Fiction Saturday – “Haight Street” -Continued – Part Ten
Fiction Saturday – “Haight Street” -Continued
The street level flat served as a reception area. People met there and decided where their tastes would lead them. It was Conversation and Drinking on the First Floor.
The second floor was holding two special interest parties. One side was devoted to getting stoned and people were doing so vigorously. The other side was dedicated to the pleasures of the flesh.
Spider’s top floor flat was by invitation only and the attraction there was the music.
People moved from floor to floor by using the back stairs. Spider led her group through each floor acting as tour guide and Protector. “Things can get a little grab-ass on the stairs,” she warned them.
Marlee situated herself in the middle of her group as it moved through the building. On the second floor, as they passed through the dining room, a naked man, covered with tattoos, walked past them. He was busily chatting on a cellular phone. Luco tapped Marlee on the shoulder. “How’s it going? You OK?”
Her eyes were wide open and there was a somewhat stunned look on her face. “I’m fine, Luco, but I think I understand how Dorothy felt on her first day in Oz.”
On the landing between the second and third floors Spider gathered her brood around her. The music pulsed through the walls. The stairs vibrated.
“Ladies and gentleman, we’re nearing the end of our guided tour. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop on the way out. Now, you’ve seen that the main floor is an open house. On two it is sex and drugs and on three it is ROCK AND ROLL!” She let out a piercing rebel yell and ran up the steps with her fist raised.
Marlee wasn’t quite sure what to expect upon entering the third floor. The first two had taken her to worlds as alien as the surface of Mars and now she was venturing into “The Center of the Web.”
Coming in off the back steps and into the kitchen, Marlee walked into…a kitchen. It was a kitchen with sparkling white appliances, a wooden island and cafe curtains on the windows. It looked normal, or it would have if it weren’t for the people filling the room. Seated at the small glass table was a woman with spiked hair and dark blue lipstick. She was holding a very young baby. The baby’s hair was also spiked. Its wispy brown hair was gelled into four short peaks. The mother waved to Marlee and motioned her over to the table.
“Hi, Honey. I could use your help.”
“Hi. My name is Marlee. Your baby is cute as a bug”
“Yeah, well, he can be a real pisser if he ain’t fed. Sit down for a second. I’m Scar.” Marlee pulled out a chair sat next to the young mother. “Here, hold him for just a minute. My arms are frozen in place from carrying him all the time.”
Marlee reached over and took the infant, cradling him close to her body. It made Marlee smile and she felt her body respond to the feel of the baby in her arms. He looked up into Marlee’s eyes and gurgled.
“He likes you. Normally he screams like a bad Heavy Metal band when anybody else touches him. Hang on, Lucifer, it’s on the way.”
Marlee looked up to see that Scar had dropped her black cotton tunic and was naked to the waist.
“Alright, I’ll take him back now. Thanks, Marlee. She reached out and Marlee laid the now squirming baby back into his mother’s arms. Marlee started to get up to give them some privacy in the middle of the chaos.
“Oh, one more minute, Marlee. Wait.” She transferred the child to her other arm. While Marlee and fifteen other people watched, the mother used her free hand to remove one of her solid gold nipple rings.
“Don’t want the little pisser to choke. Here hold this for me, will you? I set it down and one of these freaks will cop it.”
Marlee held the nipple ring and spent the next ten minutes watching Scar nurse Lucifer. It moved Marlee to her soul to witness this most personal moment between a mother and child in the middle of such noisy chaos.
Leaving Marlee behind in the kitchen, Spider led the crew and friends from the People’s Cafe deeper into her web.
Passing through the dining room, with its crystal and brass chandelier, Luco reached up and ripped a bagel from the crisscross of wires that were strung from the ceiling across the room. Hundreds of bagels were threaded on the wires, dangling down, offering savory treats to the crowded room.
The front room of the flat was Ground Zero of Spider’s party world. The furniture would make anyone think he had stumbled into the living room at the Cleaver household. The early American style sofa and matching loveseat and end tables seemed lost and the Laz-e-Boy recliner looked downright mystified to be there. The only thing about the room that would hint that a woman like Spider lived there was the array of speakers mounted in the four corners near the ceiling. “Ambient-Techno” music was shaking the drywall.
This party was the first time Pete, had visited Spider’s home. It was more and less than he expected. The second floor both repulsed him and made him want to pay another visit. The third floor was a confusing paradox to him.
He grabbed Spider by the arm to get her attention over the din.
“Spider, I have a question.”
“What’s that, Pete?” Her head was bobbing to the fuzzy beat coming from overhead.
“Your apartment…the furniture. It’s so…”
“Ozzie and Harriet? Yeah, I know. I used to date a guy who owned a furniture store. He loved me,” she said as she wandered off.
Pete hadn’t heard a word of her answer. When Spider walked away and left him adrift on this sea of options, he shrugged his shoulders and decided to go back to the second floor. He wanted to sample whatever he could before morning.
Marlee, still smiling from her experience in the kitchen, came into the main room and saw Zephyr standing by the window overlooking the park. The music had turned soft and electronic.
“Hi, Zephyr. Mind if I join you?”
“So, what do you think? Pretty cool, right?”
“It’s amazing, but don’t the neighbors complain about the noise when you throw one of these parties?”
“No, not at all. We make sure to invite them to the party. They’re all here. See?” Zephyr pointed to the sofa. Marlee looked over and saw an elderly Chinese couple nibbling on bagels and sipping from bottles of Tsing-tao beer. They were chatting with each other and with the young man dressed as Wonder Woman seated at their feet.
“We invite everybody within bitching distance. It eliminates a lot of trouble.”
“Well, I know that you invite the police too. I met one earlier tonight who said he would be here.”
“Was he the one you were talking with outside the cafe?”
“Yes. He seemed very nice.”
“Pretty blue eyes? Thighs like a bullfrog?”
“Ummm, yes.” Marlee was a bit embarrassed that she had noticed those details.
Zephyr indicated with her chin for Marlee to turn around. She did and there was Mike the bicycle officer standing in the doorway, his right hand on his hip.
He was dressed in a dazzlingly white tuxedo shirt, complete with studs and cuffs. He had on a pair of snug fitting black slacks that emphasized his muscular legs.
Zephyr looked him up and down. “Oh, I gotta get me some of that. See you later, Marlee,” she said as she walked across the room, her eyes more than undressing him.
Marlee watched as Zephyr reached her tattooed arm up and around Mike’s neck and gave him a kiss that could double as his semiannual dental exam. He seemed a bit surprised, but not displeased as he put his arm around her waist and lifted her off the ground without breaking the kiss.
With her body in his firm grasp and pressed against his, Zephyr finally withdrew her tongue from his throat and put her lips to his ear. Marlee couldn’t hear her words, but she could read his lips when he spoke back. “Hi. My name is Mike.”
Now it was Marlee who was standing alone. The group from the van had dispersed throughout the house. Spider was busy playing hostess to her eclectic guest list. Zephyr was fast being absorbed in Mike’s arms. Pete was down on floor number two busily breaking four commandments and Luco was…nowhere to be found.