Evening. It is the close of day. You draw the curtains across the windows of the apartment. The red curtains you bought recently, the colour having attracted you in the shop. You stand and gaze at them; with the finger and thumb of your right hand, you feel the quality of the fabric. Leonard had not liked them when he came, said they were gaudy, made the place look like brothel. He should know, you muse, bringing the fabric to your face, rubbing it against your cheek. Leonard had this terrible habit of thinking his opinion mattered more than yours, more than any others did. As if God, if he existed, had granted him a deeper insight into things than you or anyone else. You imagine him now, that thin moustache, those pale white cheeks, that nose, and those peering eyes. People were surprised when you began going out with him; surprised that you would go out with his sort. Whatever would your parents say, people said. You did not intend to marry him, at least not yet. Maybe one day if no one else turned up, if no other man came along who was willing to take you on. You release the curtains, go to the drinks cabinet and pour yourself a scotch. You sip it, let the scotch flow slowly down your throat, feel the sensation as it reaches your stomach. A warm inner glow begins as you walk to the gramophone, put on a jazz record. You close your eyes for a moment, sip at your scotch, hear the saxophone begin a solo. Leonard hates jazz, says it for the uneducated. Snob, you think, opening your eyes, walking to the sofa where you sit and gaze around the room. He is a snob, you know, but he has other qualities, qualities that outweigh his defects. His ****** prowess for one thing, his ability to spend money on you while out somewhere are both good qualities you feel. You sigh. Sometimes you wish he wasn’t so good in bed, then you wouldn’t miss him on evenings like this, when you know he won’t be coming around. Friday evenings he has chess night. Chess of all things. Moving pieces across a board, when he could be moving you across the bed, you muse. You sip the scotch again. Let the rim of the glass rest on you lower lip. You drain the remaining scotch; get up to pour another. Evening. Night. Morning, they follow so predictably. But evenings are your favourite part of the day. You hate mornings, they are too sudden, too fresh, too expectant. Like selfish children. Waiting there with all their expectations. Nights tended to be dragged out. The time when you couldn’t sleep and would lay twisting and turning, thinking about everything under the proverbial sun. Unless Leonard stays the night, but he seldom does. Goes before that. Has his fill and off he goes leaving you to your night and sleeplessness. Evening is the best part, you muse, listening by the drinks cabinet, as a trumpet goes wild in solo. You feel like dancing wildly, feel like you want to spin and twirl, and throw out your arms and toss back your head as those dancers do you’ve seen. You put down the scotch on the arm of the sofa and kick off your shoes. You begin to dance to the music, let your body unwind, feel your body become alive to the pulse of the jazz, your arms out about you, the hands gesturing like some wild animal. If Leonard were here now he would shake his head and be tut-tuting. But you don’t care because he isn’t here. Just you and the boys in the jazz band on the record. You wish they were here in person. Over in the corner of the room playing their music, watching you dance like some crazy dame. Perhaps they’d expect you to perform, expect you do more than dance. You don’t care; you don’t give a fig. At least you’d have *** and not a boring evening sitting boozing and listening to jazz records. You stop dancing and look around the room. Evening. Just you and the record and scotch. What a combination. ***. You wish you could purchase *** in a bottle like scotch. A pint of *** please. Yes, the tall one with the biceps. You laugh weakly. You sit down on the sofa, sip the scotch. Drain it. Put down the glass on the arm of the sofa. You remember the evenings you became so frustrated with the lack of *** that you were tempted to go out and grab the nearest available man, but you didn’t; too dangerous, especially around where your apartment is. You sigh deeply. All this thinking about ***. You sip the scotch. The saxophone begins a slow solo. The sound makes you feel like *******, slowly, piece by piece, until you are down to the last item and then you would stand up naked and embrace yourself. The sound of the saxophone. The evening. The rising desire to be held, touched, kissed. Where are you Leonard, you louse? You mutter loudly over the saxophone. You begin to unbutton your blouse. Button by button, pretending it is someone else’s fingers doing it. You gaze at the fingers, lick them, imaging Leonard’s face as you lick. You remove the blouse; undo the bra. You stand and unzip the skirt, let it fall to the floor. You stand there in you underwear, letting your fingers take hold of the top and slowly as if other fingers than yours were removing them over your hips. You remove them and drop them on the sofa. Naked. Evening. No Leonard. The pianist begins his slow solo. You embrace yourself, kiss your arm, kiss it and kiss it. Imagine it is another you are kissing. You close your eyes. Evening. You walk to the light switch and turn off the lights. Darkness, you and jazz. You must make love to your self. Love in that way your parents would never understand. Evening. You. Jazz. Solo. Aloneness.
A LONELY WOMAN IS PORTRAYED IN THIS PROSE POEM. COMPOSED IN 2009.