Every city has the perfect view from a hotel room, in Chicago it was Lake Michigan, in New York it was the Hudson, in Miami it was South Beach. Some people loved sleeping in their own bed, I wasn’t one of those people, I loved hotels. Room service, new restaurants, bottles of liquor at three in the morning.
Even when I came home I would spend a night or two in a hotel if I knew I was going right back on the road anyway. There really wasn’t a waterfront view in Downtown Houston but it was beautiful none the less. Standing on the balcony, watching the sun rise, orange juice and vodka in hand. The view was amazing, I could see all of Downtown, the Medical Center, Minute Maid Park.
I soaked in details like men soaked in beautiful women, there was a story in every image, in every conversation.
Number nine, last night was number nine.
Twelve times a year, once a month she would come to me. San Antonio, Boston, Orlando but mostly right here in our city. I don’t know what she told him to get away and if I was honest with myself I probably didn’t want to know anyway.
Nine times this year we’ve made love in a hotel room, ate room service and showered together. Laughed and cuddled, she would talk about her aspirations, I would talk about writing.
February was New Orleans.
April was Austin.
Once a month she was mine, once a month my life felt normal. Watching her sleep, the sheet barely covering her ass, it was a perfect ass. Her hair on the pillow, the tattoo on her shoulder a constant reminder that she would wake up and leave at any minute.
She’d stop asking me to spend more time with her months ago, I’d stopped asking her to leave him a year ago. I wouldn’t be boyfriend number two but I couldn’t imagine a world without her. She didn’t want to be my once a month fling but she couldn’t leave me alone either.
Neither one of us was a victim, we were both adults. She had a husband, I had a girlfriend, I had writing. I climbed in the bed and wrapped my arms around her, she curled up and placed her head in my chest.
“Do you ever sleep?” She had the sexiest morning voice ever.
I pushed her hair away from her face, “Writers don’t sleep, we watch and learn.” I kissed her, her eyes were still closed. She was still tired but I needed to hear her voice, to make some more memories with before the clock struck midnight.
“How long have you been watching, what did you learn?”
She wrapped her leg around my thigh, she was naked, I was in boxers. I could feel her lips on my leg. She was always wet, especially in the morning. It was a feeling I could get used to but I wouldn’t allow myself to get used to. She kissed my neck, I kissed her forehead.
“I learned that you have a small scar on the bottom of your ass.” I rubbed my hand across it. “I learned that you never move when you sleep, you stayed in the same spot almost all night. Sometimes you talk but I could barely make out what you were saying.” I ran my finger across her lips, I could feel her hand on her favorite thing.
“I don’t move when I sleep because when my baby was nine months she fell out the bed and it scared me half to death. So I would sleep with her against the wall and never move, I had to feel her close to me. If you really knew me, if you were around me every day you wouldn’t be so into me. Sometimes I hate myself, I hate you for what we’re doing.” I took my finger away from her lip and wiped the tears from her eyes.
I knew what she meant, I wasn’t married but my girlfriend was a good woman. But I didn’t love her, she was someone to take to events, to have dinner with. To text when I was waiting in the airport or feeling lonely.
But no matter what she wouldn’t be the women who’s warmth I was absorbing, who’s tears I was drying. Who I stayed up all night watching and studying, writing about. She could never be my inspiration.
“Thou shall not covet another man’s wife. I think about that line every time I’m about to touch you, about to see you. I wonder if I’m going to hell because of you, because I look forward to seeing you more than I’ve ever looked forward to praying or going to church.”
She pulled it out and climbed on top of me, there were still tears in her eyes, the sheet was tangled at our waist. We’d stopped using condoms in March, I can’t tell you why, we never talked about it but a part of me wanted to get her pregnant. Everything was in slow motion, her hands on my chest, my hands on her ribs.
Her tears falling, lust and pain going hand in hand. She bit her lip and closed her eyes, she was starting to move faster, grind faster.
“Am I worth hell Mez, am I worth your soul?”
She opened her eyes and looked down at me, they were the most beautiful and devious eyes I’d ever seen.
“Even pussy this good isn’t worth hell.”
She smiled, put her nipples on my chest and kissed me with those full lips.
My mouth may have said she wasn’t but my actions were saying something totally different. Maybe we would be together in hell.
Walking Down the Aisle