She hung up and walked back into the bathroom, dropped the towel onto the floor and stepped back into the shower. Another ten minutes under the steaming water and she got out, picked a fresh dry towel from the rail and wrapped it around herself and went into the bedroom.
She dried herself and sat down naked on the bed, distractedly sorting through the gear that was laid out ready on the dresser. Satisfied, she flicked the zippo and held it under the spoon, broiled the brown liquid and then drew it into the syringe. Pausing, she turned and set the alarm on her phone, then put it down on the bed. Picking up a mirror she held it close to her face, peeling back an eyelid with a thumbnail of and injected herself in a vein just below her eyeball. It was a small vein and took a little time and concentration so that the hit had started well before she emptied the phial. She forgot to flush back, just unwound slowly against the pillows propped against the headboard, as the warmth began to fill her body and empty what was left of her soul.
She left hold of the syringe and it slid slowly out of her eye and fell onto the floor. A ruby-red jewel of blood formed on her tear-duct, swelled and then smeared across her eyeball as she blinked slowly, her eyes rolling back into the socket.
She thought, hmmmm.
Then she couldn’t trouble herself to think at all.
Two hours later the alarm roused her with an insistent beeping; lazily she reached across and switched it off. She turned on the radio. Pierre Boulez: Good, she thought.
She took ten minutes to focus and then rose serenely from the bed and went into the bathroom, the toilet seat was cold so she stood, legs splayed, and pissed down into the bowl, then she wiped and walked back into the bedroom, picked up her makeup bag and sat down on the bed, scrutinizing herself in the mirror for a few moments. She unzipped her makeup bag and spent an hour putting on lipstick, powder and kohl.
Done, she rang for the driver, then pulled on clean underwear, hold-ups and a black mini-dress. She checked her bag for stuff: platinum card, cash money, phone, perfume, condoms, tissue, mace, sunglasses. The mace was no bigger than a lipstick and she dropped this into her bra, where it nestled snug between her breasts. She tried perching the sunglasses on her head, Hepburn-style, but then let them drop down over her eyes.
She pulled on her Rolex.
Ten minutes later the driver pulled up outside and blew once on the horn. She picked up her bag, stepped into a pair of heels and left the apartment, slamming the door behind her.
‘Where to?’ the driver asked, when she got in.
She leaned forward and gave him a note with the address on.
‘Ok,’ he said.
She frowned at him in the rear-view mirror. ‘You new?’
‘What’d you do before?’
‘I was abroad.’
She cleared her throat. ‘Stop off on Hughes Avenue. It’s on the way. I need something.’
He looked at her in the rear-view mirror but couldn’t see her eyes behind the sunglasses.
She said, ‘Can you turn up the heat?’
They drove in silence for a few minutes. She said, ‘Am I your first tonight?’
‘I drove this girl and we picked up two queens,’ he said. ‘Regulars, she told me. She gave them both a blowjob in the back as I drove. It didn’t take her long. She only does queens, she told me. Niche market. They kept talking while she worked away, bitching and laughing like they do. Only stopped talking to come in her mouth. Then they got out at a gay club and I drove her home.’
He looked in the rearview. Didn’t know if she was listening, but continued talking anyway. ‘She said to me, “Don’t get any ideas. I’ll never let a man inside me. You’re not next.”’
He pulled up on Hughes Avenue and she got out, walked along the road ‘til she found the right address and went inside. He followed her and parked outside the house to wait. She returned about fifteen minutes later, got back in the car and they pulled away into the traffic.
‘Got any music?” she asked.
‘Huh?’ he was pulled back to reality. He’d never fallen asleep driving but sometimes he’d woken up behind the wheel. Like now.
‘Got any music?’ she repeated.
He turned on the radio, tuned into a station playing dance music.
‘Alright,’ she said.
Then she said, ‘Man, I’ve got the night fever.’
He looked into the rearview mirror, seeing the light of the passing streetlamps and the glow from the dashboard reflected in her sunglasses.