He climbed off of her and zipped his greasy jeans. Lighting a cigarette, he reached for his wallet and gave her sixty dollars for a half and half. He smirked at her and the door quickly closed behind him. Twilight. What she could do, she did. Showering, she lingered under the hot water. The bathroom was filthy… but so was she. She was a landfill inside and out. Thinking it over, she couldn’t recall a time when life had been comfortable and clean. The pleasures of a home and food to eat were regularly not hers. Brushing a wet strand of hair out of her eyes, she muttered under her breath. “Jesus…” It was going to be dark soon. Sleep would be a long, painful wait. She was good at waiting. She was talented at running as well. A marathon from life. Drinking cheap vodka, she avoided her eyes in the mirror. Stranger. Stranger. She soon left the motel and moved down the street. Her tight skirt was a neon sign. Her long thin legs… a welcome mat. She was a drunken mattress. Self esteem was a stranger in a clown costume. She’d laugh if she ever saw it…
Her first date found her on Western and Beverly. He reeked of piss and sweat. There were several beer cans on the passenger side floor of the car. Twenty dollars is twenty dollars. “I hope he hurries…” Her head kept hitting the bottom edge of the steering wheel and she thought of Dentyne. She once told her friend Lucy, “It’s really not too bad if you can get over the smell.” That was her night. Time after time. Out of mind. Their grunting and rutting pleasure was a pointed stick that scraped her scabs. There weren’t enough Bandaids in the world. Sometime towards dawn, she lay on the rumpled bed of her motel room and looked at the ceiling. Her jaw muscles were tired. Long night. Something bit her leg and she scratched absently at it. A yellow stain ran down the wall. A perverted watercolor.
Something brown caked the edge of the lamp. Cigarette burns marred the wooden tabletop beside her. Laying still, she pondered again, how her life had come to this place and time. Her parents were doting and kind. She learned early on that she could get her own way quite easily. A pretty girl always will. It didn’t take much. In high school, she and her best friend Megan Jordan were invited to all of the best parties and shows. The good times. Tinsel and lace. Her life was soon wrapped in a different cloth… tragedy. They were driving back from a show and were in a car accident. Interestingly enough, they were blasted, yet a drunk driver crossed into their lane. She survived… barely. She would be the only one. The memory was barbed wire in her brain. Self loathing. Lifting her head, she grabbed a pipe and took a hit. A gray cloud rose toward the ceiling… The speed tore through her mind like an old iron knife. Gash. Gash. Her heart fluttered. Lately, it was the only time it did.
Veins thrumming. Dirty and directionless thought. The clock wasn’t working. Night and day were one. Her body told her when she needed a hit, which told her to get a date, which put her back into the filth of Hollywood. Disease. She traded in pathology with vermin and tasted it in her blood. Sometime later, she heard voices outside her room. Paranoia. She cautiously peered from the curtains. Young men stood beside the motel pool. Weird. It was empty. Were they guests? They held skateboards and were trying to get over the old wooden fence… She double checked the door lock and lay back down. Taking another hit, she murmured, “Fucking scumbag skateboarders.”