Chapter 8

Bed-Stuy, Do or Die

Nora pushed back the clear plastic shower liner and sighed. She carefully laid the bleached bluish towel along the side of the white fiberglass tub. Slowly stepping into the running water she complained about her foot cramps. Today she had decided to take an alternate route through the park. She was getting bored. The unfortunate thing about Nora was if dropped anywhere in the city, spun around, she would have no idea where she landed. Confused at a fork in the road and without an apparatus to display the time or GPS, Nora continued running and running trying to find her way out.

Beginning to cramp, like Jimmy Stewart she earnestly asked the first person that she saw, “Excuse me sir, but you could you please tell me the time?”

“Why certainly. It’s 5:43pm,” he proclaimed.

Nora folded into herself. She had been running in Central Park for 2 hours.

Wearing Ian’s black terry robe, she leaned back onto the porcelain tiles and relaxed her head. The cold vodka settled down her throat and coated her empty stomach. Ian pushed open the door.

“You got everything you need?” he asked.

She nodded. Dropping to his knees he crawled over to her and bit her lip. Ian removed the sash from his robe and pulled it open. She let her legs fall open. He fingered her until she yelped like a Chihuahua being punted across a yard.  Her yelping persisted giving Ian reason to stop and ask if she was really in pain. Unfortunately, Nora’s 2-hour tour of Central Park had curled her feet into something out of My Left Foot.

“I’m a cripple!” Nora joked to Ian while he slathered her lavender and coconut lotion onto her cramped feet.

He worked the lotion in explaining all the while how if he continued to de-stress the muscles that he might stop her cramps. Sitting up, she pushed his curling fringe from his emerald eyes. Grabbing onto her other foot, he parted her legs, slid his hands up to her thighs, lifted and dropped her into his lap. Adjusting herself, Nora giggled loudly. Squeezing her throat he kissed her then spit into his hand. Getting deeper inside of her, he bore his thumbs into the sides of her neck and hopped her up and down on him, like a jackhammer.

“I gotta get the fuck outta here,” he said throwing on a pair of crumpled jeans from the end of the bed.

“Really?” Nora begged lighting up a cigarette.

“You only smoke in bed,” he observed.

She shrugged, “Don’t change the subject. I don’t want you to go,” she pouted blowing out smoke.

He ignored her and continued on his quest for a clean shirt.

“Fuck all! I need to hook up a washer and dryer,” he acknowledged finally finding a suitable t-shirt.

Tired of living with his brother and doing nothing with his hands, Ian decided to invest his money and purchased a loft space in the up and coming central Brooklyn neighborhood, Bedford-Stuyvesant. The drafty grey brick walls loomed and spit dust mercilessly across the 1300 square feet. Quarter windows dictated just the right amount of light into certain corners of the space.  A bachelor, lacking sufficient culinary skills, he threw together a slap-dash kitchenette – a hot plate, dorm refrigerator, and a small work sink. Industrial work lights illuminated the dark space unevenly but uncovered miles of extension cords gathered in cliques in every available corner. A stale odor wafted aimlessly from a small heap of unwashed clothing.

“Where am I supposed to cook?” Nora propped up to scan the place.

“C’mon love, I told you tonight was awards night,” he stated in search of his keys.

“I don’t remember,” she lied, lighting another cigarette.

Reminding her, Ian explained that tonight was his football team’s annual awards night. Most of the men looked forward to this night all year for it was the one night in which their wives would allow them a pass to stay out all night, no questions asked. He went to clarify that most of the blokes just wanted to get drunk and have a laugh without having to worry about keeping after the nappies.

He kissed the top of her head and said that he’d be back late. Zipping up his black and red hooded sweatshirt, he rushed towards the door.

“I’m hungry,” she bemoaned.

Ian slammed the door shut, tore the hood from his head and crossed the blackened floor. His dark emerald eyes smoldered angrily ripping the cigarette from her mouth, and smashing it under his work boots.

“You might get away with that shit with that cunt Conlin, but I ain’t puttin’ up with it!”

“Get away with what?” she tried to ask innocently.

Ian’s ring tone sounded. It was Evan asking for his whereabouts. Ian told his brother that Nora was acting like a complete cow and that he would try to get out of there as soon as he could chew his foot from the steel trap.

Not amused, she lit another cigarette and yelled, “A fucking cow! Who the fuck are you to talk to me like that?”

Cupping the side of her head in his hand, he slammed her face down into the pillows. Her arms flapped and flailed as she struggled futilely.

“And who the fuck do you think you are? Who are you?” he hissed into her ear.

Unable to respond, she only moaned and grunted. He climbed in the bed and straddled her small frame. Releasing her face, he took hold of her hair and guided her about like a puppet.

“You sucked another man’s cock and couldn’t believe that a quarter pump chump kicked you out. What’d you think that you’re the only girl who can fuck? To him, you’re no better than those two-bit whores he fucks on the road.”

As if she was being bled, Ian held her head above the pillow. Now able to speak, Nora said nothing and cried.

“Oh shut-up!” dropping her, he stepped away from the bed and wiped the beads of sweat from his high freckled forehead.

Nora silently sobbed into the pillows and insisted that she was sorry. Unimpressed, he hurried out the door. Before slamming the door shut behind him, he quickly turned back to his flat and told Nora that although he believed that he could truly love her completely, he would not love this whining cow lying in his bed.

“Either you decide to be with me wholly or you sleep on the street, I don’t care. You have until I get back, which will be very early tomorrow morning.”

“You think I would give up a multi-million dollar empire just for sex? He didn’t care what I did. He only thought of himself…” she began to justify.

“And who did you think of when you let me stick my hands up ya, only minutes after watching me assault your fiancé?” he accused, “Admit who you are and spare the rest of us your bullshit!”

The sparsely furnished loft echoed the slamming door.