Since I've really never posted here I just wanted to add that even though Mary is a stripper there is no explicit writing or descriptive nudity. The other writer community didn't allow that either .
There's something about Mary
A low fog clung to the streets with the first light of the morning. Black puddles scattered the streets like small lakes just waiting to devour a passerby's shoe. The chill air floated around her body and penetrated her bones and the only remedy would be a warm bath and a hot cup of dark coffee. Coffee was vital and the darker the better because she immensely enjoyed its intensity. With only two blocks to go she pulled her coat snugly around thin frame and quickened her pace all while trying to avoid stepping in the puddles.
"I'm home. Did you make coffee?" Mary asked while closing the door.
"You know I can't." Adrian replied irritated.
Adrian and Mary had lived together in their small, rent controlled, New York apartment for almost a year now. Even though they had their share of arguments, neither of one of them would admit how much they enjoyed each other's company.
Mary was home during the day and gone at night while Adrian was the opposite. However, Adrian did manage to be around when she came home at around 5 a.m. every morning. This was her favorite time of the day because even though she was a night person there was something strangely calming about walking home on empty, soundless, city streets.
"Your mom called while you were out and she said she loves you and to call her. I tried to pick up the phone in time but I wasn't able to and the machine got it." He informed her.
"Never pick up when she calls please." She requested.
"She thinks I'm living alone and the last thing I want to do is, try to explain you to her." With that they both shrugged and let it go.
"Are you hungry?" He asked.
"Not really. Jesse brought some doughnuts from the twenty-four hour store on her break. I would like some coffee though." She answered while pulling off her shoes and dropping her coat to the floor.
She was actually too cold to want to sit down and eat. The idea of a hot bath could lure her away from almost anything if it was cold enough outside. Doing a gradual strip on her way to the bathroom, and leaving a trail of clothes along the way, she drew herself a bath.
This was her routine every morning after getting off from work. Regardless of being a spontaneous person she still liked the comfort of a routine. After a few minutes the bath was full and she sunk herself in just past her mouth. Adrian followed her into the bathroom every morning and would talk to her as she bathed and this was all part of the routine too.
Glancing back at the trail of half soaked clothes on the floor he smirked, "You certainly don't have a problem taking you clothes off in a hurry." Her response was to blow childish bubbles in the water. The water penetrated her skin, her bones, and her being. She felt as if her entire body was dissolving into the water.
She liked to depend on things that were simple and would always be sublime in her mind. Whether it was a bath, a cup of coffee or a book, all were seemingly plain everyday indulgences that would never disappoint her. If the bath, coffee, or book were ever bad then she could always just do them over or get another one. After her bath she retreated to the couch and opened a book to read. Adrian couldn't resist this opportunity to pester her.
"You know what I've been thinking?" He asked.
"What?" She replied as she glanced up from her book.
"Don't you find it amusing that your name is Mary and you're a stripper?
"Exotic dancer." She corrected as she looked back down at her book and kept her eyes there for a while.
"Is there really a difference?"
"Not really. I just wanted to correct you." She replied.
She had worked at the strip club ever since she moved to New York from Hertford, North Carolina. So many neighbors, friends, and co-workers back home told her that she was destined to do more with her life and gift then to spend it in Hertford. She heard it so often that eventually she ended up believing it herself. With little money and one suitcase she left in the middle of the night and drove all the way in her 1990s pickup to New York. And here she was now. She felt that the greatest thing she managed to do since being here was pretending that she was two different dancers at work one night to cover for a friend. Her escapade was complete with costume and wig changes.
"You.. you don't mind being exploited?" He asked.
"I'm being exploited? Adrian, people are willing to give me their hard-earned money just to see me dance. They don't even touch me. If I want more money then I just have to take more off. Who do you think is really being exploited here? Nudity is just nudity. We all came into this world naked. I don't think it's so unnatural."
"And you think having such an emotionless and detached attitude about it makes it better?"
"If I don't have a problem with it and I don't feel bad about it then what does it matter what everyone else thinks?"
"I guess that I'm just getting old then. In my day girls kept themselves covered, were married, or worked small jobs."
"Yeah well in your day people also got around by horse and buggy. You're too old-fashioned. I live a free and easy life. What's wrong with that?" She scowled while shooting him a menacing look.
"You're too cute Mary! You may not be like the girls I used to know but you're a lot more interesting that way." He laughed.
Creeping next to her he peaked over her shoulder to see what she was reading.
"You're reading Hemingway?" He was a little surprised.
"Why? Are you surprised?"
"He was a bit misogynistic don't you think?"
"The whole world is a little misogynistic." She grinned.
"Who put salt in your coffee this morning?" He pulled himself back and gave her an annoyed look.
"You're the one lecturing me on the way I live when I'm perfectly happy. Who wouldn't be defensive?"
"Sorry. I tease you because I get bored." He gave her a sheepish look that she couldn't resist.
"Your teasing is more like nagging but I understand." Offering him a genuine smile.
The sound of the phone ringing interrupted their conversation and they were both startled. Putting her book down on her lap she answered the phone.
"Hey Jesse. No, I'm not doing anything. Sure, I'd love to go. See you in ten." Hanging up the phone she looked over to Adrian who was already leaning on the couch with a sad look on his face.
"You're going to leave me all alone for the day again?" He pouted.
Smiling Mary answered, "I won't be gone too long. I'm just going to go to breakfast and the bookstore with some of the girls from work." She found it comforting and interesting that a few of her fellow dancers shared the same love for literature and held a very logical outlook on their jobs the way she did. That was something she definitely didn't expect when she started there.
"You want to watch a movie when I get back? We haven't seen that new one with the video tape that kills you." She suggested to appease him.
"What? The one where the girl who looks like a drowned rat crawls through the TV? No thanks. It's too unrealistic for me. If you want to see a decent ghost movie then go rent the poltergeist movies. I saw them on t.v. one night when you were gone." He suggested.
"Well then, why don't you go bother Mrs. Wallace while I'm gone? You always have fun bugging her.
"That overly religious freak? She'll probably throw holy water at me if I go again." He looked quite serious about this. Mary burst into laughter and while wiping a tear away from her eye said, "Classic."
The knock at the door interrupted them and she sprung up to answer the door and let Jesse in while she changed. Looking around the room cautiously for a moment Jesse flopped down on the couch next to Adrian who in turn looked at her and made a face.
"Hey. Do you have anyone else over? It sounded like you were laughing and talking to someone." Jesse called from the living room as Mary changed in her room.
"No. It must have been the TV" She lied. Looking over at Adrian he floated into the room with a sulky expression on his face. His color and transparency changed with his moods. If he felt particularly upset he would leave ectoplasm on the furniture which Mary hated to have to clean off. Going through the closet doors he rattled the hangers inside as a sign of protest to her leaving.
"I'll be back soon don't worry." She soothed. Poking his head through the closet doors he gave her a small smile then drifted through the floor down to Mrs. Wallace's. Her gift of being able to see ghosts is what brought her to New York in the first place but it never got her a job. She thought perhaps thinking that it would was just naive now.
Out of all apartments she could have chosen here, who would have thought that hers would be haunted?
© KNash, 4/13/12, All Rights Reserved
Edited by KNash, 13 April 2012 - 11:13 PM.