The phone rang. Dragica got up from the couch to answer while exiting the apartment to run downstairs and meet whoever it was that was calling
With no reaction, Paul continued his soliloquy, “that’s why people have affairs. When you’re a writer and the things you write get good reviews you feel for a moment that you’ve got your hands on something. It’s a good feeling. But then that feeling goes away very quickly. And once again, you don’t know quite what will happen next; what you should do. Well, have an affair and up to a certain point you can really feel you’re on firm ground. There is a sexual conquest to be made. There are different questions: does she enjoy the ears being nibbled? How intensely can you talk about Brahms at an elegant French restaurant, or whatever nonsense it is. It’s all for a semblance of firm earth. But have a real relationship with a person that goes on for years—well, that’s completely unpredictable. Then, you’ve cut off all your ties to the land, and you’re sailing into the unknown, into uncharted seas.”
Then it happened. A sound so minute that it was little more than an audible ripple in the quiet din of the city. If there was anybody else in the room it would go unnoticed, but Paul heard it instantly. He took a breath, and paused for just a moment to welcome the disruption. To him, it was a point of reference, a pendulum, a stamp on time, a source of comfort — it was the street cleaner.
Although the room had darkened some, it was still light enough outside to put Paul on edge. Exposed. The cocaine had begun to turn his body into a furnace, and the heat generated from the speed of his heart produced an exhaust of sweat all over his body. He leaned backward, into the solace of the couch under the window that was facing the street behind him. He could feel the cool claminess of his hands while he watched Dragica take another line. Afterwards, she sat in silence for a moment, the shock of the powder likely working its way to the back of her throat. She stood up, cocked her hips to the side, and extended her wrist out, towards the center of the room to strike a pose that had her dancing — but she was frozen still, in one step.
The stereo. Chet Baker’s romantic longing had now been replaced by the driving austerity of Portishead. Dragica came undone, she started to move and sync her mouth to the lyrics of the song while she looked at Paul, “Did you know when you lost? Did you know when I wanted?” She came closer to where Paul passively sat and took her black panties out from underneath her long dress. Gathering up the billowing that formed the focal point of the gown, she hiked it up around her knees, exposing her bare ass. He was hard again. Paul bent Dragica over so that he could take a long gratutious look at her cunt before she pushed it down onto him.
Then she turned around, and mounted Paul, fully.
In a moment of clarity Paul remembered that they were in an open window, above a busy street filled with rush hour traffic on foot and in cars. He attempted to stop Dragica. Once again she was frozen, this time in sex. Paul motioned to the window behind them, and the scene that was available. Her eyes glazed over in a look of pleasure that told Paul, without words, that she didn’t care.