only offer her a drink, which she accepts.
Still I can’t help staring down into her cleavage, the old thoughts rising up inside of me, pulsating with old dreams as I rock her in my mind, recalling all those old days of unrealized but fully imagined love makings she clearly sees reflected in my eyes, and she smiles, her lips bleeding my blood I would willing let her suck if she only would.
She has come here looking for someone else, as she always had in the past, a particular face she dreamed about before arriving, aching for hours or days, always disappointed as she is now as finding somebody else here instead, her loss of glee showing in her eyes despite her smile, finding me the invisible man as her own option.
She says all the right things, of course, even giving me a few extra thrills as her sharp nails come into contact with my hand on the bar, a touch so electric I forget what I am saying and have to start over from scratch, asking how she is, what she’s done since the last time she came here, has she married, to whom, why it fell apart, and why she hasn’t found a new husband yet.
But my head so is filled with vulgar questions that I am blushing, and the only reason she doesn’t notice is because we sit under the red glow of bar lights.
I think: what does she really feel like – mean beyond the insignificant touches? Are her breasts as firm as they look? Do they taste as magnificent as my imagination makes them? Would she moan if I slipped my fingers between her legs and would she mind if the rest of me followed?
But men like me do not say such things to women like her, and so she rises, says a much of a pleasure it has been to see me, and then she leaves, wandering out under a new sign to an old world, seeking ghosts elsewhere she can’t find her, leaving me – the same old invisible man – with the same muttered “Rose Bud” on my lips as if something marvelous has just died inside of me.