Mewsy studied her reflexion in the mirror of her vanity. “You’ve seen a lot since last we met, old girl,” she said, “And fucked too little.”
She hadn’t glimpsed herself since the night she ran out on Futkas – aeons ago now. Truly there was austerity in her under-poked countenance.
On that infamous occasion Virtue and Desire had warred within her. Now there was nothing – only the moribund acceptance of sexual servitude.
There was a knock at the boudoir door. Mewsy waited for the filthy thrill she always felt when Futkas entered her Apartments. None came.
“Cum,” she said. The door opened, but not on him. Instead, perfumed breezes blew in a sinewy broad with legs all the way up to the ceiling.
“Ms. Stone,” she said, running her eyes the length of Mewsy, “I’m Josephine Baker – but everyone calls me Lazy. I’ve come for Mr. Agopolos.”
Mewsy raised one signature brow. “It’s Anna now,” she deadpanned. “And why don’t you skip the fancy intros, Jo. Just hand off the panties.”
“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean,” the other frostily replied, “And I don’t go by ‘Jo’.” These bitches may as well’ve been slapfighting.
“Futty likes to send me crotchless lingy in advance,” Mewsy said, adding pointedly, “I guess you’re new.” Lazy fingered a tube of lipstick.
“Things must’ve been different way back then,” she said. “I bring only an invitation, and for this you’ll want to TRY to look respectable.”
She handed Mewsy a letter and took a seat. “In fact,” she added, “You might consider a lip colour more suited to escorts of your vintage.”
“Strong words from an errand-girl in a skirtsuit,” said Mewsy smoothly, “Ever spread ’em for gain elsewhere than the mail room, Josephine?”
“I run The Electric Cigarette,” Lazy said coolly. Mewsy masked her gasp with a yawn- “Not that pit they closed down for iniquitous excess?”
“My,” said Lazy, crossing her legs to reveal the Benefits of her youth, “You ARE behind the times. Don’t worry, dear, we’ll catch you up.”
She touched the letter. “Do read it carefully. There’s a dress code.” Then she stood and, after a thorough appraisal of Mewsy’s wares, left.
Mewsy fumed a few Why-I-Oughtas and Aw-You-So-And-Sos as she tore into the letter. That bronze minx wasn’t worth the ink used to print her.
“My darling,” said calligraphy on the gilt «la cigarette électrique» card, “I beg you to dine with me, and to hear my deepest regrets; – F.”
“Huh,” said Mewsy. She’d expected him to roar in peen ablazin’ to reassert his dominance. But in taking the perfumed tack he’d fuddled her.
She leaned in. Could it be? Yes, there it was again – the letter smelled of his musk. Mewsy was almost too flummoxed to feel herself quiver.
Changing out of her whoresies and into finery, Mewsy felt herself to be, more than ever, without a compass. She thought of Doody; the Opera.
“I believe I wore this to Heriodonclitus,” she said aloud, lifting up the petticoats. “Yes, there’s the stain. My, but that was a racy one.”
Admiring her updo in the ceiling mirror over the bed she suddenly imagined Tybalt lying beside her, clamping her with his great hard thighs.
She jumped up, stifling a cry. Anything but that! Even Purchase, with his cruel grey eyes and his dignified schmingle, was an easier memory.
Mewsy made herself remember clinging to Old Condom’s while Collier throttled the perfidious Mumcu. And no Tybby – THAT had been rock bottom.
In the Rolls en route to the ol’ Ciggy-Butt Mewsy saw Ginger Gently, in her tattered shawl, out giving suck to one of their exhibitionists.
“Who am I, really?” she mused to her image in the tinted pane. “Saint-in-training or taint-for-draining? Or something somewhere in between?”
But all introspexion vanished from mind when Mewsy caught sight of The Cig and read its marquee lights: “NEW STAGE HOME OF ANNA AXENPUTEL!”
She nearly popped her brassiere at the shock – but when the car pulled up, Mewsy let herself to be borne into the club’s plush smokmosphere.
Once inside she thrilled with dread as demi-nu footmen led her to a secluded alcove. And there he sat. She caught her breath! There sat Fut.
He sprang to his feet with a lithe pounce and took her fingertips. Mewsy thought how unrecognizable he was with his bod sheathed in suiting.
“Don’t be angry, cara,” he pled, “You love a surprise!” Mewsy plunged helplessly into his limpid gaze. Mercy! Even clothed he was a stunner.
“Why Mr. Agopolos,” she said in her best demimondaine, “I haven’t the faintest idea what you mean.” And Mewsy felt her icy heart drip, drip.