Work in progress

I have recently moved into a new place, started working a new job, and it has been tricky finding time to write anything substantial recently. I have been working on something that I have enjoyed, but it feels like a pastiche of whatever I’m reading which creates a kind of schizophrenic story that’s not sure what it wants to be. However I think I’ve found my groove and I’m submitting a small excerpt for your perusal. The story centers around the life and times of an expressionist artist named Taylor Messing.

Please read and enjoy.

Taylor Messing

He was in a club, couldn’t remember the name. High class posing as low class, you wouldn’t know the difference until you ordered, then you would see the strange liqueurs made from rhubarb and lavender. Frenet Branca in the drinks and the 15 dollar price tag for cocktails. Taylor drank wine, which he did to make himself feel more like an artist and less like a phony. He tried not to be concerned about appearances, but the culture magazines always made their way to him and he would see himself picked apart in those pages. He even hired a style consultant to buy clothes for him.

He never liked dancing, but instead found himself wading through the dancers as the night wore on. The music was too loud for conversation and communication became a series of gestures and body language. Taylor watched silently and tried to be unobtrusive, but kept stepping in the line of dancers. He was out of sync and he felt it, but the rush of music and the heat of the bodies was like a salve. It was the thrum of humanity that kept him coming back, not actual connection.

A woman’s arm glanced across his face and left a trail of sweat. She stopped her dancing to apologize. He grimaced as she spoke. He couldn’t hear a word she was saying, but her face was emotive. He understood her apology and nodded. Taylor made what he thought was a gesture for drinks, but she shrugged. He pulled her close and spoke into her ear, “Would you like a drink?” She appeared to have heard him and nodded. She followed him through the crowd. They wove wordlessly up to the bar and smiled at each other. Another wordless conversation. In frustration she tugged at his shirt and pulled him to the restrooms. She pulled a small vial filled with white powder from her cleavage and scooped out a pinky nails worth before snorting it. She repeated the process and offered it to him. He leaned in and inhaled deeply.

Hands groped, kneaded, caressed, and traced along the contours of her body. Her name was Jessica, at least that was the name she gave him. She was small, elfin in appearance. Her eyes looked bigger in the black light of the club, but when they got out onto the street he could see the age in her face. Her eyes were still massive. Her grin, and the way she bit her lower lip was casting spells on his resolve. She moved into the kiss first. She was bold. She took him by the hand and lead him to the street where she quickly waved down a taxi. “You in a rush?” Taylor asked.

She turned to him her smile gleaming under the streetlights, “Yeah, I want to get fucked.” She laughed, kissed him, then returned to hailing a cab.

The cab smelled like Nag Champa with a hint of urine. Money for Nothing by Dire Straits blared on the radio when Jessica pushed him into the cab and climbed on top. “Where am I headed?” The cabbie asked disinterested in the back seat display.

Taylor broke away long enough to call out the address before returning to Jessica’s insistent mouth and hands. His eyes were closed as he ran his fingernails along her tight stomach. As they played her body dissolved into a mental landscape of hills, valleys, and peaks. Her body changed shape in his mindscape, it was no longer humanoid, but instead morphed into a kind of space craft he might have seen on a science fiction movie from the seventies. Traffic lights flickered across his closed eyelids and exacerbated the effect.

He let his mind wander down this surreal path. He pictured the decks of the craft lit in green and red. The exterior was a mass of gothic spires and trellises ornamented with gold filigree against the black wrought iron hull of her body. This image held despite the obvious suppleness of her breast which was cupped in his right hand. In his mind’s eye he saw Jessica at the helm. She stood naked except for a pair of polished knee high black leather boots. She stood behind a steering wheel that seemed to be lifted from some ancient pirate ship. Her breasts were heaving and already beading with sweat. She didn’t turn the steering wheel, instead she stroked two handles rigorously with her head thrown back. She was moaning as she stroked the handles, her volume increased with the speed of her strokes.

“We’re here.” The cabbie barked, “Twenty three seventy five.”

The spell was broken. Jessica licked her lips and Mick Jagger was crooning on the radio. Taylor shook the fog from his head and slapped some bills into the cabbie’s hand.



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