Hot pink and beige

By Rosie Savage

I’d been waiting in the hotel bar as usual for one of my regulars, Jose, whose actually a bit of a laugh, but he’d left a message to say he couldn’t make it and apologised, so I thought I might pick up an out of towner, for a change. Damn right I did. He said he came from the South.

Any way I sat at the bar, chatting to Juan the oleaginous barman. I watched the man as he sat in the corner. He got up and walked past me; tall in a beige suit, hair floppy. He appeared to have a sheen of dust over him. He returned to his seat and sat reading. Any way he’s sitting there. I sashay up a genteel like, shoulders back, tits out, ass in. “You look lonely” I say. I had that hot pink number on that Jose always likes, it sets off my colour real well. Anyway this guy seems to like it too. He coughs, a dusty grainy sort of cough, like he’s a bit ill, but I ignored it, I’ve had all the shots. “Mind if I sit here?” I know the lines have been heard a thousand times, in a thousand cities, but they didn’t seem to have reached this guy’s home town. He looked up amazed, looked at me as thought he’d never seen a woman before, like I was some wondrous creature. Made me a bit nervous almost, I had a little shiver run right down me, like a trickle of the coldest water in a waterfall.

Anyway we talked. He didn’t give much detail about himself, which was fine. It was like he was distant not just because where he was from, but in time as well, like he was in a dream world. He talked about things I’d never heard of before. Made me feel dream-dusty. Like I’d fallen a little bit inside his world.

We talked of colours. I had no idea, there were so many. Where I live, we don’t have all those colours, just the main ones you get in a paint box and of course my hot pink.

What we spoke of made me feel more at risk than from a 800 pound punter on crack. It was like I was drugged by his words in a way I did not know how to deal with.

The city hall clock rang 10 times and I come to my senses a little, and I’m thinking “tricks is tricks”. He’d mentioned some drink that they distilled from the dust of his region. I said let’s get some. By luck he had some with him in his room that he told me he used each night to give the most vivid of dreams. Which he dreamt in many, many colours.

Any way I convinced him that we should go to his room.

We drank his strange cloudy drink out of a beautiful crystal glass.

He talked of the planets and stars and his dreams of colour and I talked of all the colours I’d seen and where. It was like talking to a blind man

He said he was tired, I offered to bath him and he agreed. I soaped and washed and scrubbed him in the warm hip bath under the light of the purple mountains. I tried to wash the dust from him. No amount of rubbing could erase it. We sang a little song to each other. I sang of a lost child far from home and he sang of love and dust.

I had known this man for several hours forever.

That night wasn’t the usual. I usually do my tricks to please the punters. This man pleased me. I didn’t ask, he just did.

As he lay sleeping across the linen sheets, the fine sweat on him almost but not quite cleared away the dusty sheen from his skin.

I whispered to this man. It was a release to know there could be some beauty in my life too. We quietly slept side by side and before he woke, I put back on my hot pink number, thinking it rather loud in the quiet room, that overnight appeared to have a grainy brown look to it.

He had brought so much colour into my life, and seemed such a gentleman that I didn’t have the heart to ask for my money as usual. Instead I took a credit card from his wallet just in case I get short and can call in the debt. Nothing’s for free you understand.

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